Workington Man Abandons Northern Research Group

Last Friday there were more than a few miffed Northern MPs willing to give spicy anonymous Lobby-terms quotes to hacks, after the PM pulled out of his Northern Research Group conference appearance to hop on a secret flight to Ukraine. Despite ministers, backbenchers and Jake Berry himself defending Boris’s decision, one ‘senior NRG figure’ told the press the MP had shown “total contempt” for them, after backing him in the leadership vote. Another NRG source told The Telegraph’s Chopper “Sadly today’s events show the PM has no commitment to levelling up, his voters, or the North of England”:

Unfortunately for the group, these anonymous briefings were a step too far for Mark Jenkinson, the Workington MP after whom the crucial 2019 voters Boris had to win – ‘Workington Man’ – are named. Guido’s now seen screenshots of the NRG Whatsapp group aftermath that Friday afternoon, which involved Jenkinson proclaiming “I always considered this group to contain fewer c***s than others. Goes to show you never can tell.” Promptly exiting the chat…

Such a happy family…

mdi-timer 22 June 2022 @ 14:00 22 Jun 2022 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
NEW: Councillor Jailed After Sending Threats to Own MP

In a week dominated by politicians trying to get the public to treat them more kindly, a councillor in Cumbria has just been jailed for sending threats to his own Tory MP and council leader. Peter Little will spend 18 weeks behind bars for abusing Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, including an email reading:

“You and that MP are f***ed”

Passing the sentence, judge Mark Hadfield referred to the death of Sir David Amess, saying “any threat directed towards a public servant is always treated very seriously by the court.” The abuse aimed at Mark Jenkinson was the final straw for the councillor, who had already been on a suspended prison sentence after being convicted in August for a number of public order offences. As he was led away to the cells, the councillor was heard shouting “pigs!” at the police escorting him…

mdi-timer 19 October 2021 @ 13:20 19 Oct 2021 @ 13:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Six Tory Parliamentarians Announce Party Conference Boycott over Vaccine Passports

Six Tory parliamentarians have now gone public with a commitment to actively boycott Tory conference in October if, as reported, vaccine passports are an entry requirement. Mark Jenkinson was first out of the gates, followed by Steve Baker. Lady Helena Morrissey came shortly after. Now Guido learns Bolton West MP Chris Green is joining them:

“I would love to go to Party Conference because it is in Manchester, down the road from my constituency and a great chance to champion levelling up, but I will not be attending in person or online.”

As is Peter Bone:

“I can confirm that I won’t be attending the party conference if we have to have a vaccinee passport to attend.”

Andrew Bridgen has also told Guido he will add his name to the list of boycotters in the event of mandatory vaccine passports.

Sir Charles Walker previously said he wouldn’t get the vaccine due to a phobia of needles, and confirmed to Guido this afternoon he remains unvaccinated and still “waiting for nasal vaccine”, thereby depriving conference of their biggest grandee thus far. It’s a real bind for Boris – lose support amongst party ideologues or get mauled by the press…

UPDATE: Milling wobbles, texts Tory MPs

Follow Guido’s rolling updated list below:

  • Mark Jenkinson, Workington
  • Steve Baker, Wycombe
  • Helena Morrissey, Lords
  • Chris Green, Bolton West
  • Peter Bone, Wellingborough
  • Andrew Bridgen, North East Leicestershire
  • Craig Mackinlay, South Thanet
mdi-timer 22 July 2021 @ 15:20 22 Jul 2021 @ 15:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
“Shock” at Jenrick Coal Mine Inquiry Announcement

An MP has told Guido how he and his colleagues were given no forewarning by Robert Jenrick before he announced his department was going to intervene in the Cumbria coal mine project and order a fresh public inquiry. The intervention is seen by red wall MPs as the government bowing to niche, interest group public pressure, with Workington MP Mark Jenkinson last night telling the Tory MP WhatsApp group the Secretary of State has “bowed to climate terrorists”. Whatever happened to not negotiating with terrorists…

The cancellation of the project could see a loss of £165 million of private investment into the area; and adding to the political embarrassment of the intervention, Boris’s own PPS Trudy Harrison was set to be the coal mine’s constituency MP. It now appears Harrison doesn’t intend to quit as the PM’s PPS…

Away from the immediate reaction, Mark Jenkinson now tells Guido the inquiry may provide one upside insofar as the debate will now be taken away from the fraught, partisan one seen so far. The now-scuppered timing of the massive project may pull the rug from underneath the project given its private investment funding. Jenkinson also told Guido of his “shock” hearing the announcement, as he got no prior warning about the intervention, and given the process is now quasi-judicial it’ll be very difficult for him and his colleagues to now level questions at Jenrick. Not least “does the government think it’s more environmental to import coal from China rather than mining it here?”

The government needs to decide if Britain is going to be a high-value manufacturing nation or not, the pandemic showed the dangers of having little or no manufacturing capability in strategic areas. De-carbonising the economy will kill energy intensive industries dead to the benefit of China and Asia. This is pretty disastrous for the government’s promised leveling up agenda, with Jenkinson’s inbox overwhelmingly pro-mine, as well as his Facebook. At the moment he doesn’t believe this is just the government laying the groundwork to eventually u-turn and cancel the project, though Guido smells a rat…

mdi-timer 12 March 2021 @ 11:25 12 Mar 2021 @ 11:25 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments