Guido can reveal that the candidate Labour is promoting as a “local man” in Stoke-on-Trent actually grew up nearly 200 miles away in Suffolk. Brexit-bashing Gareth Snell was introduced by Jeremy Corbyn this weekend with the words:
“Gareth is a local man, he understands the Potteries, he understands Stoke-on-Trent.”
Labour MP Anna Turley has called Snell their “brilliant local candidate”, Keir Starmer calls him their “fab local candidate”. Yet Snell is not from Stoke at all, he was raised in Stowmarket in Suffolk, nearly 200 miles and a three hour drive away. Stowmarket is in the constituency of Bury St Edmunds, one of the safest Tory seats in the country and a far cry from the Potteries. So how local is Snell? He went to Keele University and lived in Newcastle where he was a councillor, double jobbing in Tristram Hunt’s constituency office as he waited to be parachuted in. As far back as five years ago the Stoke Sentinel ran a letter asking why outsider Snell was hanging round Stoke, suggesting he was sniffing for a seat. In a 2011 tweet to the Tory whip Therese Coffey that rather undermines his claims to be “local“, Snell admitted he is “still a Suffolk-boy at heart”.
Snell’s plummy accent has not gone unnoticed on the doorstep in Stoke…