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Ben Bradley (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ben Bradley

Official portrait of Ben Bradley MP crop 2.jpg
Bradley in 2020
Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council
Assumed office
27 May 2021
Preceded byKay Cutts
Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for Youth
In office
8 January 2018 – 10 July 2018
LeaderTheresa May
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byTom Pursglove
Member of Parliament
for Mansfield
Assumed office
8 June 2017
Preceded bySir Alan Meale
Majority16,306 (33.1%)
Nottinghamshire County councillor
for Mansfield North
Assumed office
6 May 2021
Personal details
Born (1989-12-11) 11 December 1989 (age 31)
Ripley, Derbyshire, England
Political partyConservative
Shanade Bradley
(m. 2015)
Alma materNottingham Trent University Edit this at Wikidata

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 Chairman of the Conservative Party for Youth.[1] He resigned his role on 10 July 2018 in protest against May's strategy in relation to Brexit.[2] He is also the chairman of Blue Collar Conservatives.[3]

In May 2021, Bradley became Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.[4]

Early life

Bradley was born on 11 December 1989 in Ripley, Derbyshire,[5] to Chris, a police officer, and Sally Bradley, a public servant.[6][7] He was privately educated at Derby Grammar School, a selective independent school based in the western Littleover area of Derby.[8]

Bradley briefly attended the University of Bath and the University of Salford, but did not complete his undergraduate studies at either. On returning to the East Midlands, 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. He became interested in politics whilst at university.[9]

After leaving university he worked for four months as a recruitment consultant.

He then became campaign manager and later constituency office manager for Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood.[10][11][12][13]

Political career

Whilst working for Conservative MP Mark Spencer, Bradley was 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.[14] As well as working for Spencer, Bradley subsequently worked as a senior parliamentary assistant to Nick Boles, the then Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford.[15]

He was elected to Nottinghamshire County Council for the Hucknall North seat in May 2017.[16]

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 – before Bradley was born. Aged 27, he was one of the youngest MPs elected in the 2017 general election,[17] despite the acting Returning Officer wrongly announcing Meale as the victor.[18]

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.[19] 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 argued that his new role as an MP meant that he had better links with which to do his job as a councillor.[20]

He won Parliamentary Beard of the Year in December 2017, after the seven-time former winner, Jeremy Corbyn, was not allowed to stand.[21]

Bradley sits on the Education Select Committee conducting Inquiries in to Special Educational Needs amongst other issues, and on the All-party Parliamentary groups for Ending Homelessness, Coalfields, Youth Services and Skills and Employment.[22]

At the 2021 UK local elections, Bradley became the Leader of the Nottinghamshire County Council, having been elected to the Mansfield North ward.[23]


Political philosophy

Bradley has said that his political motivation can be summarised as "that if you're willing to do the right thing and work hard, you should be rewarded."[9]


Bradley voted for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union in the EU membership referendum on 23 June 2016. Since the referendum, in which his constituency voted strongly to leave the EU, Bradley continued to support his party and voted for leaving the European Union.[25]

Bradley had a mixed voting record on Theresa May's proposed withdrawal deal.[26] On 8 January 2018, during Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle, Bradley was appointed as the Vice-Chair for Youth at CCHQ.[27] He later submitted his letter of resignation from this position on 10 July 2018 in protest at her strategy for delivering Brexit.[28]


Issues arising from 2011–12 blog posts

Shortly after his appointment as a Conservative Party Vice Chair in January 2018, Bradley attracted criticism for a 2012 blog post[29] 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".[30]

Later in 2016 he apologised for having written "For once, I think police brutality should be encouraged!" in 2011, three days after Mark Duggan was killed by the Metropolitan Police, an event which led to the 2011 riots in London and other English cities.[31][32]

In 2018 Bradley was further criticised by the Labour Party[33] 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.[34][35]

2016 – 2018

In 2016, Bradley claimed online that Ashfield District Council had spent £17,000 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."[36]

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 use parliamentary resources appropriately.[37][38]

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.[39] Bradley deleted the tweet following this legal complaint from Corbyn.[40] 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.[41][42] Two Conservative Party donors paid the £15,000 donation to the charities on behalf of Bradley.[43] The apologetic post that Bradley made on Twitter became the most-shared tweet ever made by a Conservative MP.[43][44]

That same year, Buzzfeed reported on emails sent by Bradley in 2016, wherein Bradley berated a local journalist, and threatened to cut off media access to the local branch of the Conservative party. This was in response to the journalist approaching Bradley for a comment on a series of Islamophobic posts made on a Conservative councillor's Facebook page. Bradley's response accused the journalist of 'childish backstabbing', as well as 'colluding' with the Labour Party, and described the Islamophobia story as 'crap'.[45]


On 23 October 2020, Bradley said that free school meal vouchers for deprived children in his constituency effectively handed cash directly to crack dens and brothels. These comments were criticised by some schools, food banks and anti-child poverty charities in Bradley's constituency.[46]

Deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner accused Bradley of the "stigmatisation of working class families", calling his comments "disgraceful" and "disgusting".[47][48] Writing to the co-chair of the Conservative party, Shadow Children's Minister, Tulip Siddiq said: 'I am sure that you will want to make clear that this kind of crass stigmatisation of children from poorer families is deeply damaging, and distance yourself from Mr Bradley's misleading and troubling comments". She called for Bradley to apologise.[49] Bradley has since deleted the tweets, stating that "the context wasn't as clear as I'd thought it was."[50]

Following an interim report on the connections between colonialism and properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery, Bradley was among the signatories of a letter to The Telegraph from the "Common Sense Group" of Conservative Parliamentarians. The letter accused the National Trust of being "coloured by cultural Marxist dogma, colloquially known as the 'woke agenda'".[51]

Personal life

Bradley married his wife, Shanade,[52] in 2015 and the couple have two sons. They live in Coddington – a village near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire – and also London.[53][54][6]

Bradley played hockey at university level and has hockey coaching qualifications. He supports Nottingham Forest football club.[9]


  1. ^ "Ben Bradley promoted during reshuffle". Notts TV. 8 January 2018. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  2. ^ Walker, Peter; Elgot, Jessica; Russell, Graham; Rawlinson, Kevin; Elgot, Jessica; Taylor, David (10 July 2018). "Two Tory party vice-chairs quit over Chequers Brexit plan – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  3. ^ "People". Blue Collar Conservatism. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  4. ^ Topping, Andrew (10 May 2021). "Conservative Party elects new County Council leader". NottinghamshireLive. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  5. ^ Carr, Tim; Dale, Iain; Waller, Robert (7 September 2017). The Politicos Guide to the New House of Commons 2017. Biteback Publishing. pp. 236–237. ISBN 978-1-78590-278-9.
  6. ^ a b "Who's Who (online edition)". Oxford University Press. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  7. ^ Sandeman, Kit (2 July 2017). "Mansfield's new MP on how he managed to win traditionally Labour seat for the Tories". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  8. ^ Balls, Katy (11 January 2018). "Coffee House Interview: New Tory vice-chair – Toff can help solve the Conservative youth problem". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Sandeman, Kit (1 July 2017). "Meet Mansfield's new MP Ben Bradley". NottinghamshireLive. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Bradley, Ben". Who's Who. 2018 (February 2018 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 13 February 2018. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  11. ^ "Ben Bradley Profile". Linkedin. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  12. ^ "About Ben". Personal website. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Meet The MP Theresa May Just Appointed To Represent The Youth Vote". Vogue. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Who is new Mansfield MP Ben Bradley?". Nottingham Post. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  15. ^ "The Register of Members' Financial Interests As at 9 October 2017". Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Ben Bradley details at Notts County Council". Nottinghamshire County Council. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  17. ^ McGrath, Hannah (13 September 2017). "I want to shatter the stereotype of a Tory MP". The Times.(subscription required)
  18. ^ Boult, Adam (9 June 2017). "Awkward election moment as returning officer announces the wrong candidate has won". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 October 2020. Jacqueline Collins, acting returning officer at the Mansfield count, took to the stage to announce the result - and declared Labour candidate Sir Alan Meale had been elected. Except he wasn't the winner - Conservative candidate Ben Bradley was.
  19. ^ "Conservatives beaten into third as Ashfield Independents win in MP Ben Bradley's old council seat". Nottingham Post. 13 October 2017. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Mansfield MP Ben Bradley quits district council role, but critics say he hasn't gone far enough". Nottingham Post. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  21. ^ "MP Ben Bradley takes Jeremy Corbyn's facial crown to win Beard of the Year". i. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Policy Connect". Think tank. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Democratic Management System > Councillors". Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  24. ^ Jackson, Sam (12 May 2021). ""It is certainly not a role that can be done by an MP" - Worksop's former county council leader criticises Ben Bradley's new dual role". Worksop Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  25. ^ "My journey from reluctant Remainer to confident Brexiteer". Brexit Central. 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  26. ^ "Krishnan Guru-Murthy introduces Tory MP Ben Bradley by stating every contradictory position he has taken on Brexit". The I newspaper. March 2019.
  27. ^ Brigstock, Jake (8 January 2018). "First Conservative MP for Mansfield Ben Bradley given new role as part of Cabinet reshuffle". Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  28. ^ "Ben Bradley letter of resignation". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  29. ^ Southall, Amy (17 January 2018). "Ben Bradley: The MP under fire for online comments whose career started with a bin problem". Talkradio. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018.
  30. ^ "MP 'sorry' for vasectomies blog post". BBC News. 16 January 2018. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018 – via
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ Coates, Sam (18 January 2018). "Tory youth tsar Ben Bradley backed police brutality". The Times. Retrieved 18 January 2018. (subscription required)
  33. ^ "Tory MP facing fresh questions over blog post attacking public sector workers". Sky News. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ "Tory MP facing fresh questions over blog post attacking public sector workers". Sky News. 17 January 2018. Archived from the original on 17 January 2018.
  36. ^ "Indian call centre claim was made up, councillor admits". The Chad. 7 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  37. ^ "Sherwood MP slammed by watchdog for gaining "undue advantage" with tax-payer resources". Hucknall Dispatch. 25 April 2017. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Rectification" (PDF). p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ Slawson, Nicola (24 February 2018). "Ben Bradley apologises unreservedly for Corbyn spy claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  42. ^ "Tory MP apologises to Jeremy Corbyn for 'seriously defamatory' tweet". ITV News. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  43. ^ a b Wearmouth, Rachel (9 June 2018). "Rich Tory Donors Pay Ben Bradley's Legal Bills Over Corbyn Spy Tweet". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  44. ^ "How a Tory MP's tweeted apology proves Labour is still winning at social media". The Guardian. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  45. ^ Spence, Alex. "Tory Vice-Chair Ben Bradley Defended A Conservative Councillor Who Shared Anti-Muslim Memes On Facebook". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  46. ^ Walker, Amy (24 October 2020). "'Disgusting': Charities and headteacher react to Mansfield MP's free school meals tweets". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  47. ^ Chao-Fong, Léonie (23 October 2020). "Tory MP Suggests Free School Meals 'Effectively' Go To Crack Dens And Brothels". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  48. ^ "School meals: Marcus Rashford 'proud' of community response". BBC News. 24 October 2020.
  49. ^ "Ben Bradley under pressure to apologise over free school meals tweets". The Guardian. 24 October 2020.
  50. ^ Barlow, Jamie (24 October 2020). "MP accused of 'stigmatising working class families' in tweet". NottinghamshireLive.
  51. ^ "Britain's heroes". Letter to the Daily Telegraph. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2021.CS1 maint: others (link)
  52. ^ Shanade has previously worked in the hospitality industry and stood for election as a Conservative councillor.
  53. ^ "Who is new Mansfield MP Ben Bradley?". Nottingham Post. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  54. ^ "IPSA record". IPSA. Retrieved 10 June 2018.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Alan Meale
Member of Parliament for Mansfield
This page was last edited on 17 May 2021, at 01:28
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