War of words over Mansfield MP's two jobs
Political opponents of Mansfield MP Ben Bradley hit the town centre today with banners and leaflets calling for him to focus more on Mansfield, and not on a ‘next job’.
Labour councillors and supporters took to West Gate with a banner that read Money Bags Bradley looking for the next job?
Mr Bradley rejected the claims, saying the roles gave him an opportunity to ‘add value’ and benefit Mansfield residents.
Labour members also handed out leaflets claiming that “11 years of Tory Government haven't been kind to Mansfield and the East Midlands”.
On the other side of the leaflet, they pictured Mr Bradley and highlighted his roles as Conservative MP, county councillor, and leader of Nottinghamshire Council, and said that if he were to be elected as East Midlands mayor, that would add more to his salary.
Coun Craig Whitby, deputy mayor of Mansfield and Mansfield Council member, said: “We are highlighting the roles Ben currently has. We think he is spreading himself too thin and is thinking about his wider ambitions and not the residents of Mansfield.”
‘Residents stand to benefit’
However, Mr Bradley said: “I wouldn't undertake these roles if I didn't feel that I could both do them justice and actually add value. Residents in Mansfield stand to benefit, and a huge amount of local people's complaints are actually related to council issues.
“Now, I have levers to fix those things for local people. I'm incredibly busy, but that's what I signed up for and we're making progress.
“I’d also note residents in Mansfield elected me to my two roles, both with substantial majorities.
“On the East Midlands Mayoral point, there is no such thing, nor has anybody submitted such a proposal in our talks with Government.
“We're pursuing a County Deal for Notts, not an East Midlands mayoralty, so on this point Labour are both ill informed and, quite literally, just making things up.”
In a Parliamentary debate titled Devolution for the East Midlands, which took place on July 14, Mr Bradley talked about the potential of the East Midlands as a whole, and said ‘an East Midlands combined authority, under a unified vision and plan that is complementary to the Midlands Engine and the Government’s devolution and recovery ambitions, would be levelling up in its most literal sense’.