Wednesday 15 July 2020


The scandal of illegal sweatshops in places like Leicester has sparked a lot of finger-pointing between Labour and the Conservatives.  After the Covid spike in Leicester exposed the issue it was claimed that the practice was an 'open secret' in the city.  Following criticism the local Labour-led authorities tried to shift the blame and said they had alerted central government, but nothing was done.  The problem is that it had nothing to do with central government.  Leicester has a directly elected mayor and a directly elected police and crime commissioner (both Labour).  Leicestershire Police are headquartered in the city and if sweatshops were acting illegally during the lockdown they had powers to close them down - there's no need for the Home Office.

TalkRadio's Julia Hartley-Brewer discussed the issue with Tory MP Andrew Bridgen on Tuesday.  She drew parallels with the grooming gang scandal and didn't find much resistance from Bridgen.  He claimed that the Covid flare-up had occurred in the Leicester East constituency and that up to 40 adults had been found living in a single property there.  Curiously he names Keith Vaz very prominently during the interview, although he doesn't provide a reason as to why this is relevant other than he used to represent the seat.  Leicester East is now represented by hard left Corbyn loyalist and perennial race-baiter Claudia Webbe.

Is there yet another dodgy side to 'Jim the washing machine salesman' we don't know about?  Bridgen certainly appears to know his stuff, although it should be pointed out that his claim to represent the "only seat in Leicestershire not to border the city" is not true.  His North-West Leicestershire constituency is actually one of three that do not border the city - the others being Loughborough and Bosworth, also both Conservative.  As for Leicester itself, the city is represented by three Labour MPs - the aforementioned Webbe, 2015 leadership candidate Liz Kendall and the Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth.

Click below for Bridgen's full exchange with Hartley-Brewer.