Politics

Voters blast Tory blackmail claims – 'Messing with kids futures is 'sickening'


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Bury South MP Christian Wakeford dramatically quit the Tories to join Labour this week and claimed party enforcers had previously threatened him with losing cash for his constituency. Here’s what voters think

Waliko Banda, a care worker from Radcliffe, said he was horrified to learn school funding was threatened if the MP didn't back the PM
Waliko Banda, a care worker from Radcliffe, said he was horrified to learn school funding was threatened if the MP didn’t back the PM

After Tory Christian Wakeford’s sensational defection to Labour, voters in his Bury South seat expressed fury at Boris Johnson and his party.

Mr Wakeford quit the party in protest at the Prime Minister – and revealed that he had previously been threatened about the loss of a school in his constituency if he did not vote with the Government on free school meals.

His comments came as senior Tory William Wragg claimed rebels had been intimidated by party enforcers into toeing the party line.

No 10 said: “We are not aware of any evidence to support what are clearly serious allegations. If there is any evidence to support these claims we would look at it very carefully.”

But Mr Wakeford told the BBC : “I was threatened that I would not get the school for Radcliffe if I did not vote in one particular way.

“This is a town that’s not had a high school for the best part of 10 years.”







Christian Wakeford’s constituency office in Radcliffe, Bury South
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It is understood that the vote was about a Labour motion to back Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign.

The Red Wall Tory dramatically joined the Labour benches moments before PMQs on Wednesday.

But what do his constituents in Bury South think?

“Why should we have to suffer because of their greed and hunger for power?”

Waliko Banda, a care worker from Radcliffe, said he was horrified to learn Mr Wakeford’s school funding was threatened if he didn’t back the Prime Minister.

“I’ve got a three-month-old baby, and to think that his chances will be scuppered because of party politics is sickening,” the 31-year-old said.







Waliko Banda, 31, speaks to the Mirror in Bury South
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“Why should we have to suffer because of their greed and hunger for power?

“I can’t agree and support a party that would do that to one of their own. What does that mean for the rest of us?”

He said he will struggle to choose a politician to back at the next election.

“Tories are acting like kindergarten children”

Christina Horner, 58, said she will stick with voting for Keir Starmer at the next General Election.

Ms Horner, from Stockport, said: “I think the Tories are acting like kindergarten children.

“The Conservatives are hardly professional politicians.







Christina Horner, 58, speaking to the Mirror in Radcliffe
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“I wish they’d focus on working people and poorer families.

“The Conservative Party always pretends to care, but it’s clear they have no interests in anything apart from making their own pockets bigger.

“We saw it in the pandemic. Somehow the rich got richer. How does that level up the country?”

“I want to know what’s happening with the economy – not parties”

Gordon White, 84, retired from Radcliffe, said: “I’m sick and tired of hearing about these parties.

“I want to know what’s happening with the economy.

“He had a party, so what! Is that going to solve the cost of living crisis? No.







Gordon White speaks to the Mirror
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“He got us through Covid, he’s given us Brexit.”

“I want to hear more about the good things he has in store for this country, not some unfounded allegations.

“Let politicians govern.”

“Boris Johnson is toying with the country”

Marc Eulett, an accountant from Radcliffe, said: “I’ve voted for the Conservatives and Labour in my lifetime.

The 44-year-old said: “I’ve always been a swing voter but the latest party allegations have really done it for me.

Boris Johnson is toying with the country. I can’t say I’m shocked but I feel embarrassed for us all, working people of this country.







Marc Eulett, 44, speaks to the Mirror
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“I won’t say who I’ve voted for but the next election will be tough.

“Sadly I do believe he’ll be able to walk away from these accusations as he does with most things.”

“I still can’t believe a word he says”

Audrey Jolly, 84, from Radcliffe is still unsure if she will vote Labour at the next election, having swung her normal Labour vote to back Mr Johnson at the 2019 election.

But Alison Jolly, 59, believes the Conservatives are unable to take care of the country.

“I thought Boris handled Covid really well but then the party allegations came out.

“I mean he’s had such a rough start. He’s had Covid and he’s got two little children. It’s been hard for him and he’s doing the best he can.

“The fact that Dominic Cummings is coming out of the woodwork to try and accuse the PM of doing things, just says it all to be honest.







Audrey Jolly (L), with Alison Jolly (R)
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Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

“But I still can’t believe a word he says because he’s not being straightforward.

“To be honest my dad will be turning in his grave if he knew I voted Conservatives, and Boris has let me down.”

Alison said the Conservatives are behaving in a “pathetic manner”.

“Swanning off and having parties while the Queen was forced to bury her husband alone?

“What about the people who have lost loved ones to Covid? It’s not right at all and I’ve had enough.

“I am so sick and tired of this Government. The fact that Mr Wakeford had to leave the party he was elected in says it all.”

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