A rare bright spot when Theresa May, pictured in Mansfield in 2017, lost her overall majority in the 2017 general election was the Tories winning Mansfield for the first time, after 94 years
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A rare bright spot when Theresa May lost her overall majority in the 2017 general election was the Tories winning Mansfield for the first time, after 94 years.

Ben Bradley, the telegenic victor in the former mining town, won again in 2019 with an astonishing 16,300 majority as Labour’s fabled red wall crumbled. 

The political earthquake is captured in the documentary REDt’BLUE being shown i­n the Boothroyd Room in the Commons tonight. 

(An apt venue, considering it is named after former Speaker Betty Boothroyd whose West Bromwich West constituency also fell to the Tories in 2019.) 

The film makes essential viewing for all complacent long-serving MPs, as it shows how Sir Alan Meale, the Mansfield MP for 30 years, squandered a Labour majority which had once topped 20,000. 

A rare bright spot when Theresa May, pictured in Mansfield in 2017, lost her overall majority in the 2017 general election was the Tories winning Mansfield for the first time, after 94 years

A rare bright spot when Theresa May, pictured in Mansfield in 2017, lost her overall majority in the 2017 general election was the Tories winning Mansfield for the first time, after 94 years

Mansfield’s 71 per cent vote for Brexit in the 2016 referendum should have been a wake-up call for europhile Meale.

In the 23-minute documentary, Bradley explains that it was EU immigration — encouraged by Tony Blair — which helped him win back disillusioned workers. 

‘If you’re a bloke in your 50s or 60s, who came out of the pits and tried to start a business as a plumber, there were already thousands of eastern Europeans in the same market. It made it very difficult,’ he says. 

The 2017 result was such a shock the film shows the moment acting returning officer Jacqueline Collins, used to Labour always winning, declares Meale the winner.

 ‘I’m so sorry,’ she blustered. ‘I declare Benjamin Bradley has been elected and I apologise.’ 

Former Tory chancellor and chief cheerleader for the EU, Ken — now Lord — Clarke has told the Policy Exchange.

‘I never use the word Brexit in conversation. It just turns people off. I don’t want people… saying: “Oh, its an old Remoaner still arguing”.’ 

Can he please persuade­ ­Remoaning Lord Heseltine, to adopt the same vow of silence? 

Yes, minister it’s true to life

Anyone who recalls TV’s Yes Minister may have thought it farfetched — but real-life politics is often even more ridiculous. 

Journalist Peter Riddell’s book, 15 Minutes Of Power: The Uncertain Life Of British Ministers, recounts when ex-Tory MP Patrick McLoughlin was given the aviation and shipping brief in 1989. 

He pointed out: ‘There are two problems with that. I’ve got the most land-locked constituency, West Derbyshire, in the UK and I’m afraid of flying.’ 

To which, then transport secretary Cecil Parkinson replied: ‘Excellent, you’ll bring an open mind to the subject’

Will Prince Andrew attend the British Legion’s Falklands 40th anniversary ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in June? 

Or will Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tell the former helicopter pilot not to bother dusting off his South Atlantic war medals?

Congratulations to Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, pictured, for her fight to free constituent Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran?

Congratulations to Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, pictured, for her fight to free constituent Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran? 

Congratulations to Labour MP Tulip Siddiq for her fight to free constituent Nazanin ZaghariRatcliffe from jail in Iran. 

Will Siddiq now help ‘disappeared’ political activists in Bangladesh, where her aunt Sheikh Hasina Wazed is prime minister?

Some peers do deserve their £323 daily allowance for just turning up. 

Labour peer Lord Berkeley, 82, reveals in House magazine how long it takes to get to Westminster from his home. 

‘Travelling from Bryher in the Isles of Scilly where I live involves a walk along the beach to Anneka’s Quay, a boat to Tresco, a helicopter to Penzance, a short ride on my electric Brompton bicycle to the station and then a train to London and bike again to the Lords. Eight hours if the weather allows flying.’ 

Good for him. 

Everton manager Frank Lampard doing a post-match interview

Everton manager Frank Lampard doing a post-match interview 

Fair Kop: Frank’s a Tory

On the Frank Skinner Show podcast, the comic says: ‘Someone told me Frank Lampard [pictured] somehow announced his support for the Conservative Party. And now he’s Everton manager, Liverpool fans on the Kop call him Frankie Det-tori [geddit?].’

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