Ben Bradley (politician)

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Cllr
Ben Bradley
MP
Official portrait of Ben Bradley crop 2.jpg
Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for Youth
In office
8 January 2018 – 10 July 2018
Leader Theresa May
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Tom Pursglove
Member of Parliament
for Mansfield
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded by Sir Alan Meale
Majority 1,057 (2.1%)
Nottinghamshire County councillor
for Hucknall North
Assumed office
4 May 2017
Personal details
Born (1989-12-11) 11 December 1989 (age 28)
Ripley, Derbyshire, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)
Shanade Bradley (m. 2015)
Children 2
Alma mater University of Bath
Nottingham Trent University
Website Ben Bradley

Benjamin David Bradley (born 11 December 1989) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, since the 2017 general election. On 8 January 2018, during Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle, Bradley was appointed as 'Vice Chair for Youth' at CCHQ,[1] but resigned on 10 July 2018 in protest at Theresa May's Brexit strategy plan, agreed at Chequers; a move which he felt unable explain to his constituents – the majority of which he said had "voted to leave the EU."[2]

Early life[edit]

Bradley was born on 11 December 1989 in Ripley, Derbyshire[3] to Chris, a police officer, and Sally Bradley, a "public servant".[4][5] He was privately educated at Derby Grammar School, a selective independent school in Littleover in Derbyshire.[6] He briefly attended the University of Bath and the University of Salford, but did not complete his undergraduate studies at either. On returning from the universities, he worked in a variety of jobs including as a landscape gardener, bartender and a supermarket shelf stacker. He subsequently attended Nottingham Trent University where he studied politics, graduating in 2013 with a first-class degree. After leaving university he worked for four months as a recruitment consultant, before becoming campaign manager and later constituency office manager for Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood.[7][8][9][10]

Political career[edit]

Whilst working for Conservative MP Mark Spencer, Bradley was successfully elected as Conservative councillor for the Hucknall North Ward on Ashfield District Council in May 2015, taking the newly created third seat for the ward following the approval of new ward boundaries.[11] As well as working for Spencer, Bradley subsequently worked as a senior parliamentary assistant to Nick Boles, Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford.[12]

He was elected to Nottinghamshire County Council for the Hucknall North seat in May 2017.[13]

Bradley was selected as the Conservative candidate for Mansfield for the June 2017 snap general election. He overturned a Labour majority of 5,315 to become the first ever Conservative MP for the seat. The constituency had been represented by the Labour Party's Alan Meale since 1987. Aged 27, he was one of the youngest MPs elected in the 2017 general election,[14] despite the acting Returning Officer wrongly announcing Meale as the victor.[15]

Following his election as an MP, Bradley stepped down in September 2017 from his district council seat, and a by-election the following month saw the new Conservative Party candidate defeated by an Independent candidate for the vacant seat.[16] He has been criticised by political rivals for not standing down as a county councillor following his election to Parliament on the grounds that he had missed key local votes while working in London. However, he has argued that his new role as an MP means he has better links to do his job as a councillor.[17]

He won Parliamentary Beard of the Year in December 2017, after the seven time former winner, Jeremy Corbyn, was not allowed to stand.[18]

Bradley supported the official position of his party and voted for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union before the EU membership referendum on 23 June 2016. Since the result was announced, Bradley has continued to support the party leadership and now advocates leaving the European Union.[19] He has never rebelled against the government in the current Parliament.[20]

On 8 January 2018, during Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle, Bradley was appointed as the Vice Chair for Youth at CCHQ.[21] . He later submitted his letter of resignation from this position on 10 July 2018.[22]

Bradley sits on the All-party Parliamentary group for Skills and Employment.[23]

Controversies[edit]

In March 2016, Bradley admitted that he had made up a claim he posted online that Ashfield District Council had spent £17,000 on paying an Indian company to call local residents from a call centre in Mumbai. After a local newspaper contacted Bradley to ask him about the false claims, he responded: "I admit the post about using an Indian call centre was untrue and I took it down. I was just emphasising the point that the Council was wasting money."[24]

Whilst working for the Conservative MP Mark Spencer, both Bradley and Spencer were criticised in 2017 by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards for misusing taxpayers' resources, such as the MP's newsletter, to link to "overtly party-political content". Bradley was sent on a training course on how to appropriately use parliamentary resources.[25][26]

Shortly after his appointment as a Conservative Party Vice Chair in January 2018, Bradley attracted criticism for a 2012 blog post,[27] in which he wrote of a "vast sea of unemployed wasters" who he suggested should have vasectomies in order to stop them having multiple children. He subsequently apologised for the remarks, saying that his "time in politics has allowed me to mature and I now realise that this language is not appropriate".[28] This apology attracted further criticism by addressing only the language used, rather than the sentiment that unemployed persons should be sterilised.[29]

He again had to apologise after comments supporting police brutality were revealed by The Times newspaper, which uncovered his comment, apparently written on 9 August 2011: "We need to come down hard on these morons before somebody gets killed! If we have any sense as a nation, we’ll stay home tonight and make it easy for the police to find the ones hanging around town centres with their faces covered. For once, I think police brutality should be encouraged!" The comment was made three days after Mark Duggan was killed by the police, an event which led to the 2011 riots in London and other English cities.[30][31]

Bradley attracted further criticism in 2018 for a 2011 blog post titled “Public sector workers: they don’t know they’re born!”, in which he suggested that public sector workers should find alternative employment if they are unhappy with pay or working conditions.[32][33]

In February 2018, Bradley falsely accused Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter of having "sold British secrets to communist spies" during the 1980s. Corbyn responded by instructing his solicitors to require Bradley to delete his tweet or face legal action on the grounds of libel.[34] Bradley deleted the tweet following this legal complaint from Corbyn.[35][36] He subsequently issued a full apology, agreed to make a substantial donation to a charity of Corbyn's choice and agreed to pay Corbyn's legal costs. A spokesman for Corbyn stated that the donation would be split between a homeless charity and a food bank, in Bradley’s constituency of Mansfield.[37][38] It was subsequently revealed that two Conservative Party donors had paid the £15,000 donation to the charities on behalf of Bradley.[39] The apologetic post that Bradley made on Twitter became the most-shared tweet ever made by a Conservative MP, and was shared more times than all the tweets by the official Conservative Party 'Twitter feed' in the previous three months.[39][40]

In June 2018, it was alleged that in 2016 Bradley had threatened a journalist from The Hucknall Dispatch, that his party would stop cooperating with the local newspaper if it ran a story concerning a local Conservative councillor, who had shared online posts mocking Muslims and disabled welfare benefit claimants in November 2016. Bradley defended the councillor, who was suspended in June 2018 following an investigation, and after a further news article was published.[41]

In October 2018, Bradley advertised for a "talented video editor" to make a "slick and engaging" promotional video for him. The role would be unpaid. When criticised for asking for skilled work for free, Bradley said "It's not slavery, if you don't want to do it, don't do it. ... No doubt you'd equally be moaning if I claimed expenses for a promotional video."[42]

Personal life[edit]

Bradley lives in Coddington – a village near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire, and also London.[43][44] He married his wife, Shanade, in 2015 and the couple has two sons.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ben Bradley promoted during reshuffle". Notts TV. 8 January 2018. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  2. ^ Walker, Peter; Elgot, Jessica; Russell, Graham; Rawlinson, Kevin; Elgot, Jessica; Taylor, David (10 July 2018). "Two Tory party vice-chairs quit over Chequers Brexit plan – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  3. ^ Carr, Tim; Dale, Iain; Waller, Robert (7 September 2017). The Politicos Guide to the New House of Commons 2017. Biteback Publishing. pp. 236–237. ISBN 978-1-78590-278-9.
  4. ^ a b "Who's Who (online edition)". Oxford University Press. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  5. ^ Sandeman, Kit (2 July 2017). "Mansfield's new MP on how he managed to win traditionally Labour seat for the Tories". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  6. ^ Balls, Katy (11 January 2018). "Coffee House Interview: New Tory vice-chair – Toff can help solve the Conservative youth problem". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018.
  7. ^ Bradley, Ben. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 13 February 2018. closed access publication – behind paywall
  8. ^ "Ben Bradley Profile". Linkedin. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  9. ^ "About Ben". Personal website. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Meet The MP Theresa May Just Appointed To Represent The Youth Vote". Vogue. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Who is new Mansfield MP Ben Bradley?". Nottingham Post. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017.
  12. ^ "The Register of Members' Financial Interests As at 9 October 2017". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Ben Bradley details at Notts County Council". Nottinghamshire County Council. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  14. ^ McGrath, Hannah (13 September 2017). "'I want to shatter the stereotype of a Tory MP'". The Times.(subscription required)
  15. ^ "Watch the moment wrong name was called at Mansfield count". Nottingham Post. 9 June 2017.
  16. ^ Conservatives beaten into third as Ashfield Independents win in MP Ben Bradley's old council seat Archived 13 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Nottingham Post, 13 October 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017
  17. ^ "Mansfield MP Ben Bradley quits district council role, but critics say he hasn't gone far enough". Nottingham Post. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  18. ^ "MP Ben Bradley takes Jeremy Corbyn's facial crown to win Beard of the Year". The I Newspaper. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Brexit Central". Brexit Central. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  20. ^ "They Work For You". GOV.UK. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  21. ^ Ben Bradley promoted during reshuffle Archived 9 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Notts TV, 8 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018
  22. ^ "Ben Bradley letter of resignation". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Policy Connect". Think tank. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Indian call centre claim was made up, councillor admits". The Chad. 7 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Sherwood MP slammed by watchdog for gaining "undue advantage" with tax-payer resources". Hucknall Dispatch. 25 April 2017. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Rectification" (PDF). parliament.uk. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  27. ^ Southall, Amy (17 January 2018). "Ben Bradley: The MP under fire for online comments whose career started with a bin problem". Talkradio. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018.
  28. ^ "MP 'sorry' for vasectomies blog post". BBC News. 16 January 2018. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  29. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (21 January 2018). "We've all visited the land of idiocy – but Ben Bradley still lives there – Rebecca Nicholson". the Guardian.
  30. ^ "New Tory vice chairman Ben Bradley apologises for 2011 London riots blog post 'encouraging police brutality'". The Daily Telegraph. 18 January 2018. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  31. ^ Coates, Sam (18 January 2018). "Tory youth tsar Ben Bradley backed police brutality". The Times. Retrieved 18 January 2018. (subscription required)
  32. ^ "MP says public sector workers should quit if think they are not paid well enough". NursingNotes. 17 January 2018. Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Tory MP facing fresh questions over blog post attacking public sector workers". Sky News. 17 January 2018. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018.
  34. ^ Watts, Joe (19 February 2018). "Jeremy Corbyn threatens Tory MP with legal action unless he deletes libelous tweet about 'Communist spies'". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  35. ^ Demianyk, Graeme (19 February 2018). "Tory MP Ben Bradley Deletes Jeremy Corbyn 'Communist Spies' Tweet After Legal Threat From Labour Leader". HuffPost. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  36. ^ Jones, Owen (20 February 2018). "Corbyn's no anti-British traitor: the Tory press is playing a risky game | Owen Jones". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  37. ^ Slawson, Nicola (24 February 2018). "Ben Bradley apologises unreservedly for Corbyn spy claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Tory MP apologises to Jeremy Corbyn for 'seriously defamatory' tweet". ITV News. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  39. ^ a b Wearmouth, Rachel (9 June 2018). "Rich Tory Donors Pay Ben Bradley's Legal Bills Over Corbyn Spy Tweet". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  40. ^ "How a Tory MP's tweeted apology proves Labour is still winning at social media". Guardian. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  41. ^ "A Tory Party Vice-Chair Defended A Councillor's Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts". BuzzFeed News. 16 June 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Conservative MP wants someone to work for him, but he's not going to pay them". Metro. 2018-10-05. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  43. ^ "Who is new Mansfield MP Ben Bradley?". Nottingham Post. 9 June 2017.
  44. ^ "IPSA record". IPSA. Retrieved 10 June 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Alan Meale
Member of Parliament for Mansfield
2017–present
Incumbent