COMMENT: Bradley learns the hard way that '˜a week is a long time in politics'

A week is a long time in politics, as the saying goes.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 2:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 2:35 pm

And no doubt Mansfield MP Ben Bradley is pondering this well-worn cliché as we speak.

Last week Mr Bradley was being hailed as the new poster-boy for the Conservative Party - a new figurehead for young people who could swell the voting ranks for a party most closely associated with the privileged and the posh.

He was promoted to Party Vice-Chairman with a responsibility for youth engagement and was quickly identified as one of the party’s rising stars, no doubt helped by Made in Chelsea reality star Georgia Toffolo describing him as ‘hot’.

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He has done a massive amount of work to make his face known around Mansfield, and to be the new voice for local people.

Up until last week, I have to say, he had been doing a good job.

Then there was his ill-fated ‘porn’ joke, which Mr Bradley initially seemed to bounce through - perhaps because it failed to be picked up by the national media.

Bad enough, you may think.

But this morning the news broke of a comment he posted back in 2012 in support of benefit caps, in which he showed an ignorance, an arrogance almost, towards the plights of the poorest people in society.

He wrote: “Sorry but how many children you have is a choice; if you can’t afford them, stop having them! Vasectomies are free.

“Families who have never worked a day in their lives having four or five kids and the rest of us having one or two means it’s not long before we’re drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters that we pay to keep!”

Much less ‘man for the people’, you may surmise.

Interestingly, as news of Mr Bradley’s blunder broke, another political wayward son appeared to be heading back in from the wilderness after his own blogging past came back to bite him on the privates.

Suspended Labour MP Jared O’Mara is now back in the fold after a string of misogynistic and homophobic online comments were revealed, leading to his suspension from the party.

The Labour Party appeared to close ranks and wait for the storm to blow over.

And based on today, the Conservatives are doing just the same.

A call to Mr Bradley’s Parliamentary office referred us straight to the Conservative HP press team this morning, where, no doubt, the dark arts of political communication are already trying to limit damage by spinning a new tangled web.

Should Mr Bradley resign?

Well, that is a matter for him.

But what he should certainly do is go on the record and explain himself to the people who sent him to Westminster to be their voice.