Wyre Forest

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22394 (45.3%)
Labour: 9523 (19.3%)
Lib Dem: 1228 (2.5%)
Green: 1117 (2.3%)
UKIP: 7967 (16.1%)
NHA: 7211 (14.6%)
MAJORITY: 12871 (26%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: West Midlands, Hereford and Worcester. The whole of the Wyre Forest council area.

Main population centres: Kidderminster, Bewdley, Stourport on Severn.

Profile: Wyre Forest mainly consists of the industrial town of Kidderminister, a centre for the carpet industry, but also includes Stourport and Bewdley and outlying villages.

Politics: Politically the seat is unusual. It would probably be a Conservative/Labour marginal but in 2001 and 2005 it was won by an Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern candidate, Dr Richard Taylor, on the back of a campaign against the closure of the casualty unit at Kidderminister hospital. The Conservatives retook the seat from Dr Taylor in 2010. In 2015 Taylor stood again, now under the mantle of the National Health Action party, but sectured only fourth place..


Current MP
MARK GARNIER (Conservative) Born 1963, London. Educated at Charterhouse. Former Fund manager. Forest of Dean councillor 2003-2007. Contested Wyre Forest 2005. First elected as MP for Wyre Forest in 2010.
Past Results
2010
Con: 18793 (37%)
Lab: 7298 (14%)
LDem: 6040 (12%)
UKIP: 1498 (3%)
Oth: 17270 (34%)
MAJ: 2643 (5%)
2005*
Con: 13489 (29%)
Lab: 10716 (23%)
UKIP: 1074 (2%)
Oth: 21708 (46%)
MAJ: 8219 (17%)
2001
Con: 9350 (19%)
Lab: 10857 (22%)
UKIP: 368 (1%)
Oth: 28487 (58%)
MAJ: 17630 (36%)
1997
Con: 19897 (36%)
Lab: 26843 (49%)
LDem: 4377 (8%)
Oth: 1982 (4%)
MAJ: 6946 (13%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
MARK GARNIER (Conservative) See above.
MATTHEW LAMB (Labour) Born 1970. Educated at King Charles I High School and University of the West of England and Birmingham University. College director. Worcester councillor since 2010.
ANDREW CRICK (Liberal Democrat) Contested Henley 2010.
MICHAEL WRENCH (UKIP) Born 1968, Kidderminster. Former soldier. Wyre Forest councillor. Contested Wyre Forest 2010.
NATALIE MCVEY (Green) Service development co-ordinator.
RICHARD TAYLOR (NHA) Born 1934. Educated at Leys School and Cambridge University. Retired hospital consultant. MP for Wyre Forest 2001-2010. Contested Wyre Forest 2010.
Links
Comments - 215 Responses on “Wyre Forest”
  1. ‘Contrast that with the 1990s, when Tim Yeo or Ron Davies were on 10 front pages for a wee’

    I agree

    i remember the Yeo story in the early days of 1994 – wasn’t he the first Tory to fall foul of Major’s back to basics approach

    Compared to the sort of stuff you hear MPs getting up to today – rent boys, stealing money from taxpayers, taking money for voting for things they don’t believe in etc – Yeo’s offences seem like small beer

    And whilst we are on the subject, Peter Morrison who was MP of my birthplace in Chester – was absolutely useless as an MP, quite unlike his brother Charles

  2. H.HEMMELIG –

    “Tebbit, to his credit, got Morrison sacked as his deputy in 1986 when he was party chairman, almost certainly for this reason”

    Hardly to his credit, if that confirms that he knowingly allowed him to continue in a position of trust and power, knowing he was an active paedophile.

  3. EcoW – hardly. Tebbit was one of the first to speak out on sex offenders in politics (sadly often ignored and shouted down with accusations of homophobia).

    In fact Tebbit said at the time (2 years ago) that he regretted he hadn’t done more to ask Qs about both him and Brittan.

    Indeed during last night’s Statement on harassment in the Lords, Tebbit stood up and said he hoped it also applied to Ministers abusing their position with civil servants, including one who was at it with them in Whitehall and his Parliamentary offices! He also said, “I see he’s not in his place” (to one or two gasps).

    Needless to say, Lord Taylor (from memory a voluntary Party automaton HH may have heard of – he got the usual gongs of a CBE etc for serving time and presumably knowing secrets) leaped across to the Despatch box where the Leader of the House had just given a worried non-answer to Tebbit and said we must bring this discussion to an end and revert to a Committee. Amusingly the deputy Speaker wasn’t even ready for this, so it showed that Tebbit’s intervention had worried the front bench what might have been said next.

  4. LANCS OBSERVER – So he “wished he’d done more”, eh? Doesn’t that sound a bit like an acknowledgement that he didn’t use the information he had, but simply allowed more children to be sexually abused because it was politically expedient to do so?

    Your story of Lord Taylor (I assume that’s Teddy Taylor?) is interesting. More evidence that it has been the case for some time that much was known and little said. Couple that with the other points made about previous govts, and it becomes clear that the Guido Fawkes list is just the latest version of the same black book.

    I have now seen a list which claims to be the actual one. Without going into specifics (mainly because it may be a fake) there were a lot of vague statements (some slightly weird), and it is a list which asks more questions than it answers. Strange.

  5. Can I have a puff of what you’re smoking Ecowirral 🙂 Not only was Teddy Taylor never made a peer, he’s also dead as Monty Python’s parrot. Tebbit did more than most to raise these issues at a time when it was politically unwelcome and career-destroying to do so. In particular he deserves credit for exposing the vileness of Mandelson and Portillo and taking a load of flack on the chin for doing so 20 odd years ago.

  6. Oh….he is dead! Well, I suppose he was getting on a bit.

    I’m just not getting all this Tebbit-love-in thing. Did I miss the “vileness of Mandelson and Portillo” that he exposed 20 years ago? Both seemed to do ok in their careers after Tebbit (admittedly, Portillo’s career took a real turn after losing his seat, but I think you referred to him as a “national treasure” elsewhere!). How did Tebbit expose them, and for what?

  7. Treading carefully, I strongly suspect both would appear prominently on the recent list were they still MPs (and were Labour MPs included). I don’t have to like someone to accept that they are a national treasure and indeed some national treasures have been truly evil eg Savile. I also saw the uncensored list and it’s surprising who isn’t on it as well who is. A certain pint sized gay MP from the East Midlands was the very definition of “handsy” when I was an intern at CCHQ in the 90s and was avoided by everyone like the plague, but he doesnt make the list.

  8. Here lies a genuine question, I (presumably like most here) have seen the uncensored list but are we still not allowed to name any of them for legal reasons?

    To name them could possibly be deemed libellous I accept but would we get in trouble for saying something along the lines of “X was on the list, I found that quite surprising” thus we’re not accusing them of anything rather just pointing out the fact that they made it onto a (for all intents and purposes) totally fabricated list.

  9. @Ecowirral

    John Taylor ex MP for Solihull.

  10. Yes naming by any means risks it being actionable. The list isn’t fabricated, but it remains mere gossip unless any researcher goes to the authorities or the inquiry.

    HH – It really is amusing that whenever EcoW or others make false allegations, they’re often not even talking about the same person. It’s happened three times in as many weeks, including Iain Dale and the wrong Lord Taylor now!

    EcoW – well Mandy did have to resign at least twice, including for breaking the Ministerial Code for his Brazilian rentboy/lover. The Hindujas and a fraudulent mortgage with the Britannia might ring bells too.

  11. According to this list l’ve voted for documented sex pests in each of the past 3 GEs. And one of them I also voted for in an open primary (Mr “Permanently Intoxicated”).

    Much depends on whether knowledge of the names on the list moves beyond political nerds into the general news sphere. If so it’s highly likely some resignations will occur.

  12. HH- I don’t think ‘Creepy Crawley’ (as he was known at one point) is any great shock. I was shocked to read of far more damaging allegations regarding someone who has been in the press for the last 24 hours. I had not heard that rumour.

    The two females on the list are not accused of anything non consensual unsurprisingly. However, one has form (and is married), the other is not. The latter is also somewhat better at her job than the former.

  13. LANCS – I remember the Hindujah scandal, and that Mandy had an injunction on anyone reporting his sexuality, but I hadn’t heard any actual sex scandals involving him. The Brazilian Rentboy thing you mention must have been hushed up, I assume? Also, Simon – I didn’t accuse Teddy Taylor of anything, I merely asked who the Lord Taylor was you were referring to (go back and read it; you’ll find that you’re wrong yet again). It’s once again you who finds it all too easy to make up his own facts.

    TRISTAN – as we’re giving out bits of content, I also thought it was interesting that the two women on the list were there for having an affair with the same man, who wasn’t on it! This is a list to keep tory MPs fearful and in line, rather than one which is intended to identify or actually do something about wrongdoing. It’s just the same attitude which helped Tebbit to justify allowing former colleagues to go on abusing children. It’s also quite distasteful that what appear to be relatively even-sided affairs are on the same list some of the other allegations.

  14. That may be hard on Tebbit, of course, as the discussion earlier at least suggests that he was at least uncomfortable with the behaviour. But if you are all right, then he knew about it, and is one of those who should have acted.

  15. As an aside, how likely is it that there is a second tory list, for the Lords?

  16. EcoW- well, quite. I found it odd that the man wasn’t on there. Just to clarify- only one of the women is question would have been having an affair (on her part anyway). In fact, the inclusion of this (very senior) woman’s name makes something of a mockery of the whole list (the one that is not having an affair). That said, some of the potential ‘offences’ on that list, if true, could be very damaging to the MP’s in question if revealed.

  17. Yes indeed. I wonder if the urination video will surface. A large part of that list is made up of weasels and wrong uns who have had it coming fora long time and I will delight in seeing their downfall and/or grovelling apology next to their wife at the garden gate. A significant minority of the list isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be on there.

  18. I would wager that there would be footage of it.

    This probably sounds stupid/laughable but one thing I don’t get is why an MP would put themselves in a position where they could be outed for doing some seriously weird and/or creepy stuff.

    A consensual affair is nothing compared to pursuing a person for a prolonged period, groping journalists and what not.

    No matter how drunk one is at the time, there’s surely a brain cell telling them to just not do it. Don’t speak, don’t do anything. Turn your phone off etc.

    Jared O’Mara must be one semi relieved man…

  19. Luke- absolutely. O’Mara must be relieved to have the pressure off somewhat.

    kate Maltby’s account in The Times today is…interesting.

  20. Yes, not exactly a ringing endorsement of Green is it?

    I tend to take Julia HB’s view, that different people have different views on what is harmless, what is flirting and what is out of order… some work places are naturally flirty environments and what not.

    I’m sure most of us has been out for a drink with a colleague of the opposite sex and/or flirted with them too… but the first rule would be to get to know them first, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out reasonably accurately what they consider acceptable… and vice versa.

    Then, the next thing would be the age of the person… I’m 32 and would feel comfortable engaging in ‘consensual’ banter/flirting with someone from approx 25 to about 40, who I knew well.

    Certainly not some random who I found attractive, not a chance.

    One person asking another out doesn’t make them a pervert, I think it is important to make that distinction. As long as they then cease to make overtures at that point.

  21. LUKE SENIOR – I agree up to a point, but I think they key questions are whether the behaviour is grossly inapproriate (ie an unprovoked sexual grab of a body part) and whether it is repeated& unwanted. If either condition is met, then it’s a problem.

    The list is not at all useful in decifering the severity of the issue. What exactly does “handsy” mean. What is “inappropriate”? Apart from one or two exceptions (ie the “urination video” Hemmy mentions (although that could just be very embarrassing, rather than worthy of disciplinary action) or the injunction, which should surely already be in the public domain) this could all be pretty much shrugged off by the individuals concerned. The crunch will come if lots of victims step forward, to spell out what exactly “handsy” and “inappropriate” meant.

  22. I’d 100% agree with that, I definitely wouldn’t put my hands on someone’s leg, or touch their breasts… either in a work setting or on a night out etc.

    If someone continues after being asked to stop, or the ‘victim’ appears uncomfortable or mentions it to someone else… there’s an issue clearly.

  23. I wouldn’t either however I have seen it happen

  24. EcoW – well you in fact said “I assume Teddy Taylor” hence HH mocking you, for both being wrong and a sheer impossibility. Although I suppose you could have gone for the black former Cheltenham MP as your next wild guess (although also an impossibility).

    Er I was referring to Lord Taylor (of Holbeach) which is pretty obvious given he’s the only Govt frontbencher of that name.

    We get that you don’t like rightwingers whether they be Tory (Tebbit), or Labour (Danczuk), but again: it doesn’t become a fact just because you often repeat the same slurs. On this issue you could hardly be further from the truth, when both have publicly called on offenders to be pursued and jailed, at great personal harm to themselves and their careers.

    Re Mandy – no, the Brazilian rentboy and Mandy intervening in order to assist his immigration status wasn’t covered up. It was the front page of 8 newspapers and lead the News on both main channels in 2001. Maybe you were up a tree at the time protesting?

    It’s also incorrect to state that there were only two women on that list and that the women’s cases were consensual. Prima face the female Whip’s approaches were unwanted: but the two affairs were consensual.

  25. HH & Luke S – the problem of course is that you’re applying logic and normalcy to what by definition is neither.

    Sadly it’s a fetish that some MPs enjoy apparently and if they do there’s almost bound to be footage. After all there’s meant to be footage of MPs assaulting children in London 35 years ago.

    Damien Green is probably the least ‘Alpha male’ in the House. If anything the accuser is the dominant personality. I’d never dream of belittling a real victim, but I imagine anyone who viewed the footage of both of them in their interviews would draw the same conclusion.

    It’s interesting that no-one knew of Major’s affair with Currie, yet a few false allegations did make the papers at the time, including the Scallywag mag.

  26. LANCS OBSERVER –

    “We get that you don’t like rightwingers whether they be Tory (Tebbit), or Labour (Danczuk), but again: it doesn’t become a fact just because you often repeat the same slurs. On this issue you could hardly be further from the truth, when both have publicly called on offenders to be pursued and jailed, at great personal harm to themselves and their careers.”

    Forget Tebbit. You have just given me even more evidence that you are, in fact, Simon Danczuk! What personal cost to his career? The early part of his tenure in Rochdale, his profile was massively boosted by his exposure of sex scandals in the area. His (your?) later behaviour, however, suggested that he may be better thought of as “poacher turned gamekeeper”!

    On Mandy – yes, perhaps I was up a tree in 2001.

    Female entries on the list- I’d forgotten about the other female and the “inappropriate with males” comment. Another example where we really need to know more!

  27. Yes I’d forgotten about the third female- less senior than the other two. Let’s just say that absolutely no one will be surprised at her inclusion!

  28. I think I must be the only person commenting here who hasn’t seen this list…

  29. Lancs Observer: you have apparently, and at least twice on this page, referred to Peter Mandelson’s partner as a “Brazilian rent boy”: October 31st at 11:19pm, and November 1st, 8:42pm. Do you actually have any evidence to support this claim, or are you just making a truly appalling and potentially both libellous and homophobic remark?

  30. It was perhaps unnecessary but to put it politely I very much doubt that Mandelson would be able to show that the remark was a falsehood. The papers have an absolute forest of sleazy stories about Mandelson and in the current climate I doubt he wants to put his head above the parapet.

  31. HH: I don’t think it works by Peter Mandelson having to prove the remarks are not true, does it?

    Can I also note: high up on this page, Ecowirral commented (re: Tebbit), “Hardly to his credit, if that confirms that he knowingly allowed him to continue in a position of trust and power, knowing he was an active paedophile” to which Lance Observer responded “EcoW – hardly. Tebbit was one of the first to speak out on sex offenders in politics (sadly often ignored and shouted down with accusations of homophobia).”

    It would be possible to read that response as equating being gay with pedophilia, or at the very least with being a sex offender, either suggestion being utterly unacceptable and capable of being given a really rather nasty construction.

    GIven that LO in one post says “naming by any means risks it being actionable”, I would ask him to either justify his remarks or withdraw them. Particularly as he is quick to note EcoW getting something wrong, and because LO also said ” it doesn’t become a fact just because you often repeat the same slurs”.

  32. In parliament, all of the exposed paedophilia scandals and rumours that I can recall have been homosexual. That’s an undeniable fact. That’s not saying that the vast majority of gay people have paedophile tendencies nor that things aren’t different in the world outside the Westminster bubble. I don’t think it’s homophobic to say that Westminster seems to have a problem here, part of the larger problem which has exploded this past week. Ordinary gay people have particular reason to be angry with the likes of Cyril Smith and Nigel Evans IMO.

  33. DH – Er, yes and no.

    Yes, he was a Brazilian National and an escort/rentboy (according to the other client quoted in the press at the time). So it’s neither libel (as truth is an absolute defence), nor homophobic per se (as some choose this as a profession).

    But I could of course have equally referred to Mark Menzies or the Tory PPC who stood in N10 in I think 2010 or the Rev Flowers – all of which were heavily featured in the press at the time their escorts unsurprisingly sold their stories for more money and none of those individuals took action refuting the truth of the quotes therein.

    No, you’re incorrect in your reply to HH. In order for something to be defamatory, the complainant absolutely does have to prove on the balance of probabilities (civil burden) in Court that what was said or written lowered him in the mind of the average man.

    It is of course precisely why Phillip Green has not sued Frank Field, despite his I think 8 letters threatening to do so and why Archer went to prison for perjuring himself under Oath in previous proceedings.

  34. Incidentally, I also don’t understand Owen Jones’ hissy fit on DH’s point.

    Yes, it doesn’t mean all gay people are sex offenders, but I have no problem in asserting that a disproportionate % of offenders in politics or the entertainment industry are LGBT. Indeed it would be impossible for that not to be the case unless you’re claiming 10-20% of people are LGBT?!

    Indeed equally: if they hadn’t been attracted to males they’d hardly have assaulted the teenage males they did!

  35. Just for DH’s benefit, I had a quick look and amusingly three of the first dozen articles found include both a Tory MP and a Labour MP both on the record referring to Mandy’s, Brazilian “escort.”

    Here’s just one of them: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-361471/Mandelsons-British-boyfriend.html

    By way of balance (well Lance Price is Labour & and even tags his article ‘gay rights’), here’s the only article claiming it’s all homophobia attacking poor Peter M: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2008/oct/13/mandelson-gayrights

    Incidentally, above I neglected to say: Yes, the complainant DOES have to prove it wasn’t true (and that it lowered his reputation in the eyes of the average man), in order for it to be deemed a defamatory statement. It was so obvious I forgot to mention it, but it seems David Whitehouse was unaware.

    Indeed it’s presumably why Ron Davies, Mark Oaten and Keith Vaz did not sue after the papers listed their use of rentboys and the BBC’s This Week even ran a montage along with their end credits mocking the latter’s hypocrisy in his then Home Affairs Select Committee position.

  36. Just for DH’s benefit, I had a quick look and amusingly three of the first dozen articles found [Evening Standard, Mail, Express, Times, Telegraph etc] include both a Tory and a Labour MP both on the record referring to Mandy’s Brazilian “escort.”

    By way of balance (well Lance Price is Labour and gay and even tags his article ‘gay rights’), there’s one in the Guardian which claims it’s all homophobia attacking poor Peter M.

    Incidentally, above I neglected to say: Yes, the complainant DOES have to prove it wasn’t true (and that the statement lowered his reputation in the eyes of the average man) in order to succeed and for the Court to deem it to be a defamatory statement. It was so obvious I forgot to mention it, but it seems David Whitehouse was unaware.

    Indeed it’s presumably why Ron Davies, Mark Oaten all did not sue after the papers listed their use of male escorts and the BBC’s This Week even ran a montage along with the end credits mocking the latter’s hypocrisy in his then Home Affairs Select Committee position.

  37. To quote Wikipedia:

    “English defamation law puts the burden of proving the truth of allegedly defamatory statements on the defendant, rather than the plaintiff”

    and

    “In the common law of libel, the claimant has the burden only of proving that the statement was made by the defendant, and that it was defamatory. These things are generally relatively easy to prove. The claimant is not required to prove that the statement was false. Instead, proving the truth of the statement is an affirmative defence available to the defendant”

    and

    “A defamatory statement is presumed to be false, unless the defendant can prove its truth”.

    This suggests that the burden of proof is indeed on the person who utters the libel, not on the person who has been libelled.

  38. The burden of proof lies on the person bringing the case against the person who has made comments.

    Quite often richer people use their financial muscle to shut less wealthy people up – issue a writ, threaten court action and the person who can’t afford to defend themselves has to apologise for being a liar.

  39. Lancs Observer are you sure you are not confusing Peter Mandelson’s partner Reinaldo Avila da Silva with a Mr Jeff Chevalier who was at one point friendly with Lord Browne of Madingley, one-time senior manager/boss of British Petroleum? The two couples apparently knew one another, but that does not make their careers interchangeable.

    There were certainly well-reported newspaper stories about Mr Chevalier, eg https://www.standard.co.uk/news/the-true-story-about-lord-browne-by-ex-rent-boy-lover-6580178.html

    However, you should be sophisticated enough to know that when newspapers described Mr da Silva as Peter Mandelson’s “escort” they did not bluntly allege he was a sex worker. They may have meant to insinuate and quietly sneer and insult, but they did so by using a word which more commonly means “person who attends events with…”.

    However, when you say you ” have no problem in asserting that a disproportionate % of offenders in politics or the entertainment industry are LGBT”, then yes, I’d say you are displaying disgracefully homophobic intent. You would be beyond hard-pressed to produce statistical evidence to back up your claim, and the vast majority of child sex abuse cases involve men with young girls. I think what you’re claimed is disgraceful, and not acceptable.

  40. The subtle (and not so subtle) homophobia is rife on this board.

  41. I should clarify. The vast majority of posters are not in any way homophobic. There are two frequent contributors who most definitely are. Both are straight yet constantly comment and sneer about gay issues that they know nothing about. Had they commented on the same way about black people they would have been banned from these boards years ago.

  42. LANCS OBSERVER – I was about to tear into your homophobia, but it looks like it’s already been done! Please keep it nice, Simon!

  43. “the vast majority of child sex abuse cases involve men with young girls.”

    In parliament – which is what we are discussing here – pretty much 100% of the known and alleged cases involve men abusing boys. That is a fact. How can a fact be homophobic.

  44. H.HEMMELIG – That isn’t why LO has been homophobic. It is because he conflates homosexuality and paedophilia;

    “Yes, it doesn’t mean all gay people are sex offenders, but I have no problem in asserting that a disproportionate % of offenders in politics or the entertainment industry are LGBT. Indeed it would be impossible for that not to be the case unless you’re claiming 10-20% of people are LGBT?!”

    Apart from his questionnable stats, sexual attraction to men isn’t a prerequisite for attraction to boys. And even if it was, the rate of abuse of boys vs abuse of girls (compared to the rates of those phenomena in the general population) would only give us information about the likely rate of homosexuality in “politics and entertainmemt”. The relative rates of homosexuals in politics & entertainment and whether there are more abusers in politics and entertainment could be both higher, but it still wouldn’t demonstrate a correlation between the two. LO is homophobic because he is more than happy to draw the conclusion he has without any attempts to understand the statistics involved, because it suits his preconcieved ideas.

  45. “In parliament – which is what we are discussing here – pretty much 100% of the known and alleged cases involve men abusing boys. That is a fact. How can a fact be homophobic?”

    That’s the way it works, sadly. If you point out that a vile individual or gang or is also part of a designated victim group, you are discriminating against that victim group and will get hung out to dry. Sarah Champion fell foul of that one…

  46. “sexual attraction to men isn’t a prerequisite for attraction to boys.”

    That is perfectly true and we only have to look at some of the most famous cases eg Savile to see proof of it. For some of the abusers it is clearly about power more than sexual attraction.

  47. POLLTROLL –

    “That’s the way it works, sadly. If you point out that a vile individual or gang or is also part of a designated victim group, you are discriminating against that victim group and will get hung out to dry.”

    Paedophiles are not a “designated victim group”, and you are a homophobe.

  48. Eco, no, my point is that if paedophiles also happen to be gays, or Asian, then to point that out is considered homophobic or racist.

  49. Eco debates the issues without getting rude/personal and throwing out tired slogans and I respect that. Tristan said I know nothing about gay issues because I am straight. If I said he knew nothing about having kids because he is gay I’d rightly be criticised. Parents of young kids rightly take a keen interest in these matters.

  50. If Polltroll and Hemelig are racist homophobes then so am I…

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