Lee Anderson (British politician)

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Lee Anderson

Official portrait of Lee Anderson MP crop 2.jpg
Anderson in 2019
Member of Parliament
for Ashfield
Assumed office
12 December 2019
Preceded byGloria De Piero
Majority5,733 (11.7%)
Personal details
Born (1967-01-06) 6 January 1967 (age 53)
NationalityBritish
Political partyConservative (from March 2018)
Other political
affiliations
Labour (Until March 2018)
Spouse(s)Sinead[1]
Children2
EducationAshfield School[2]
OccupationPolitician
Websitewww.leeanderson.org.uk

Lee Anderson (born 6 January 1967) is a British Conservative politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashfield since 2019. He was a Labour councillor in Ashfield, before defecting to the Conservative Party and becoming a councillor in Mansfield.

Career[edit]

Anderson, a former coal miner, was a long-time Labour Party member and served as a councillor in the Huthwaite and Brierly ward of Ashfield where he was elected in 2015.[3] Anderson also worked as office manager for the Ashfield Labour MP at the time, Gloria De Piero, having campaigned alongside her for the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections. Unlike the majority of the Ashfield Constituency Labour Party, Anderson was a vocal Brexiteer having supported the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU Referendum. He defected to the Conservatives in March 2018,[4] later being elected as the Conservative councillor for the Oakham ward in Mansfield, a neighbouring district, following the May 2019 local elections.[citation needed]

In July 2019, he was selected as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Ashfield.[5] He was elected as a Conservative MP in the 2019 general election, succeeding his former boss, Gloria De Piero, who stood down before the election.[6] Anderson won with a majority of 5,733 votes, with the Ashfield Independent Party candidate, Jason Zadrozny coming in second place and Labour dropping to third place. This was the first time that the Conservatives had won the seat since the 1977 by-election.[citation needed]

Controversies[edit]

While serving as a Labour councillor on Ashfield Council in 2018, he was suspended by the party locally for allegedly dumping boulders to block access to a local camp site. He was later presented with a community protection order over the action and instructed to remove the boulders.[7]

During the 2019 general election he made a controversial statement on the Carsic council estate in his constituency, in the wake of a murder, he said “Let's have [the tenants] in the field, picking potatoes or any other seasonal vegetables, back in the tent, cold shower, lights out, six o'clock, same again the next day."[8] He was criticised by the Lib Dems and Labour for advocating the use of forced labour camps.[9]

He was also caught setting up a staged door-knock encounter with a friend whilst being filmed by Michael Crick. Prior to the staged visit, Anderson told the man he arranged to meet to "make out you know who I am, that you know I'm the candidate but not that you are a friend".[10] Anderson justified his actions by stating that he “had been trying to make sure that somebody was in” before apologising some weeks later.[11]

Anderson was one of three Conservative Party candidates investigated by the party over claims of anti-Semitism during the election campaign.[12] The investigation was opened on the grounds that he was an active member of a Facebook group in which other members supported Tommy Robinson and promoted George Soros conspiracy theories.[13][14]

In June 2020, Anderson was one of a minority of MPs to vote against the restriction of demonstrations outside abortion clinics.[15]

On 15 November 2020, Anderson tested positive for COVID-19, leading to Prime Minister Boris Johnson having to self-isolate.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Lee Anderson". Lee Anderson.
  2. ^ Hill, Henry (21 January 2020). "Boris' Boys and Girls: The Conservative Commons Intake of 2019". Conservative Home. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  3. ^ "District Ward Results 2015". Ashfield District Council. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Nottinghamshire Labour councillors quit to join Tories". BBC. BBC News. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  5. ^ Andrews, Danielle. "Mansfield councillor aims to become Ashfield's MP". Chad. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  6. ^ Dingwall, Ed (20 July 2019). "Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero to stand down before next General Election". Chad. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Councillor suspended by Ashfield Labour Group". www.chad.co.uk.
  8. ^ "'Nuisance' council tenants 'should live in tents' says Ashfield Tory candidate". BBC. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  9. ^ "'Nuisance' council tenants 'should live in tents' says Ashfield Tory candidate". November 19, 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Ashfield's Conservative candidate Lee Anderson caught setting up door-knock with friendly voter". www.chad.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
  11. ^ "Ashfield candidate faces criticism over 'fake door knock'". November 26, 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  12. ^ "General election 2019: Tories probe candidates over anti-Semitism claims". BBC. 7 December 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  13. ^ Proctor, Kate (7 December 2019). "Tories investigate three candidates over alleged antisemitism". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  14. ^ Mendel, Jack (13 December 2019). "Two Tories win seats despite investigations over antisemitism". Jewish News. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Ten Minute Rule Motion: Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - Commons' votes in Parliament - UK Parliament". votes.parliament.uk.
  16. ^ Boris Johnson self-isolating after contact with coronavirus-infected MP, The Independent

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gloria De Piero
Member of Parliament
for Ashfield

2019–present
Incumbent