Telford

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16094 (39.6%)
Labour: 15364 (37.8%)
Lib Dem: 927 (2.3%)
Green: 930 (2.3%)
UKIP: 7330 (18%)
MAJORITY: 730 (1.8%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Shropshire. Part of Telford and Wrekin council area.

Main population centres: Telford, Ironbridge.

Profile: Telford is a rapidly growing new town development. The area previously had an important industrial heritage, including some of the earliest industrial development around Ironbridge Gorge and Coalbrookdale. In 1963 it was designated as a newtown and has expanded massively since, housing the overspill population of the urban west midlands. There is significant high tech and computer industry here and HMRC is a major local employer.

Politics: Like most English newtowns Telford is a marginal area - until 1997 it was part of The Wrekin, a marginal seat between the Conservatives and Labour. In 1997 the expanding population lead to the creation of a new Telford seat, carving out the urban centre from The Wrekin seat. This was held by Labour from 1997 until 2015 when it fell to the Conservatives.


Current MP
LUCY ALLAN (Conservative) Born 1964, Worcestershire. Educated at Durham University. Former investment manager and chartered accountant. Wandsworth councillor 2006-2012. First elected as MP for Telford in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 14996 (36%)
Lab: 15974 (39%)
LDem: 6399 (15%)
UKIP: 2428 (6%)
Oth: 1513 (4%)
MAJ: 978 (2%)
2005*
Con: 11100 (32%)
Lab: 16506 (48%)
LDem: 4941 (14%)
UKIP: 1659 (5%)
MAJ: 5406 (16%)
2001
Con: 8471 (27%)
Lab: 16854 (55%)
LDem: 3983 (13%)
UKIP: 1098 (4%)
Oth: 469 (2%)
MAJ: 8383 (27%)
1997
Con: 10166 (27%)
Lab: 21456 (58%)
LDem: 4371 (12%)
MAJ: 11290 (30%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
LUCY ALLAN (Conservative) Born 1964, Worcestershire. Educated at Durham University. Former investment manager and chartered accountant. Wandsworth councillor 2006-2012.
DAVID WRIGHT (Labour) Born 1966, Telford. Educated at Wolverhampton Polytechnic. Local government officer. Wrekin councillor 1989-1997. MP for Telford 2001 to 2015. PPS to Rosie Winterton 2004-05, PPS to David Miliband 2005-2006, PPS to John Hutton 2006, PPS to Jane Kennedy 2007-08, Government Whip 2009-10. Opposition Whip 2010-11.
IAN CROLL (Liberal Democrat)
DENIS ALLEN (UKIP) Educated at Bedford Modern. Former RAF officer and KwikFit management trainer. Former North Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin councillor for the Conservative party. UKIP councillor on Telford and Wrekin council since 2013.Contested North Shropshire 1997 for the Referendum Party, Telford 2010 for UKIP.
PETER HAWKINS (Green) Freelance journalist.
Links
Comments - 114 Responses on “Telford”
  1. I should add that the current Wrekin seat, the rural parts of Eat Sjropshire, is nothing like the old one which included most if not all of the current Telford seat. In those days the largest town in the area was Wellington, Shropshire, which is now part of Telford.

  2. Well yes, but Wellington remains part of the Wrekin constituency.

  3. I was looking over things again and I see that the Shropshire Star had an article on a revised proposal for the area with a very tightly drawn constituency around Telford and another almost entirely surrounding it containing the rest of The Wrekin constituency plus Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock.

    Of the two I would prefer a North/South split. I really don’t like those city vs hinterland areas such as York Inner/Outer or Bath/North East Somerset.

  4. My apologies for getting Wellington in the wrong seat.

    WJ, I strongly agree with you that “doughnut” seats are undesirable, even unacceptable. They constitute gerrymandering.

  5. Quite odd behaviour from this MP, faking a death threat from a constituent. Could he sue her?

  6. A bizarre story which only the Daily Mail appears to have covered.

  7. This issue is not going away.. Guido Fawkes has now taken it up (and maybe was even the first to break it). He seems to be the more effective coverer of Tory scandals these days than either Labour or the LibDems.

    Next step could be the constituent suing…. as she has admitted that she doctored the email to make the constituent look like a death-threatener, the avenues of defence would be closed off to a greater extent.

    http://evolvepolitics.com/tory-mp-should-resign-after-faking-death-threat-email-from-constituent/

  8. This has been reported in a few places online but it hasn’t really caught the attention of the national press, and probably for good reason (it is odd behaviour rather than something sinister or corrupt).

  9. “Next step could be the constituent suing”

    Don’t be daft. The constituent wrote the offending letter using a false name. A non-existent person cannot sue. This is a total & utter non-story. A few lines on Guido & a mention on page 46 of the Mail does not constitute a major scandal.

  10. ‘This is a total & utter non-story.’

    It’s not a major story by any means and will almost certainly be forgotten by the time of the next election, but an MP doctoring an email she received from a constituent in an utterly deplorable manner to make it look like the constituent was threatening to kill her is hardly a non-story

    I think it speaks volumes about the integrity of the MP the people of Telford have elected to represent them

  11. At the moment there are at least two MPs with real threats having been thrown at them since the Syria vote. Apparently MPs are now going to get a briefing from MI5 on how to deal with these. In the meantime we have an MP spoofing death threats…

    If the sender of the original email had not responded, with alacrity, with proof that he was being spoofed he too might have been under investigation.

    The MP was essentially fabricating death threats against herself. The fact that the sender was using an alias would not have protected him if he had been making threats.

  12. Hate mail is hate mail. However, fabrication of details for added sensationalism is an utterly idiotic idea. Lucy Allan is a Wandsworth councillor and by extension a London parachute; she should if anything be extra careful about having a bad reputation locally.

  13. It’s not easy to describe her as a parachute given that the Tories didn’t expect to win Telford.

  14. In this Telegraph piece Lucy Allan claims to have chosen Telford because she wanted a challenge – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11621387/Meet-the-new-Conservative-women-MPs-just-dont-call-them-Camerons-cuties.html

  15. I recommend people read up on said MPs history.

  16. Oops.. here she goes again:

    http://order-order.com/2015/12/15/lucy-allan-deletes-late-night-facebook-rant/

    I had a boss in the US who was prone to sending emails after 8pm.. we called them the Three-Martini emails

  17. Yes. I think a few glasses of Pinot Grigio may have accidentally slipped into her bloodstream prior to that little rant. She needs to be careful; senior politicians from any party are happy to throw anyone under a bus, and she seems already to have fallen out with the local association.

  18. It’s probably not Pinot Grigio. As I said, look into her history.

  19. I think the rant was against political opponents rather than people in her own party? Labour people locally are clearly upset that Telford voted for a Tory.

    This shows why politicians should stay off social media, too many tweets make a twat etc.

  20. I read that article when it was initially published.

    I did wonder if we were getting the full story…taken at face value social services massively overreacted. But then she did admit drinking whilst taking some pretty heavy duty tranqs/ diazepam. I would’ve thought booze and those type of anti depressants weren’t the best bed fellows.

    As with many of types of story in the Mail, there is also an undertone of ‘I’m upper middle class, slim and successful…don’t you dare question me’. That’s not necessarily her fault…its just the way the Mail writes these things up.

  21. Additionally the article states that “Lucy admitted taking sleeping pills for insomnia and diazepam for anxiety” but also implies that the concerns originated with her GP practice, albeit a locum, who ought to know her prescriptions unless she’s self medicating.

    As a general rule, these evil- social-services-child-snatching stories never tell the whole story. Once you take of the austerity ridden social services love interfering in the life of middle class ten year olds for no good reason goggles, and read between the lines then the story raises interesting questions in light of recent events.

  22. I would be very reluctant to make judgments about her past when I know little of it, only what has been reported (largely coming from her perspective). Of course this death threat stuff (odd rather than malicious behaviour, I still think) may prompt the media to look into her background a bit more, and we may soon find out a bit more about her past.

  23. Oh, and it’s on the front-page of the Standard – https://twitter.com/JoeWatts_

  24. I saw her interviewed on Channel 4 News.

    Reminded me a bit of Sally Smedley from Drop the Dead Donkey.

  25. This could possibly result in loss of the whip whilst an investigation into various aspects of her behaviour takes place, I think. Especially as Cameron won’t want to be seen to be soft on bullying after the Mark Clarke scandal.

  26. The Standard is a Tory rag, albeit one that is perfectly happy to go after the Tories when it suits (I.e. to increase circulation).

    Not sure what to make of the story…although I did like her throwing around accusations of a potential ‘alcohol problem’. Stones and glass houses and all that.

  27. I wouldn’t call the Standard a ‘Tory rag’ particularly, though in recent years they have tended to be broadly sympathetic to the Tories. Like all papers – The Sun, Mail and Telegraph included – if a story is newsworthy it will be run.

  28. Standard is not a “Tory rag”.. if anything its owner seems to be of a somewhat liberal persuasion..

  29. HH – one of her rants was against her constituency office manager.

    Leaving a voicemail accusing her of being an alcoholic is unwise and actionable.

    The quote from CCHQ – that they acted sympathetically and appropriately – is unusual and could mean they’ve settled the ex-employer’s potential claim.

    This is all they need with the Mark Clarke saga etc.

    Sadly her CV – Durham, investment banker, Wandsworth Cllr sent up North – does often mean a certain attitude, although as I’ve said before: it does seem to be a particular problem amongst the female intake of Tory MPs since Mensch, McVey, Soubry et al.

  30. I don’t think gender is particularly relevant, and I would object to comparing those on your list: Soubry seems a superb MP and minister to me (she heckles, yes, but it’s good natured), I’m not sure McVey did much wrong (though perhaps she was over-promoted because of her background) and Mensch is a different case again. Generally I think the 2010 and 2015 have produced lots of very promising Tory MPs (of course, as in any large group there are also a few less good thrown in, of which Allan may end up being one…).

    The question may be raised as to how she got selected, but remember this wasn’t a seat that would have been all that hotly sought-after as few expected Tory gains during the period when selections took place. It isn’t that surprising that an ex-A-lister with an interesting story to tell about how her children almost got taken (probably dressed up to exclude some of the bits that reflect less well on her) was quite appealing.

  31. Sorry, you may not have read my previous posts on the issue; but, the theme was basically those who’ll do almost anything simply to get what they want. 2015 also saw a record number of one-term wonders, 80% of whom were the 2010 Tory women.

    Mensch, McVey, Perry all joined the Party 2 years before being selected as PPCs (as did Truss who also changed Party).

    Soubry gets a mention as she was in the SDP previously, but also due to her hectoring. I release many politicians fall into the category of not admitting they’re wrong, but having met both McVey & Soubry, I have never met any other MPs of any Party or either sex who launched into a tirade, in the sense that how dare anyone dare to even question what they said.

    Re this MP: you could argue that – and you’re being unduly kind to do so – but rather she was typical of the first time Tory PPC who loses but then seeks a safe seat. The unexpected outcome for her was that she won.

    By the sounds of her Facebook rant on Guido’s order-order site, I assume her Association are about to deselect her, hence she defamed a Cllr’s son and accused others of various things.

    Inventing death threats to implicate a constituent really is in the realms of mental instability or sheer sociopathy. Remember their first Watford PPC?

  32. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Lancs Observer.

  33. She isn’t a “typical first time Tory PPC”. At 54 she’s 20 years too old for that. Had she lost in 2015 she would have been too old to get a safe seat in 2020.

    Nor was Anna Soubry “sent up north”. She has been a well known local figure in Nottingham since the 80s, one of the most genuinely local MPs in parliament.

  34. 51 not 54

  35. Nottingham isn’t in the North.

  36. For the Westminster Bubble of course it is

  37. Anywhere north of Watford is the North to me!

  38. Regardless of geographical definitions, my point is that Lancs Observer is wrong to label Soubry as some kind of carpet bagging A lister with no background in her seat.

    She has been immersed in local issues in Nottinghamshire for more than 30 years, to a far greater extent than most MPs these days.

    As a reporter on Central News East, I remember she came down to our village and reported on the last day of operation in our local pit (Pye Hill) in 1985….quite appropriate today given that today is the day the last deep coal mine closes down. The clip is around somewhere on the internet I think.

    I don’t think we should necessarily think badly of MPs for “hectoring” journalists. No disrespect to Lancs Observer, but many newspaper journalists are total assholes, as Leveson has shown, and probably deserve it.

  39. Former aide is now saying the MP should go (she would say that, wouldn’t she..) and worse saying CCHQ didn’t investigate claim properly.. (sound familiar..?)

    The Sun now has the full tapes of the rant against the aide..

  40. Listening to the tape, it’s hard not to have sympathy with Mrs Allen on the substance of the case. Many of us have come across useless employees or colleagues who take the piss with sick leave etc and game the system or claim discrimination when you try to get rid of them.

    But Allen has handled this very unprofessionally and has walked right into a trap set up by her enemies.

  41. You should listen to the LBC interview with her former campaign manager:

    http://www.lbc.co.uk/lucy-allan-bullying-allegations-another-staffer-speaks-out–121808

    Any dispute between herself and her employees, over the course of events, also has to be interpreted in the light of her demonstrably casual relationship with the truth.

  42. I don’t suppose she’ll fall on her sword as some are demanding. Shame; this would be a really tasty by-election.

  43. The question is, will she be able to find anybody to work for her for the rest of the parliament? Could be tricky…

  44. HH – the crucial difference being that other employers pay their staff out of their money, not the taxpayers’.

    Her rant showed she can’t spell and doesn’t understand employment law.

    Incidentally, I didn’t say Soubry was parachuted in. She got a mention for having been in the SDP at their height before switching (as with Grayling). You could argue she wasn’t a Tory member for years due to her previous job. That may be fair – although in Esther & Debi Jones’ cases it wasn’t media impartiality it was simply that they didn’t join until they sought a nomination. [Incidentally, Soubry was hectoring a member of the public, but you’re right that she had a go at the reporter who dared to cover it]

    Actually, this MP, Esther, Claire Perry were all selected and elected around the same age. My point was more that they only joined the Party 18 months – 2 years before becoming a PPC, which again shows that they believe in promoting themselves and will do whatever it takes. But they’re hardly conviction politicians in their beliefs.

    I realise these days with DC, GO etc MPs tend to be a backbencher 5 mins then in the Cabinet or Shadow, but at least they have a history in their Party. GO’s lack of experience showed at PMQs, although no-one seems to master their briefs as well as Maggie, Benn did in past decades.

  45. “The question is, will she be able to find anybody to work for her for the rest of the parliament? Could be tricky‚Ķ”

    I hear Mark Clarke is at somewhat of a loose end.. They deserve each other…

  46. A thought: this could be a prime candidate for the first use of the Recall of MPs Act 2015, had it been commenced – it hasn’t for whatever reason!

  47. In fact, ignore that, it’s wrong: I’d forgotten quite how blunt an instrument the Recall Act is.

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