London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Lee Anderson: Who is the new Tory deputy chairman?

Lee Anderson: Who is the new Tory deputy chairman?

Known for his outspoken views, it didn't take long for Lee Anderson to hit the headlines again after he was appointed as the Conservative Party's deputy chairman.

In an interview conducted a few days before he was given the role, the MP for Ashfield expressed his support for bringing back the death penalty - a position not shared by the government.

But despite his tendency to create media storms, his supporters in the Conservative Party believe the former Labour councillor can connect with so-called "red wall" voters in the Midlands and the north of England in a way that others can't.

Born in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, to a family of coal miners, he followed in the footsteps of his father by working in the area's pits for 10 years after leaving school.

After separating from his partner, he raised his two sons as a single parent on what he described as a "meagre wage".

"I've been that man that has to put five quid in the gas meter on a Sunday night and been watching the meter spin round all week," he told TalkTV last year.

He went on to volunteer at a local Citizens Advice centre before working in hostels for homeless care leavers.

His first job in politics was working in the office of local Labour MP Gloria De Piero, serving as a district councillor at the same time.

In February 2018 he was suspended from the council's Labour group after hiring a digger and placing concrete blocks to stop travellers illegally camping in a car park.

A month later he defected to the Tories, saying his former party had been "taken over by the hard-left".

In the 2019 general election the Brexit-supporter stood as the Conservative candidate for Ashfield, winning the seat from Labour.

The constituency was one of many Leave-supporting areas to turn blue in Boris Johnson's landslide victory over Jeremy Corbyn.

However, his successful campaign was not without controversy.

He faced mockery after he appeared to be caught setting up a door knock while out canvassing, accompanied by journalist Michael Crick.

During the visit a microphone picked up Mr Anderson asking a voter not to mention he was his friend during filming.

There was further criticism for comments suggesting "nuisance tenants" living on a council estate should be forced to live in tents and pick vegetables.

Mr Anderson continued to attract attention for his strident views as an MP.

During the Euro 2020 football tournament he criticised the England team for taking the knee in protest at racism and vowed to boycott their matches.

Last May, he suggested people should learn to cook and budget, rather than use food banks, claiming it was possible to make a meal from scratch for around 30p a day.

It was a theme he returned to in January, when he posted a photo on Twitter of one of his staff members to illustrate his argument that nurses on £30,000 a year didn't need to use food banks.

The post, which detailed her monthly spending on rent and travel, provoked a backlash on social media.

The 56-year-old's appointment as deputy party chairman by Rishi Sunak came despite Mr Anderson initially backing his rival Boris Johnson in last year's leadership election.

He's also been critical of the government's approach to tackling illegal immigration.

In December, he wrote that he was "putting my party on notice" over the issue, saying the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats was "making us the laughing stock of the world".

However, the choice of a red wall MP balances out Mr Sunak's pick for chairman, Greg Hands, who represents the affluent London constituency of Chelsea and Fulham.

Many of Mr Anderson's fellow Tory MPs in the Midlands and north of England love his outspoken style.

They think he reflects the concerns of real voters - the people they want to hold on to at the next election.

Michael Fabricant, the Conservative MP for Lichfield, welcomed Mr Anderson's appointment, describing him as "authentic".

"From time to time it's refreshing to have someone in the party who actually has his own views," he told the BBC.

Making Mr Anderson deputy chairman, a role partly responsible for preparing for May's local elections in England, is not without risk for the Tories.

More controversy will mean more questions asked of Mr Sunak and his ministers.

But with the Conservatives languishing in the polls, that might be a risk worth taking for the prime minister.

Lee Anderson: "There's not this massive use for food banks in this country"


Related Articles

London Daily
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
UN to Add Israel to Human Rights Blacklist
Germany and France Oppose EU Luxury Car Restrictions to Russia
Plus-Sized Miss Alabama Sara Milliken Responds to Online Critics
Nigel Farage's Return Boosts Support for Reform UK Party
Labour Party to Pledge Recognition of Palestinian State in Election Manifesto
British Paratroopers Greeted by French Customs After D-Day Anniversary Airdrop
UK Statistics Watchdog Chief Urges Sunak to Clarify Labour Tax Claim Source
UK Conservatives Promise to Restore Child Benefit for Higher Earners