Tory candidates Jack Brereton and Trudy Harrison will contest the two seats where byelections were triggered by the resignation of two Labour MPs [Composite: PA].


It’s only two days since we were told the Tories thought it was “strong” to run away from the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election. Now they have announced a candidate.

What does this prove? That comments from unnamed sources aren’t worth the time it takes to read them? Certainly. That the Conservatives can be manipulated (in this case, into fielding a candidate who will lose) just as easily as anyone else? Possibly.

How interesting!

The Graun piece quotes Tory candidate Jack Brereton as taking a worthless line on Brexit, saying the electorate could “send a message” about respecting the referendum result: “A vote for Labour will let them think they can ignore and forget what you voted for in the EU referendum.”

What a buffoon. Labour has stated categorically that it respects the referendum decision and will work hard to ensure that nobody loses their job or quality of life as a result.

The Tories, in contrast, have taken a contradictory position. They want to be out of the single market but still benefit from it; they want the benefits of being in the customs union but still be able to make trade deals of their own, and so on. They’re not making sense.

Still Mr Brereton’s presence will split the right-wing vote, making it easier for Gareth Snell to win.

Mr Snell is a former leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Council and has already put out a strong pro-NHS message, in contrast to his opponents from the Conservatives and UKIP.

The Tory candidate for Copeland is spouting much the same message as Mr Brereton, with added support for nuclear power generation, suggesting that perhaps neither candidate can think independently of Conservative Central HQ.

Both by-elections will take place on February 23.

The Conservatives have selected Trudy Harrison to fight the Copeland byelection, while 25-year-old councillor Jack Brereton will contest the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat for the same party.

Meanwhile, Labour has also announced its candidate for Stoke. Gareth Snell will attempt to hold the seat for the party in the face of a challenge from Paul Nuttall, the Ukip leader, who is expected to pose the main threat.

Source: Tories and Labour pick candidates for Copeland and Stoke byelections | Politics | The Guardian

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