Thursday, 31 October 2019

IN FOCUS: MANCHESTER

There are five Parliamentary seats that cover the city of Manchester.  Two of these seats cross the city boundaries and are partially composed of neighbouring council authorities.  These are Blackley & Broughton (includes part of Trafford) and Wythenshawe & Sale East (includes part of Salford).


Population (2018 est):  547,627
City Council:  Labour, since 1973 (inception)
Composition:  Labour (92 cllrs), Lib Dem (3), Ind (1)
Ethnic make-up (2011):  white 66.7%, Asian 14.4%, black 8.6%, mixed 4.7%, Chinese 2.7%, Arab 1.9%, other 1.2%
EU referendum:  60.4% Remain
Largest Parliamentary majority:  Manchester Gorton (Afzal Khan, Lab) majority 31,730
Smallest Parliamentary majority:  Wythenshawe & Sale East (Mike Kane, Lab) majority 14,944

Manchester is a solid Labour city and there has not been a single Conservative councillor elected here since 2010.  Following the 2014 and 2015 local elections Labour held all 96 seats on the council.  The Lib Dems were a significant presence here until 2011, after which they lost most of their seats over their involvement in the coalition government.  At the next general election they also lost Manchester Withington, making the city all red again for the first time since 2001.

The city has a significant Muslim population, 15.8% according to the 2011 census.  They are represented disproportionately in the council chamber and make up one in five Labour councillors.

In the 2017 general election Conservative candidates came runners-up in three of Manchester's seats, but won't be expecting to make any gains here next time.  The Lib Dems will be hoping to surge back into contention, taking advantage of Manchester's strong Remain sympathies.  However, they are too far behind now to retake Withington from Labour, a seat that in any case is represented by ardent Labour Remainer Jeff Smith.

With the exception of Afzal Khan, all of Manchester's MPs were born in the city.  All but one (Graham Stringer) are Remainers.  In the 2016 leadership election three MPs backed Owen Smith, while two did not publicly endorse either candidate.

Blackley & Broughton

Incumbent:  Graham Stringer (Lab), majority 19,601
Born:  Manchester, 1950
First elected:  1997 (for Manchester Blackley)
Leave/Remain:  Leave
Notes:  Led Manchester City Council between 1984 and 1996.  Did not publicly endorse either candidate in the 2016 leadership challenge.  Attempts were made to deselect him in 2018 over his pro-Brexit stance, but the vote failed to carry.

Blackley & Broughton has been held by Labour since its creation in 2010, prior to that the seat of Manchester Blackley was held by Labour since 1964.  While most of the current seat falls within the city boundaries, it also comprises two wards from neighbouring Salford.

EU referendum:  50.04% Leave (only Leave seat in Manchester)

General election 2017

Graham Stringer (Lab) 28,258 (70.5%) +8.6%
David Goss (Con) 8,657 (21.6%) +6.6%
Martin Power (UKIP) 1,825 (4.6%) -12.0%
Richard Gadsden (Lib Dem) 737 (1.8%) -0.6%
David Jones (Green) 462 (1.2%) -3.1%
Abi Ajoku (Christian) 174 (0.2%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Manchester Central

Incumbent:  Lucy Powell (Lab), majority 31,445
Born:  Manchester, 1974
First elected:  2012 (by-election)
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Notes:  Manchester's first female MP.  Endorsed Owen Smith in 2016 leadership challenge.

Manchester Central has been held by Labour since its creation in 1974

EU referendum:  64% Remain

General election 2017

Lucy Powell (Lab) 38,490 (77.4%) +16.1%
Xingang Wang (Con) 7,045 (14.2%) +0.6%
John Bridges (Lib Dem) 1,678 (3.4%) -0.7%
Kalvin Chapman (UKIP) 1,469 (3.0%) -8.1%
Rachael Shah (Green) 846 (1.7%) -6.8%
Neil Blackburn (Pirate) 192 (0.4%) -0.4%

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Manchester Gorton

Incumbent:  Afzal Khan (Lab), majority 31,730
Born:  Pakistan, 1958
First elected:  2017
Leave/Remain:  Remain
Scandals:  Anti-Semitism
Notes:  Came to the UK aged 11.  Qualified solicitor.  Awarded a CBE in 2012 for race relations work.  Manchester's first Muslim MP.

Manchester Gorton has been held by Labour since 1935

EU referendum:  62% Remain

General election 2017

Afzal Khan (Lab) 35,085 (76.3%) +9.3%
Shaden Jaradat (Con) 3,355 (7.3%) -2.4%
George Galloway (Ind) 2,615 (5.7%) New
Jackie Pearcey (Lib Dem) 2,597 (5.7%) +1.4%
Jess Mayo (Green) 1,038 (2.3%) -7.5%
Phil Eckersley (UKIP) 952 (2.1%) -6.1%
Kemi Abidogun (Christian) 233 (0.5%) New
David Hopkins (Ind) 51 (0.1%) New
Peter Clifford (Communist) 27 (0.1%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Manchester Withington

Incumbent:  Jeff Smith (Lab), majority 29,875
Born:  Manchester, 1963
First elected:  2015
Leave/Remain:  Remain, voted against triggering Article 50
Notes:  Endorsed Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership challenge.

Manchester Withington has been held by Labour since 2015, before which it was held by the Lib Dems since 2005

EU referendum:  75% Remain (strongest Remain seat in Manchester)

General election 2017

Jeff Smith (Lab) 38,424 (71.7%) +18.0%
John Leech (Lib Dem) 8,549 (15.9%) -8.0%
Sarah Heald (Con) 5,530 (10.3%) +0.6%
Laura Bannister (Green) 865 (1.6%) -6.5%
Sally Carr (Women's Equality) 234 (0.4%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Wythenshawe & Sale East

Incumbent:  Mike Kane (Lab), majority 14,944
Born:  Manchester, 1969
First elected:  2014 (by-election)
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Notes:  Endorsed Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership challenge.

Wythenshawe & Sale East has been held by Labour since its creation in 1997.  Most of the current boundaries lie within the city, but it includes three council wards from neighbouring Trafford.

EU referendum:  50.35% Remain

General election 2017

Jeff Smith (Lab) 38,424 (71.7%) +18.0%
John Leech (Lib Dem) 8,549 (15.9%) -8.0%
Sarah Heald (Con) 5,530 (10.3%) +0.6%
Laura Bannister (Green) 865 (1.6%) -6.5%
Sally Carr (Women's Equality) 234 (0.4%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD


NEXT WEEK:  Glasgow

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END OF THE ROAD FOR JIM?


MPs are dropping like flies at the moment and not a ballot paper has been filled in yet.  Well, they've probably already filled in a few thousand in Tower Hamlets, but let's not digress.  Since the election passed through the Commons we've had the departure of Owen Smith (Pontypridd) and yesterday Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) also announced he would stand down, both unapologetic Remainers.  They were both among the eleven Labour MPs who opposed an election, fearing for their seats amid a Brexit backlash.  Tory Remainers Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan have also announced they too are quitting.

Today it was announced that the Standards Committee has (finally) taken action against Keith Vaz.  One of the original 'teflon' MPs, Vaz has survived more scandals than we care to list.  Considering that his cocaine and rent boy exploits were exposed over three years ago, you could be forgiven for thinking that he'd escaped unscathed once again.  Unfortunately, that may yet to prove to be the case.  The Mirror reports that although Vaz has been suspended from the Commons for six months, the ban may only last two days because it will lapse after Parliament is prorogued next week.

So Keith could well be back in the Commons by Christmas if he is re-elected in December.  Of course he has to be re-selected by Labour in order to defend his seat and pressure is beginning to mount on the party to finally give him the boot.  Diane Abbott told reporters earlier:  "I think he should consider his position and I think he himself should agree not to be a candidate".  That's wishful thinking on her part, as Jim clearly possesses no shame whatsoever.  He has a whopping big majority in Leicester East and will be desperate to cling on yet again.  Watch this space.


Leicester East general election 2017

Keith Vaz (Lab) 35,116 (67.0%) +5.9%
Edward Yi He (Con) 12,688 (24.2%) +1.2%
Sujata Barot (Ind) 1,753 (3.3%) New
Nitesh Dave (Lib Dem) 1,343 (2.6%) N/c
Melanie Wakley (Green) 1,070 (2.0%) -1.0%
Ian Fox (Ind) 454 (0.9%) New

ROLF HARRIS LOOKALIKE ON THE LOOSE

Lloyd Russell-Mole is one of the daftest MPs currently sitting in Parliament, like a child desperate for attention.  Last year he grabbed the ceremonial mace, this year he launched himself across Bercow's lap when Parliament was prorogued.  It's as if the Monster Raving Loony Party got a candidate elected at the one millionth time of asking, but stuck a Labour rosette on him.  To be fair, the balloon head has wasted no time in getting down to business for the forthcoming election and had dozens of activists letter stuffing on Wednesday night.  If you turn the sound down on this video, all that's missing is a wobble board.  Can you tell who it is yet?


Mole was among the same 2017 crop of candidates as the disastrous Fiona Onasanya and Jared O'Mara, perhaps he too wasn't expected to win.  Except he did.  It was an impressive win in fact and he currently sits on a majority of almost 10,000 having taken Brighton Kemptown from the Tories last time round.  However, he could be in trouble come December 12th.  Here's why.

He achieved his impressive 2017 victory on a ballot paper featuring a narrow field of just Lib-Lab-Con candidates.  UKIP had stood here for years, as had the Greens.  UKIP polled at almost 10 per cent in 2015 and despite its liberal reputation, Kemptown was not exactly a landslide for Remain in 2016.  So what happened to all those UKIP voters?  Well, they didn't flock to the Tories in 2017.  They shifted over to Labour (as did the Greens).

This brings about a curious situation.  While all the focus of the proposed (and desperately needed) 'Leave Alliance' is on Brexit Party/Tory candidates standing aside for each other, this seat could actually benefit from both parties fielding candidates.  If the Brexit Party can swipe those former UKIP voters back from Labour and the Tory vote holds up, who knows?  The Greens have already selected a candidate so it is likely the ballot paper will return to a full field as it was pre-Russell-Mole.  The Lib Dems are also on the rise again following their coalition slump of 2015 and could possibly take a few Remain votes from Labour.  Definitely one to watch...

Brighton Kemptown 2017 general election

Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Lab) 28,703 (58.3%) +19.2%
Simon Kirby (Con) 18,835 (38.3%) -2.4%
Emily Tester (Lib Dem) 1,457 (3.0%) N/c
Doktor Haze (Ind) 212 (0.4%) New

Brighton Kemptown 2015 general election

Simon Kirby (Con) 18,428 (40.7%) +2.7%
Nancy Platts (Lab) 17,738 (39.2%) +4.3%
Ian Buchanan (UKIP) 4,446 (9.8%) +6.6%
Davy Jones (Green) 3,187 (7.0%) +1.6%
Paul Chandler (Lib Dem) 1,365 (3.0%) -15.0%
Jacqueline Shodeke (Socialist) 73 (0.2%) New
Matthew Taylor (Ind) 69 (0.2%) New

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

THE TOP 20 CHICKENS

Following Labour's u-turn, the government's general election bill was passed in the Commons by a whopping 418 majority.  It still has to pass through the House of Lords, but is likely to gain royal assent by the end of the week.  Predictably it won't move as swiftly as the Benn Surrender Act did.  Nothing moves that fast!

Embarrassingly for Corbyn almost half of his own MPs refused to back his newfound enthusiasm for a general election. 104 abstained in the final vote, while a further 11 voted against, making a complete mockery of Corbyn's triumphant announcement earlier in the day that his party was "totally united".

There were 20 MPs in total who opposed the final reading of the bill, many of whom clearly desperate to cling on to the Westminster gravy train for as long as possible.  More than half of them were Labour, including the most despicable parasites of all ie. those who are standing down anyway at the next election, but who wanted to stay on and milk the system just that little bit longer.  They are all unapologetic Remainers, so some of them will be fearing the election of a pro-Leave Parliament.  We've put our suggestions for their main motives in italics.  Obviously there's no doubting the motives for Change UK...

Labour

Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) - huge Leave vote in his constituency, running scared
Margaret Beckett (Derby South) - big Leave vote in her constituency, running scared
Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) - standing down, wanted to ride the train a bit longer
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) - standing down, wanted to ride the train a bit longer
Peter Kyle (Hove) - safe seat, doesn't think Labour can win
Dave Lammy (Tottenham) - safe seat, doesn't think Labour can win
Ian Lucas (Wrexham) - standing down, wanted to ride the train a bit longer
Albert Owen (Ynys Môn) - standing down, wanted to ride the train a bit longer
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) - has not yet been reselected, fears deselection
Owen Smith (Pontypridd) - announced after the vote that he is standing down, didn't think Labour could win
Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge) - recent poll suggests a Lib Dem surge could unseat him, running scared

Change UK

Ann Coffey (Stockport) - cheerio, cheerio, cheerio
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) - cheerio, cheerio, cheeri-oooo
Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) - cheerio, cheerio, cheerio, cheeri-oh


Plaid Cymru

Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) - constituency voted Leave, running scared
Liz Saville Roberts (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) - shrinking majority, running scared
Hywel Williams (Arfon) - wafer thin majority, running scared

SNP

Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an lar) - shrinking majority, running scared

Green

Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) - safe seat, fears a Brexit majority

Independent Unionist

Lady Hermon (North Down) - shrinking majority, running scared

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

LABOUR FINALLY RELENT TO ELECTION DEMAND

December could see the back of Corbyn, complacency could be fatal

Jeremy Corbyn has this morning relented to a general election demand at the fourth time of asking.  Perhaps the penny finally dropped that Labour's reluctance to face the electorate is not going down well with voters.  MPs will debate the timing of the election later today and they are literally going to haggle over whether it takes place on the 11th or the 12th of December.  Elections traditionally take place on a Thursday in this country, but the Lib Dems and SNP are demanding that it takes place on a Monday, while the government is reportedly willing to compromise on a Wednesday.  Nuts.

Lots of people are excitedly gloating about the prospect of Corbyn's party being slaughtered.  This is  dangerous, arrogant and extremely naive.  The Tories were all set to demolish Labour in 2017 and increase their majority.  In the end the Tories lost their majority.  Short memories folks.  There is only one way to ensure Labour gets a hammering in December and that is through a Leave Alliance.  Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage hold the key to the future of this nation in their hands.  They can either embrace the opportunity and consign comrade Corbyn and his abhorrent ideology to the political dustbin, or risk the nightmare of a far left Labour government backed up by the SNP.

Make no mistake, this forthcoming election is not a foregone conclusion.

LABOUR SELECTION CHAOS

“A skirmish almost broke out when a man tried to take his wife’s ballot and fill it out, but she opposed".
(Poplar & Limehouse selection meeting)

Labour selections and reselections are currently taking place across the country for the general election that Labour is desperately trying to block.  It sounds bizarre, but then this is Labour.  In the last two days police have been called to two separate selection meetings, for Nottingham East and Poplar & Limehouse.  The ballot paper for both seats was dominated by Muslim candidates and both winning candidates are dead certs to hold these safe Labour seats.

Nadia Whittome selected as Chris Leslie's replacement in Nottingham East

Apsana Begum selected as Jim Fitzpatrick's replacement in Poplar and Limehouse

The Poplar selection took place in the banana republic of Tower Hamlets amid chaotic scenes.  Photo ID was required to get into the meeting, but this hurdle did not appear to 'disenfranchise' those attending (more Labour hypocrisy) as more than 500 mostly Muslim men crammed into the meeting hall.  Laughably, these all-female shortlists were supposed to be about equality, yet the turnout at this meeting reflected nothing of the sort.  The winning candidate congratulated "strong BAME women" for the campaign and then posed for a photo in which you can count the women present on one hand.  There was no mention of the LGBT candidate, funny that.


We know how her supporters want to "transform society" and "seize it".  The second paragraph is clearly aimed at her supporters (or dare we say, handlers).  When she speaks of "radicalism" she is not necessarily referring to socialism.  So much for feminism.  This is the future of our nation under a Labour direction.

Nottingham East general election 2017

Chris Leslie (Lab) 28,102 (71.5%) +16.9%
Simon Murray (Con) 8,512 (21.6%) +0.9%
Barry Holliday (Lib Dem) 1,003 (2.6%) -1.6%
Robert Hall-Palmer (UKIP) 817 (2.1%) -7.9%
Kat Boettge (Green) 698 (1.8%) -8.1%
David Bishop (Elvis) 195 (0.5%) New

Chris Leslie was one of the Labour MPs who left to form 'Change UK'.

Poplar & Limehouse general election 2017

Jim Fitzpatrick (Lab) 39,558 (67.3%) +8.7%
Chris Wilford (Con) 11,846 (20.1%) -5.3%
Elaine Bagshaw (Lib Dem) 3,959 (6.7%) +2.5%
Oliur Rahman (Ind) 1,477 (2.5%) New
Bethan Lant (Green) 989 (1.7%) -3.1%
Nicholas McQueen (UKIP) 849 (1.4%) -4.7%
David Barker (Ind) 136 (0.2%) New

Jim Fitzpatrick is not standing in the next election.

Monday, 28 October 2019

IAIN DALE vs OLD McDONALD

Andy McDonald, just as dumb as his Corrie namesake

"You don't want a no deal Brexit, you don't want this deal, you don't want an election - what do you want?"
(Iain Dale to Andy McDonald)

LBC's Iain Dale clashed with Labour's Andy McDonald on the airwaves today about Labour's refusal to back an election.  The Shadow Transport Secretary (yes, seriously) was moaning about a wintry election, primarily the fact that university students would be back on campus at that time and supposedly unable to vote.  Dale took exception to this and consequently triggered McDonald when he referred to people who couldn't be bothered to vote as "feckless".  McDonald proceeded to roll off a sob story about how young people are hard done by, prompting thoughts of 'poor snowflakes'.

It's fair to say McDonald is not the sharpest tool and this interview showed it.  Then again, it's not an easy position to defend when everybody (the entire nation) knows that your party is running scared of them.  The longer Labour chicken out, the more desperate these interviews will get.

Watch the full exchange below.


That look you give each other when your caller gives you a sob story about the yoof,
in sight of Armistice Day no less!

LABOUR BOTTLE IT A THIRD TIME


As promised, Labour MPs overwhelmingly abstained in the PM's third attempt to get a general election.  Boris says he'll keep trying, but it seems that Labour are intent on paralysing Parliament for months to come.  The electorate will not forget this quickly, nor will we forget who is to blame for blocking Brexit yet again.  The longer they block an election (and Brexit), the bigger their eventual defeat will be.  They can run, but they can't hide.

Ex-Tory Remainers who joined Labour in abstaining included the usual suspects of Grieve, Hammond and Letwin.  The only Labour MP who voted for an election was, rather predictably, Kate Hoey.  Ex-Labour MPs Ian Austin, Frank Field, Ivan Lewis and John Woodcock also supported the motion, an exceptional gesture considering they will almost certainly lose their seats in an election.  Many others are clearly desperate to hold on to their gravy train seats for as long as possible.  It was no great surprise to see Anna Soubry and her shrinking number of colleagues in Change UK (or whatever they're now called) opposing the motion.

38 Labour parasites ignored the party whips and voted against the motion.  They were all Remainers, with the sole exception of chief barnacle Skinner:

Tonia Antoniazzi (Gower)
Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West)
Margaret Beckett (Derby South)
Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)
Bambos Charambalous (Enfield Southgate)
Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley)
Neil Coyle (Bermondsey & Old Southwark)
Stella Creasy (Walthamstow)
Janet Daby (Lewisham East)
Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe)
David Drew (Stroud)
Jack Dromey (Birmingham Erdington)
Bill Esterson (Sefton Central)
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Preet Gill (Birmingham Edgbaston)
Rupa Huq (Ealing Central & Acton)
Ged Killen (Rutherglen & Hamilton West)
Peter Kyle (Hove)
Lesley Laird (Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath)
Dave Lammy (Tottenham)
Ian Lucas (Wrexham)
Holly Lynch (Halifax)
Anna McMorrin (Cardiff North)
Seema Malhotra (Feltham & Heston)
Rachael Maskell (York Central)
Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)
Albert Owen (Ynys Môn)
Danielle Rowley (Midlothian)
Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall)
Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
Jeff Smith (Manchester Withington)
Owen Smith (Pontypridd)
Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central)
Paul Sweeney (Glasgow North East)
Matt Western (Warwick & Leamington)
Martin Whitfield (East Lothian)
Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge)

Interesting to note that this sickening list includes several MPs who are standing down at the next election, but who are clearly not in any hurry to depart the Westminster gravy train.  Also worthy of note is that all but one of Scottish Labour's MPs appears on the list, clearly fearing a wipeout at the hands of the SNP come the next election!

JOHN MANN RESIGNS

John Mann has today resigned as an MP, clearing up any confusion that followed his comments towards the end of last week.  He will take a seat in the House of Lords and begin his new role as the government's 'anti-Semitism tsar'.  He has already adjusted his Twitter profile to reflect his new status (see below).  It appears that he won't take up the Labour whip in the Lords and will sit as a crossbench peer.


Asides from the loss of one more pro-Leave voice from the Commons it means that a by-election will take place in Bassetlaw, assuming that a general election is blocked from taking place this year.  Labour would be defending a majority of less than 5,000 in a strong pro-Leave seat.  However, if the Tories and Brexit Party both stand it doesn't take a genius to work out what will happen (as it did in both Peterborough and Brecon).  Boris, Nigel - it's time to talk and get a Leave Alliance up and running.

Bassetlaw general election 2017

John Mann (Lab) 27,467 (52.6%) +3.9%
Annette Simpson (Con) 22,615 (43.3%) +12.6%
Leon Duveen (Lib Dem) 1,154 (2.2%) −0.5%
Nigel Turner (Ind) 1,014 (1.9%) New

Bassetlaw general election 2015

John Mann (Lab) 23,965 (48.6%) -1.8%
Sarah Downes (Con) 15,122 (30.7%) -3.2%
Dave Scott (UKIP) 7,865 (16.0%) +12.4%
Leon Duveen (Lib Dem) 1,331 (2.7%) -8.5%
Kristopher Wragg (Green) 1,006 (2.0%) New

CAMPAIGN STATS 28.10.19

Last week's enforced retreat to the backup page on Facebook was a blessing in disguise.  We have had to re-evaluate how best to proceed in the light of what we now feel is the inevitable demise of our Facebook presence.  In many ways we have been preparing for this moment by expanding our online presence and once again urge our Facebook followers to engage with our campaign on as many of the following outlets as possible.  As a consequence of the threat of Facebook censorship we intend to concentrate more on building this site and YouTube going forward.  We would also urgently request that some of you chip in a couple of quid (or whatever you can afford) to help keep us going in 2020.  Richey's computer is ancient, we need better editing software and at the moment there is not even enough money coming in to pay for our domain fee.  PayPal users can donate here, everyone else can donate via the button on the right hand side of this page.  Thank you.

Blog

449,477 total page views (+4,580)

Facebook

90,418 likes (+102)
95,468 follows (+122)

10 number of posts

236,203 post reach (-722,127)
61,557 post engagement (-235,335)

Facebook (backup page)

4,427 likes (+1,016)
4,676 follows (+1,057)

13 number of posts
8,213 most shared post (+2,911)

Twitter

532 followers (+7)

YouTube

140 subscribers (+4)

Figures correct at time of publishing.

ON THIS DAY IN 1979, CORBYN'S MATES...

The Provisional IRA ambushed a joint army/police patrol as it left Springfield Road police station in west Belfast.  Several armed terrorists had taken over a house on the corner of Crocus Street and held the family hostage prior to their attack.  They lay in wait for around an hour for a patrol to emerge.  A Land Rover then backed out of the police station under the direction of a policeman, with Warrant Officer David Bellamy providing cover.  As they clambered into the back of the vehicle the gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons.

The gunmen fired from upstairs windows and into the back of the Land Rover while its door was still open.  Some fifty rounds were fired and all three occupants in the back of the vehicle were hit.  Warrant Officer Bellamy was killed instantly.  Two policemen were seriously injured, one of whom - Constable John Davidson - died three weeks later from his injuries.  He had been struck in the head and neck and was on a life support machine prior to his death.  The other policeman survived despite being hit seven times.  A female occupant of the house, five months pregnant, was treated for shock.

Warrant Officer David Bellamy

Warrant Officer David Bellamy served with the Duke of Wellington Regiment and came from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.  The 31-year-old was survived by his wife and two children.  He had been due to give evidence at an inquest into the death of an Official IRA member shot dead in west Belfast in 1975.

Constable John Gerald Davidson was 26 and came from south Belfast.  He was also survived by a wife and two children.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

MOST SHARED: WEEK 236

All hope of leaving this Thursday was extinguished by our quisling Parliament last week.  We may as well stop referring to each deadline as 'Brexit Day', it would be more accurately described as 'Extension Day'.  The likes of Benn, Starmer, Lammy, Grieve, Letwin, Hammond and 300 others will be cock-a-hoop with their efforts, but we will exact our vengeance at the ballot box sooner or later.


A couple of people noted that whereas the Withdrawal Bill consists of more than a hundred pages, the Benn Surrender Act was a fraction of that.  However, as many others have pointed out, the Withdrawal Bill is very similar to that drawn up by Theresa May's government and that has been in circulation for almost twelve months already.

The above meme is a BTLP2 original, shared 8,213 times via the backup page.  This is the first time since we've been doing this feature that the backup page has produced the 'most shared'.  The backup page is only in use when the main page is out of action and last week saw the worst act of political censorship by Facebook in the four and a half years of our existence.  You can help maintain our presence across social media by depositing a small donation here.  Thank you.

MARR EXPOSES LABOUR'S LAME EXCUSE

Diane Abbott appeared on the Andrew Marr Show this morning and faced some rather tricky questions about Labour's reluctance to agree to an election.  The circular logic of Labour's lame argument was deftly exposed by Marr to which Abbott stuttered and stammered her way back into repeating the same excuse over and over.  Labour have consistently accused Boris Johnson of being untrustworthy (and a liar) and yet they are now saying that they will accept his word on no deal should he come before the Commons and rule it out.  Of course they know he won't do that anyway, therefore this is nothing more than an election-blocking tactic by people who are scared to face the electorate.

Watch the full cringeworthy exchange below.

AL-BAGHDADI KILLED

President Trump has now confirmed the death of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  This is obviously great news for freedom lovers everywhere, albeit senior Labour figures have been strangely silent about it.  The Foreign Secretary tweeted that efforts to defeat Daesh must continue, but as yet not a word from his opposite number Emily Thornberry, a fact not lost on Corbyn critic Ian Austin...


While many like-minded social media outlets have been quick to exploit the death of such a barbaric piece of shit, we cannot be so bold due to Facebook's relentless censorship of our page.  However, we did upload the following to Twitter.  You're welcome.

DE PIERO'S POLL SNIPE

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero is no fan of Jeremy Corbyn, but she revealed just how deep that resentment goes with one click yesterday.  Over on Twitter we noticed that she'd liked a new Opinium poll that suggested Labour had slipped a further three points behind the Tories.


De Piero is standing down at the next election citing a "lack of tolerance" in the party, so she clearly has nothing to lose now.  She was also one of the 19 rebels who voted in favour of the withdrawal agreement last week.  Once again the Labour trolls appear incapable of realising that actions have consequences.

De Piero's constituency is definitely one to watch when the next election comes around.  Ashfield is the top marginal in Nottinghamshire and returned a whopping 70% Leave vote in 2016.  Labour should be dead certs to lose this seat at the next election, except they almost certainly won't.  The Brexit Party have identified this as one of their top targets, selecting prominent MEP Martin Daubney as their candidate.  They will do well, but will split the Tory vote so much that Labour will probably increase their majority, rather than lose the seat.  This is just another fine example of why it is vital that Boris comes to his senses and does a deal with the Brexit Party.

Ashfield general election 2017

Gloria De Piero (Lab) 21,285 (42.6%) +1.6%
Tony Harper (Con) 20,844 (41.7%) +19.3%
Gail Turner (Ind) 4,612 (9.2%) New
Ray Young (UKIP) 1,885 (3.8%) -17.6%
Bob Charlesworth (Lib Dem) 969 (1.9%) -12.9%
Arran Rangi (Green) 398 (0.8%) New

Saturday, 26 October 2019

THE WEEK IN CARTOONS 20-26 OCT 2019

20.10.19 - Matt Pritchett, Sunday Telegraph
21.10.19 - David Rowe, Australian Financial Review
21.10.19 - Patrick Blower, Daily Telegraph
22.10.19 - Dave Brown, Independent
22.10.19 - Graeme Bandiera, Yorkshire Post 
22.10.19 - Patrick Blower, Daily Telegraph
23.10.19 - Patrick Blower, Daily Telegraph
23.10.19 - Peter Brookes, The Times
24.10.19 - Bob Moran, Daily Telegraph
24.10.19 - Christian Adams, Evening Standard 
24.10.19 - Dave Brown, Independent
24.10.19 - Matt Pritchett, Daily Telegraph 
24.10.19 - Paul Thomas, Daily Mail
25.10.19 - Christian Adams, Evening Standard
25.10.19 - Graeme Bandiera, Yorkshire Post
25.10.19 - Matt Pritchett, Daily Telegraph
25.10.19 - Paul Thomas, Daily Mail
26.10.19 - Andy Davey, Daily Telegraph 
26.10.19 - Peter Brookes, The Times

MANN'S REVENGE

Bassetlaw MP John Mann has announced he is leaving the House of Commons on Monday to take up his government role as their 'anti-Semitism tsar'.  It's not clear if this means he is standing down as an MP altogether, if so one of his final acts will be to vote in favour of a general election, defying the Labour whips one last time.  Hopefully he will be staying on for a wee bit longer, if only for Brexit debates where pro-Leave votes are hard to come by on the opposition benches.

When Mann takes up his new post he will probably appreciate the irony of being called a 'tsar', seeing as the original tsars were so vehemently opposed by the communists (hopefully he doesn't meet the same end as said tsars).  Having endured years of abuse from Corbyn supporters, he appears to be plotting as much damage as possible when he stands down.  In the last two days he has tweeted several times about exposing cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault he claims have been covered up by the party.


If Mann has been aware of these cases over time then it does suggest that he too has been 'sitting on' the allegations, so he may not have the moral high ground here.  However, his decision to use this information to hurt the leadership is no great surprise, having been bombarded with abuse for the last three years from those who swear undying loyalty to the Great Leader.  Actions have consequences and former Labour MPs have been increasingly dishing out vengeance over the last year.

Ian Austin, Chris Leslie, Ivan Lewis and John Woodcock have become even more fierce in their condemnation of Corbyn since they left the party.  The recent speeches from Austin and Lewis were a joy to behold.  Woodcock, an otherwise hardcore Remainer, astonishingly voted with the government on several crucial Brexit votes last week.  His love for membership of the EU is clearly now outweighed by his hatred of Corbyn.  Luciana Berger will undoubtedly get her revenge by wrecking Labour's hopes to retake the Tory marginal of Finchley at the next election, while even Kate Hoey (still under the Labour whip) has not ruled out joining the Brexit Party and perhaps making a high profile stand against a big name Labour Remainer.  Diane Abbott's bizarre assertion yesterday that Hoey is "no longer a Labour MP" will undoubtedly have given Hoey that little bit of extra motivation to do so.  Kate Hoey versus Yvette Cooper (with Tory candidate stood down) - now that would be a very interesting contest!

ON THIS DAY IN 1976, CORBYN'S MATES...

The Provisional IRA shot dead a part-time British Army officer at his civilian place of work.  Lieutenant Joseph Wilson had worked at the same Protestant supermarket in Armagh town for 20 years and had survived a previous attempt to kill him there.  On the day of the murder a young man entered the store and joined the queue for Lt Wilson's meat counter.  He asked the UDR man for some salami, but as the lieutenant turned around he shot him three times in the back.  Lt Wilson collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.  The gunman fled the scene and escaped in a Hillman Avenger that had been hijacked earlier.

13 months prior to his murder, Lt Wilson had got into his car after finishing a shift when a gunman approached and fired a revolver into his windscreen.  He escaped that day, but a newspaper report following his death described him as a 'marked man'.  Earlier in the Troubles he testified in court against several Official IRA members, who were subsequently jailed for a theft from his home.

Lieutenant Joseph Wilson of 2 UDR

Lt Wilson was 53 and served in 2nd Battalion the Ulster Defence Regiment, based in Armagh.  He came from Lisdown, just outside the town, and was survived by his wife and nine children.  He was buried with full military honours at Knappagh Presbyterian Church.  The following year his UDR company unveiled a plaque inside the church in his memory.  In 1984 Lt Wilson's son-in-law was murdered by the IRA in a bomb attack.

Friday, 25 October 2019

"MAN UP" BORIS TELLS CORBYN

As Corbyn continues to scrape the barrel and chicken out of an election, Boris has told him to "man up" and face the voters.  He also took a swipe at the "commies" at Momentum.


Despite the PM's optimism, the EU has now agreed to an extension and all that remains to be decided is how long that will be.  We are not leaving the EU this year after all and if Corbyn has anything to do with it we won't be having an election either.  The Labour leadership appears to be intent on several more months of Parliamentary paralysis, with no solution in sight and making the next scheduled 'Brexit Day' merely the next 'Extension Day'.

MARXIST CORBYN CALLED OUT

"Your personal poll ratings are awful, they've never been this bad, and your party poll ratings are dreadful too".
(Richard Madeley)

Jezza spoke to Richard and Judy this morning and was subjected to some very blunt questioning from Mr Madeley.  "Are you frightened of an election?" he was asked, before Madeley went on to point out that both Corbyn and McDonnell are Marxists dedicated to the overthrow of capitalism.  Remarkably, Corbyn did not deny it.  Watch the full interview below.

COUNCIL BY-ELECTIONS 24.10.19

There were eight by-elections last night - five in England and three in Wales.  Once again Labour failed to post an increase in its vote share, despite managing to break a two month old duck last week.  In Northamptonshire the Tories took a seat from Labour, who were forced into last place by the Lib Dems.  The Lib Dems had a good night, registering a significant increase in vote share across all but one of the seats contested.  They scored a stunning gain from the Conservatives in mid-Wales, coming from nowhere to win in Llandrindod North (due in part to the absence of the Greens).

It was a mixed night for the Tories, with their vote share down in all but two of the seats contested.

Abbey North, Daventry District Council

Con: 376 (41.0%) +13.9%
Lib Dem: 280 (30.5%) +9.7%
Lab: 262 (28.5%) -11.3%

Con GAIN from Lab

Heavitree & Whipton Barton, Devon County Council

Lab: 1,032 (31.9%) -19.4%
Con: 992 (30.7%) -0.7%
Lib Dem: 576 (17.8%) +11.1%
Green: 563 (17.4%) +11.5%
For Britain: 70 (2.2%) New

Lab HOLD

Bagillt West, Flintshire County Council

Lab: 251 (63.5%) -36.5%
Ind: 144 (36.5%) New

Lab HOLD (previously elected unopposed)

Llandrindod North, Powys County Council

Lib Dem: 226 (47.2%) New
Con: 164 (34.2%) -19.6%
Lab: 89 (18.6%) -1.2%

Lib Dem GAIN from Con

Newtown South, Powys County Council

Con: 134 (43.5%) -11.4%
Lib Dem: 110 (35.7%) New
Plaid: 64 (20.8%) -8.7%

Con HOLD

Coupe Green & Gregson Lane, South Ribble Borough Council

Con: 437 (49.1%) -0.8%
Ind: 343 (38.5%) New
Lib Dem: 110 (12.4%) New

Con HOLD

Melksham Without South, Wiltshire Council

Con: 593 (60.4%) +5.1%
Lib Dem: 388 (39.6%) +21.5%

Con HOLD

Torksey, West Lindsey District Council

Con: 378 (35.7%) -22.9%
Lib Dem: 346 (32.6%) -8.8%
Brexit: 299 (28.2%) New
Lab: 37 (3.5%) New

Con HOLD

Thursday, 24 October 2019

IS THIS DAVE'S DAFTEST TWEET YET?


Even for daft Dave the logic, or rather lack of it, is astonishing.  Twitter pointed out the bleeding obvious...

CORBYN BOTTLES IT, AGAIN

We've waited all day, but Jeremy Corbyn has finally unveiled his latest election-blocking tactic.  The Great Leader has announced that he will happily agree to an election, but only if Boris takes a no deal Brexit off the table...


Boris has had to swallow many bitter pills recently, but this demand is a non-starter and Jezza knows it.  As such it appears that we may be headed for an unprecedented scenario in which the government has requested a general election three times and been knocked back by the opposition three times.  This is not going to do Corbyn any favours and the chicken memes will go into overdrive if he bottles it again.  He will get his Brexit extension tomorrow, what else is he waiting for?

FEMI VS EMILY

Professional remoaner Femi Izawally accepted an invite from social media giant LADbible to discuss Brexit with self-styled 'Tory totty' Emily Hewertson.  Hewertson rose to fame earlier this year with a brief appearance on BBC Question Time in which she expressed support for the Brexit Party.  Here, Emily sits down with EU fanatic Izawally and his strange American tones...


Completely misread that Trump question didn't you wally?

IN FOCUS: BIRMINGHAM

This is a new weekly feature appearing every Thursday.  We'll be looking at a specific mainland city each week and we begin with Britain's second city.  'Brum' is comprised of ten Parliamentary constituencies, as shown below.


Population (2018 est):  1,141,374
City Council:  Labour, since 2012
Composition:  Labour (67 cllrs), Conservative (25), Lib Dem (8), Green (1)
Ethnic make-up (2011):  white 57.9%, Asian 26.6%, black 8.9%, mixed 4.4%, other 1.2%, Arab 1.0%
EU referendum:  50.4% Leave
Largest Parliamentary majority:  Hall Green (Roger Godsiff, Lab) majority 33,944
Smallest Parliamentary majority:  Northfield (Richard Burden, Lab) majority 4,667

Birmingham was once a major battleground between Labour and the Conservatives, but the Tories have not won a seat here (with the exception of Sutton Coldfield) since 1992.  The Lib Dems were an electoral force prior to the 2015 general election.  They were heavily punished in that election for both local and national coalitions with the Tories, losing their Yardley seat to Labour, a seat they had held since 2005.  The Lib Dems were the junior partner in a coalition with the Tories that ran Birmingham City Council between 2004 and 2012.

In the 2017 general election the top two places in all ten seats were taken by Labour and Conservative candidates.  The Labour share of the vote was up significantly across all ten seats.  This rise was due in small part to the continuing decline in the Lib Dem vote, but primarily it came from the electoral collapse of UKIP following the EU referendum.  Contrary to popular opinion, UKIP (and the Brexit Party) draw most of their support from working class communities that would otherwise normally vote Labour.

Birmingham has the largest Muslim population in the UK outside London (21.8% according to the 2011 census) and electoral fraud has been evident.  Following the 2004 local elections the results in two council wards were annulled and the six winning Labour candidates removed from office.  The six men were: Muhammed Afzal, Mohammed Islam, Mohammed Kazi (Aston ward) and Shafaq Ahmed, Shah Jahan and Ayaz Khan (Bordesley Green ward).

Only three of Birmingham's ten MPs were born in the city - Preet Gill, Shabana Mahmood and Jess Phillips.  In the 2016 leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, all of the then Birmingham MPs publicly backed Owen Smith with the exception of Gisela Stuart (Edgbaston), who refused to back him unless he dropped his demand for a second EU referendum.

Birmingham Edgbaston

Incumbent:  Preet Gill (Lab), majority 6,917
Born:  Birmingham, 1972
First elected:  2017
Leave/Remain:  Remain
Notes:  Britain's first female Sikh MP.

Edgbaston has been held by Labour since 1997.

EU referendum:  53% Remain

General election 2017

Preet Gill (Lab) 24,124 (55.3%) +10.5%
Caroline Squire (Con) 17,207 (39.5%) +1.2%
Colin Green (Lib Dem) 1,564 (3.6%) +0.7%
Alice Kiff (Green) 562 (1.3%) -2.0%
Dick Rodgers (Common Good) 155 (0.4%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Birmingham Erdington

Incumbent:  Jack Dromey (Lab), majority 7,285
Born:  Middlesex, 1948
First elected:  2010
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  Cash for peeragesillegal donationsfailing to declare incomePaedophile Information Exchange
Notes:  Married to former Labour minister/deputy leader/acting leader Harriet Harman since 1982.  Their children were sent to private schools.  Before he became an MP he was Labour's national treasurer and sat on the National Executive Committee.

Erdington has been held by Labour since its creation in 1974.

EU referendum:  63% Leave (strongest Leave vote in Birmingham)

General election 2017

Jack Dromey (Lab) 21,571 (58.0%) +12.3%
Robert Alden (Con) 14,286 (38.4%) +7.6%
Ann Holtom (Lib Dem) 750 (2.0%) -0.8%
James Lovatt (Green) 610 (1.6%) -1.1%

BTLP general election prediction:  Con GAIN

Birmingham Hall Green

Incumbent:  Roger Godsiff (Lab), majority 33,944
Born:  London, 1946 (oldest Birmingham MP)
First elected:  1992 (for Birmingham Small Heath)
Leave/Remain:  Leave, but abstained in the vote to trigger Article 50 in respect of the 66% Remain vote in his constituency
Scandals:  Expenses scandal, Muslim LGBT school protests
Notes:  Godsiff's constituency has been abolished twice due to boundary changes - first in 1997, after which he represented Birmingham Sparkbrook & Small Heath, and again in 2010.  Since then he has represented Birmingham Hall Green, a seat that had previously been held by Labour's Steve McCabe.  As a result of the boundary changes McCabe switched to Birmingham Selly Oak.  Godsiff is currently facing a Corbynite trigger ballot and will have to fight for reselection at the next election.

Hall Green has been held by Labour since 1997.

EU referendum:  66% Remain (strongest Remain vote in Birmingham)

General election 2017

Roger Godsiff (Lab) 42,143 (77.6%) +17.8%
Reena Ranger (Con) 8,199 (15.1%) -2.6%
Jerry Evans (Lib Dems) 3,137 (5.8%) -5.8%
Patrick Cox (Green) 831 (1.5%) -3.1%

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Birmingham Hodge Hill

Incumbent:  Liam Byrne (Lab), majority 31,026
Born:  Warrington, 1970
First elected:  2004
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  "I'm afraid there is no money"
Notes:  Byrne was a minister in both the Blair and Brown governments.  He is currently competing to be Labour's candidate for West Midlands Mayor in 2020.

Hodge Hill has been held by Labour since its creation in 1983.

EU referendum:  51% Leave

General election 2017

Liam Byrne (Lab) 37,606 (81.1%) +12.7%
Ahmereen Reza (Con) 6,580 (14.2%) +2.7%
Mohammed Khan (UKIP) 1,016 (2.2%) -9.1%
Phil Bennion (Lib Dem) 805 (1.7%) -4.7%
Clare Thomas (Green) 387 (0.8%) -1.2%

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Birmingham Ladywood

Incumbent:  Shabana Mahmood (Lab), majority 28,714
Born:  Birmingham, 1980
First elected:  2010
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  Muslim LGBT school protests, Sainsburys anti-Israel protest
Notes:  In 2010 became one of the first female Muslim MPs in Britain, alongside her Labour colleagues Rushanara Ali and Yasmin Qureshi.  She is a law graduate and her family roots are in Pakistan.

Ladywood has been held by Labour since 1970.

EU referendum:  64% Remain

General election 2017

Shabana Mahmood (Lab) 34,166 (82.7%) +9.1%
Andrew Browning (Con) 5,452 (13.2%) +0.5%
Lee Dargue (Lib Dem) 1,156 (2.8%) -1.0%
Kefentse Dennis (Green) 533 (1.3%) -2.9%

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Birmingham Northfield

Incumbent:  Richard Burden (Lab), majority 4,667
Born:  Liverpool, 1954
First elected:  1992
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50

Northfield has been held by Labour since 1992.

EU referendum:  62% Leave

General election 2017

Richard Burden (Lab) 23,596 (53.2%) +11.6%
Meg Powell-Chandler (Con) 18,929 (42.7%) +7.0%
Roger Harmer (Lib Dem) 959 (2.2%) -1.0%
Eleanor Masters (Green) 864 (1.9%) -0.8%

BTLP general election prediction:  Con GAIN

Birmingham Perry Barr

Incumbent:  Khalid Mahmood (Lab), majority 18,383
Born:  Kashmir (Pakistan), 1961
First elected:  2001
Leave/Remain:  Remain (initially Leave, but switched to Remain in protest at immigration being used as a campaign tactic), voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  Expenses scandal
Notes:  Shares roots in the same Kashmiri region as Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood, but they are not related.

Perry Barr has been held by Labour since 1974.

EU referendum:  51% Leave

General election 2017

Khalid Mahmood (Lab) 30,109 (68.1%) +10.7%
Charlotte Hodivala (Con) 11,726 (26.5%) +5.0%
Harjun Singh (Lib Dem) 1,080 (2.4%) -2.4%
Shangara Bhatoe (Soc Lab) 592 1.3% New
Vijay Rana (Green) 591 (1.3%) -1.9%
Harjinder Singh (Open Borders) 99 (0.2%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Birmingham Selly Oak

Incumbent:  Steve McCabe (Lab), majority 15,207
Born:  Inverclyde, 1955
First elected:  1997 (for Birmingham Hall Green)
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  Expenses scandal
Notes:  Following boundary changes in 2010 McCabe switched to Selly Oak and Roger Godsiff took his place in the redrawn Hall Green constituency.

Selly Oak has been held by Labour since 1992.

EU referendum:  53% Remain

General election 2017

Steve McCabe 30,836 (62.9%) +15.3%
Sophie Shrubsole (Con) 15,629 (31.9%) +2.9%
Dave Radcliffe (Lib Dem) 1,644 (3.4%) -2.2%
Julien Pritchard 876 (1.8%) -3.3%

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Birmingham Yardley

Incumbent: Jess Phillips (Lab), majority 16,574
Born:  Birmingham, 1981 (youngest Birmingham MP)
First elected:  2015
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  Cologne rape comments
Notes:  Phillips won Yardley back for Labour after it had been held by the Lib Dems for ten years.  She was educated at one of the top grammar schools in the country (King Edward VI Camp Hill School).  She has just had her second book published since becoming an MP.

Yardley has been held by Labour since 2015.

EU referendum:  60% Leave

General election 2017

Jess Phillips (Lab) 25,398 (57.1%) +15.4%
Mohammed Afzal (Con) 8,824 (19.8%) +5.8%
John Hemming (Lib Dem) 7,984 (17.9%) -7.7%
Paul Clayton (UKIP) 1,916 (4.3%) -11.8%
Christopher Garghan (Green) 280 (0.6%) -1.1%
Abu Nowshed (Ind) 100 (0.2%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Sutton Coldfield

Incumbent: Andrew Mitchell (Con), majority 15,339
Born:  London, 1956
First elected:  1987 (for Gedling, Nottinghamshire)
Leave/Remain:  Remain, but voted to trigger Article 50
Scandals:  Plebgate
Notes: He has been the MP for Sutton Coldfield since 2001, having previously served as the MP for Gedling in Nottinghamshire between 1987 and 1997.  Mitchell is ex-Forces, having served in the Royal Tank Regiment in the 1970s.  He served as a minister and chief whip in the coalition government, but resigned in 2012 after 'Plebgate'.  He is not one of the 21 Tory rebels recently expelled by Boris Johnson.  He is the only Birmingham MP who is not on Twitter.

Sutton Coldfield is the only Birmingham seat not to carry the city's name.  This is because it is a town in its own right and retained that status despite its incorporation into Birmingham in 1974.

Sutton Coldfield has been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1945.

EU referendum:  52% Leave

General election 2017

Andrew Mitchell (Con) 32,224 (61.0%) +6.3%
Rob Pocock (Lab) 16,885 (31.9%) +9.6%
Jenny Wilkinson (Lib Dem) 2,302 (4.4%) -0.8%
David Ratcliff (Green) 965 (1.8%) -1.0%
Hannah Sophia (Ind) 482 (0.9%) New

BTLP general election prediction:  Con HOLD


NEXT WEEK:  Manchester

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