Intro by Lord Beestonia
Lots to get through, and I’ll use this state of busy to use as mitigation for describing Gregg Marshall as our ‘Conservative Candidate’. This was swiftly pointed out to me, by no less than the candidate himself, and amended accordingly. Please don’t think I’ve been hijacked by Russian bots to spew out fake news. Nyet, nyet, nyet.
I’m missing tonight’s hustings – staying out past 7pm is anathema when you have spent the day with a toddler- but I’m sure I’ll hear how well -or otherwise – it goes. Let us know!
We have two things for you today: a forensic look at the seat-searching adventures of Darren Henry by guest contributor Simon Cross; and a close look at the dilemma facing Leave- supporting voters by Chris Tregenza – a Remain version will be published tomorrow.
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Henry the Sixth: Any Seat Will Do
by Simon Cross
Interesting to read Darren Henry describing Broxtowe as ‘home’ in Faith Pring’s recent interview with him for Beestonia. On his website our recently selected Conservative Parliamentary Candidate says:
‘We spent many happy years in the Broxtowe constituency before I was posted away by the Royal Air force to serve our country and we always wanted to come back home. Having moved back home to Broxtowe and the communities that exist within it, the independent businesses, the nature reserves, our local pubs, we are elated to be living here close to our family and friends – back where we belong, in Broxtowe. I am honoured and proud to be a man of Broxtowe and I want to make it an even better place to live.’
But the would-be MP’s links to Broxtowe appear tenuous. When he left the RAF in 2013 did Mr Henry head ‘home’ to Nottinghamshire? No: he settled 170 miles away near Salisbury where he has lived and worked since, rising to become Area Chairman of Wiltshire Conservatives. In 2017 Darren Henry was elected onto his local Council to representative his local ward Till and Wylve Valley- a place he called home.
The selection of Cllr Henry has proven controversial within the local Conservative Association with few members turning out to work for their new representative. A former senior member has been less than impressed by the Tory candidate and, in particular, the narrative underpinning his personal journey:
Facts below support this observation. Despite protesting he is not a ‘professional politician’ Mr Henry has devoted a huge amount of time and effort trying to become parliamentary candidate in five constituencies in five different regions starting in the West Midlands, then South West, followed by the South East, London and finally the East Midlands. He also tried becoming Police & Crime Commissioner for his home patch in Wiltshire. He has certainly clocked up some impressive miles in recent years.
2015– Mr Henry’s first incursion into electoral politics appears to be his contesting the then marginal Wolverhampton North East in the General Election that year. Working for the locally based (and now defunct) outsourcing firm Carillion seems to have been his only discernible connection to the city. The election resulted in the Labour incumbent doubling her majority.
2017– the newly elected Wiltshire Cllr Henry didn’t contest the snap General Election. During the last 16 months he has stepped up his efforts to find a parliamentary opportunity… literally here, there and everywhere.
2018– in July Cllr Henry sought the parliamentary nomination for Stroud in Gloucestershire. It is not clear what local connection he had other than campaigning against car parking charges on a visit to the area.
Perhaps he was inspired by high-profile interventions on this issue from the actor who played Fallon in Dynasty and the former sidekick of TV’s Alexander Armstrong.
Alas, it was not be and the local Conservative Association opted to select a former Camden Councillor instead
2018– in October Cllr Henry sought the parliamentary nomination for his native Bedford.
But, having only been added to the shortlist following the withdrawal of another candidate, he was not successful.
2019– April saw the end of a process that began in November 2018 when Cllr Henry put himself forward to become Police & Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire in an election to be contested in 2020
He had to wait five months for the party to select the other candidate for the post.
2019– in July Darren Henry was seeking to become parliamentary candidate for the UK’s third most marginal seat of Kensington, West London. He must have fancied his chances, with columnist Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail identifying him as the ‘favourite’ before describing him as ‘a carpetbagging councillor from Wiltshire with no local connection whatsoever’.
Self-styled ‘Tory Boy’ Pierce’s acidic compliment might have swung it because, you guessed it, Cllr Henry was still looking for a parliamentary berth.
2019– September. And so after his fifth attempt, or sixth if you include the shot at being a Police Commissioner for his home patch, Broxtowe came up. At least Darren Henry could copy and paste the CV he drew up when seeking to become Wiltshire’s PCC for reuse in this seat having deleted the bit about his actual home of the last six years.
In summary Darren Henry has sought nominations six times:
- Wolverhampton, 2015
- Stroud, 2018
- Bedford, 2018
- Wiltshire, 2018-2019
- Kensington, 2019
- Broxtowe, 2019
So, invoking the name of an epic Shakespearean play, we’re Henry the Sixth’s choice. But you wouldn’t know this when he talked up his ‘very very very strong local connection here’ (twenty years ago remember) in his interview with Faith which breathily continued: ‘When I close my eyes and finish my life, it’s going to be here in Broxtowe, so it’s perfect for us’. Yeah, right. Remind you of anything? The words of a famous song beginning ‘I closed my eyes’ perchance? Well to paraphrase the title of that tune Darren Henry’s really is a case of ‘Any Seat Will Do’.
References not inserted above
https://www.facebook.com/stroudconservatives/ scroll down to date in question
https://twitter.com/VoteDarrenHenry/status/1024178008368799744 references venue in constituency https://www.stonehousecourt.co.uk/
by Chris Tregenza
As a true democratic patriot, delivering a Brexit that represents the 17.4 million is the only issue for this election. In Broxtowe this is a two-horse race between the Tories and the Brexit Party Independent candidate. Yes technically there is another candidate but she is a hate-filled troll and I’m not wasting my time on that attention-seeking turd.
In the blue corner we have Darren Henry (Conservative). With Boris and his deal, this election should be a shoe-in for Darren but there are three problems. Firstly, Darren is a remainer and therefore cannot speak for the 17.4 million true patriots who voted leave. Secondly there is Boris’ deal which sells off Northern Ireland to the EU plus the UK will still have to accept many EU laws. Thirdly, Boris is a lying buffoon who will say anything to get elected so there is a lack of credibility in Darren’s bid to be King of the Leavers.
Facing Darren in the different-shade-of-blue corner is Dr Teck Khong (Independent). When Farage sold out his customers supporters and pulled his candidate out of Broxtowe, local leavers scrambled around for a new candidate and picked Dr Khong. It’s certainly a good choice – well educated and well spoken he breaks through the gammon-stereotype. While I have no first hand knowledge of his views, the hard-core leavers in my aquaintance certainly rate him as having true “leave” credibility.
Dr Khong’s chance of winning are extremely thin. Short of Boris announcing he now a remainer it is hard to see the good doctor getting his deposit back. But, as every true leaver knows, all we have to do is believe in Brexit enough and anything is possible.
As an aside, can we take a moment to note the progressive nature of the candidates standing in Broxtowe, We have two women candidates (one German), two BAME candidates (and not from the end of the political spectrum you might expect), and one working-class pensioner. This diverse mix of candidates speaks well for the multicultural and rich tapestry of life in Broxtowe.