Tag: politics

Whoever thought that Shropshire would dominate the news headlines from before most people had woken today and will still be headlining when they went to bed. Who’d have thought that the Lib Dems could win one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, overturning a majority of 23,000 and racking up a majority of 6,000. It had been a Tory seat for nearly two centuries. This is the stuff of dreams. Sometimes dreams come true. And for some people, other people’s dreams become a nightmare. Including for Boris Johnson. Helen Morgan’s win in North Shropshire was not a one off. It builds on Sarah Green’s win for the Lib Dems in Chesham and Amersham in the summer. It shows the Lib Dems are building strength again after some hard knocks in recent years.

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.

Dark day for Shropshire as local plan narrowly voted through in council meeting shambles

The Greens were in the gods, the sound system was in the pits and the Speaker was stage left. As for Robert Tindall, he exited Theatre Severn stage right in Shakespearean style. Robert, Tory councillor for Cleobury North, was dismissed from the Southern Planning Committee in a callous act by the council leader just because he voted for what his constituents believed in. It was a dark day for Shropshire. The wrong plan for our county. And the wrong approach to democracy for our modern age. It confirmed that planning in Shropshire under the current Tory regime is about politics, not policies.

Parliamentary constituency boundary changes for Shropshire make sense including a new Ludlow and Bridgnorth constituency

It has been a long journey and for many areas of the country it may not be over yet. The Boundary Commission for England has made its latest “final” proposals for changing the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies, including those in Shropshire. Although the government had long abandoned plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, it is pressing up to even up the size of constituencies. The Ludlow constituency, for now represented by Philip Dunne, is proposed to expand north to the edge of Shrewsbury taking in Dorrington and Cressage and adopting a new name of Ludlow and Bridgnorth. Shrewsbury and Atcham will lose Atcham and become plain Shrewsbury. Hinstock and Hodnet will be transferred out of North Shropshire into an expanded constituency, which could be called Newport and Wellington. These changes make sense to me.

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