Category: Politics

Helen Morgan has been selected as the Lib Dem candidate in the North Shropshire by-election, which was called after the resignation of Conservative Owen Paterson amid allegations of sleaze. The campaign in North Shropshire has been underway for a week-and-a-half. Last Saturday Sarah Cooper, who was elected as MP for Chesham and Amersham in June, opened our campaign HQ near Wem in North Shropshire. Helen said this morning her top campaigning priority will be to demand a better deal for the constituency’s local health services, which have been taken for granted by the Conservatives for years. It comes with the closure of both of North Shropshire’s ambulance stations, GP services in crisis and A&E wait times on the rise. Helen is also passionate about getting a fair deal for Shropshire’s farmers who are at risk as the Conservatives continue to let them down with disappointing trade deals. You can donate to the campaign here.

There is always an air of excitement about by-elections. General elections and the four yearly local elections are planned well ahead by the political parties, candidates and campaigners. But by-elections are won or lost at short notice. And they can be unpredictable. A by-election is more T20 cricket than a test series. The by-election for the North Shropshire constituency has been underway for a week after the sitting Conservative MP, Owen Paterson, resigned amid allegations of abusing his parliamentary position by lobbying for two food companies that paid him £100,000 a year. The by-election will be held on 16 December. The only candidates currently announced is one for the right wing Reform Party and an anti-sleaze domiciled overseas. Other parties are selecting candidates now. Shropshire Council’s meeting on 16 December is to be shifted as councillors will be out campaigning and, more importantly, key officers will at the polling stations and the count.

Johnson sucked into a black hole after Paterson resigns

You can’t lose more credibility than this. Boris Johnson, distracted no doubt by glad handing world leaders at COP26 and his slap up dining with Telegraph grandees at the Garrick, arrived back at No 10 to find that he was swirling towards the black hole of political failure. His attempt to protect North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson from allegations of lobbying on behalf of his food industry paymasters failed. Big time. Jacob Rees Mogg yesterday cancelled the review of loyal Tory MPs had voted for just hours before. Paterson, back on the hook and facing suspension, resigned. Dominic Cummings once described Boris Johnson as “a shopping trolley smashing from one side of the aisle to the other”. It is a cruel irony that Owen Paterson was shopping in a supermarket when he learnt that the wheels had come off his political career. Boris Johnson, who had hoped that COP26 would be his finest hour, has perhaps made the biggest mistake of his political career and even his fellow Tories are raging.

Yesterday, MPs today set a new low standard for democracy in the UK. Conservative MPs voted to maintain an image of sleaze against promoting an image of integrity. Instead of suspending Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, they suspended Commons Committee on Standards instead. The Conservatives in the House of Commons have lost their moral compass. That includes the five Shropshire MPs, including Philip Dunne who voted to change the standards procedures than meter due sanction to Paterson. Boris Johnson, boosted by his role as host of COP26, is currently a superhero in Invincible mode. Believing that nothing can harm him, he ordered “his MPs” to vote to protect his ally, Owen Paterson, against allegations of lobbying for companies for which he is a well paid consultant. Despite a handful of Johnson’s troops rebelling, the authority and integrity of the House of Commons took a nose dive yesterday. Most Conservative MPs voted for their own interests and pockets after Boris Johnson decided that protecting Paterson was more important than protecting the integrity of the Commons.

Chesham & Amersham Lib Dem victory: What it means for Ludlow

Yesterday Lib Dems were in a state of high excitement have won the Chesham and Amersham by-election by a mile and a half. Although I don’t often publish national political stuff on this blog, the result was game changer. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention it. And the comments made by the defeated Tory candidate show how of touch the Tories have become. How arrogant they have become. There was a 25% swing to the Lib Dems in Chesham and Amersham on Thursday. That is huge. Ludlow constituency has been Lib Dem in the past. We would need a swing of 23.5%. That now look achievable. A big challenge. But achievable.

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