Darren Mott, Director of Campaigning, the Conservative Party.

Congratulations of a sort are due to the Conservative Party for winning Copeland, but victory is largely the result of Labour being in such a mess.  As for Stoke-on-Trent Central, Labour held the seat only because a considerable number of people could not be bothered to vote for the rather dodgy individuals who stood for the other parties (the new Labour MP is himself a rather dodgy character, by all accounts).

Parton, West Cumbria

Parton, West Cumbria

This said, you now have in Trudy Harrison an MP representing some of the UK’s most deprived, disadvantaged and marginalised communities who must deliver in relation to the government’s laudable commitments to equality, social justice and an economy that works for everyone. Consequently, I look forward to the time (2020, I hope) when the government ensures that people who live in places such as Whitehaven and Parton benefit from the same incomes, life chances and enviable levels of service provision as people who live in places such as Winchester, Mayfair and Kensington and Chelsea. As the meerkat says, “Simples.”

One last thing: let us hope no improper electoral practices are uncovered in Copeland as were uncovered when the Conservative Party fought the South Thanet seat in the 2015 general election. I suspect that nothing naughty took place in Copeland, for the simple reason that the party wants to confirm that it adheres fully with the “British” value of the rule of law.

Parton, West Cumbria

Parton, West Cumbria

By the way: I still await confirmation from someone that free speech/freedom of expression, equality, social justice and an economy that works for everyone have been added to the list of “British” values first flagged in November 2014. Surely there is someone who can provide an answer to this simple question PDQ! Phil.

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