Ben Bradley (politician)
|Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for Youth|
8 January 2018 – 10 July 2018
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Tom Pursglove|
|Member of Parliament|
Assumed office |
8 June 2017
|Preceded by||Sir Alan Meale|
|Nottinghamshire County councillor|
for Hucknall North
Assumed office |
4 May 2017
11 December 1989|
Ripley, Derbyshire, England
Shanade Bradley (m. 2015)
University of Bath|
Nottingham Trent University
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, 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."
Bradley was born on 11 December 1989 in Ripley, Derbyshire to Chris, a police officer, and Sally Bradley, a "public servant". He was privately educated at Derby Grammar School, a selective independent school in Littleover in Derbyshire. 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.
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. As well as working for Spencer, Bradley subsequently worked as a senior parliamentary assistant to Nick Boles, Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford.
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, despite the acting Returning Officer wrongly announcing Meale as the victor.
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. 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.
He won Parliamentary Beard of the Year in December 2017, after the seven time former winner, Jeremy Corbyn, was not allowed to stand.
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. He has never rebelled against the government in the current Parliament.
On 8 January 2018, during Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle, Bradley was appointed as the Vice Chair for Youth at CCHQ. . He later submitted his letter of resignation from this position on 10 July 2018.
Bradley sits on the All-party Parliamentary group for Skills and Employment.
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."
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.
Shortly after his appointment as a Conservative Party Vice Chair in January 2018, Bradley attracted criticism for a 2012 blog post, 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". This apology attracted further criticism by addressing only the language used, rather than the sentiment that unemployed persons should be sterilised.
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.
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.
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. Bradley deleted the tweet following this legal complaint from Corbyn. 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. It was subsequently revealed that two Conservative Party donors had paid the £15,000 donation to the charities on behalf of Bradley. 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.
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.
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."
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- "Policy Connect". Think tank. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
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- Nicholson, Rebecca (21 January 2018). "We've all visited the land of idiocy – but Ben Bradley still lives there – Rebecca Nicholson". the Guardian.
- "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.
- Coates, Sam (18 January 2018). "Tory youth tsar Ben Bradley backed police brutality". The Times. Retrieved 18 January 2018. (subscription required)
- "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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slawson, Nicola (24 February 2018). "Ben Bradley apologises unreservedly for Corbyn spy claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- "Tory MP apologises to Jeremy Corbyn for 'seriously defamatory' tweet". ITV News. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- Wearmouth, Rachel (9 June 2018). "Rich Tory Donors Pay Ben Bradley's Legal Bills Over Corbyn Spy Tweet". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "How a Tory MP's tweeted apology proves Labour is still winning at social media". Guardian. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "A Tory Party Vice-Chair Defended A Councillor's Anti-Muslim Facebook Posts". BuzzFeed News. 16 June 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- "Conservative MP wants someone to work for him, but he's not going to pay them". Metro. 2018-10-05. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
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- "IPSA record". IPSA. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Ben Bradley (politician)|
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Alan Meale
| Member of Parliament for Mansfield