With Crewe and Nantwich high on the list of Tory targets in next month’s General Election - Labour’s Laura Smith won by just 48 votes in 2017, and after two recounts - the thought should have occurred to The Blue Team to put forward a serious challenger. Instead, they have selected Kieran Mullan, who claims to be a local candidate.
Kieran Mullan. A local. Allegedly
The problem he has is that he has been a local candidate twice before, both times in Parliamentary constituencies that were rather a long way from Crewe and Nantwich. In 2015, he stood for the Tories in Birmingham Hodge Hill, garnering just 11.5% of the vote, well behind Labour winner Liam Byrne’s 68.4%. Two years later, he was the local candidate for Wolverhampton South East, coming a distant second to Pat McFadden.
Of course they are. Cos they're mainly other Tories
So perhaps it’s understandable that Mullan is not as well known in Crewe and Nantwich as his Labour opponent. But that does not forgive the blatantly fraudulent election leaflet he has put out, claiming endorsements from a series of supposedly ordinary locals, who just happen to be Tories. Not that any of them are telling you. So I will.
Take Christine Farrell, who is backing Mullan “To Champion Our Community”. She told “Kieran was more than happy to roll up his sleeves and help the Food Festival”. And Laura Smith made me a cuppa yesterday afternoon. So what? Well, what Mullan’s leaflet isn’t telling is that this is not just the “Chairman ad Director of Nantwich Food Festival”. It is former Tory Councillor Christine Farrell. And former Tory Mayor of Nantwich.
How about an endorsement from someone wanting “To Invest In Our NHS”? That’s Philip Staley, described as “Former patient at Leighton Hospital”. Yeah, right. There are tens of thousands of those across the constituency. He should more accurately be described as Councillor Philip Staley, who represents the South Ward on Nantwich Town Council. Where he sits as a Conservative. Another cod endorsement. And there is more.
Sean Houlston, described as a “University Student”, wants “To Protect Our Environment”. He speaks “as a Geography student”. He is full of gushing praise for Mullan. And so he should be: he is a Parish Councillor. A Tory Parish Councillor. He contested Leighton Ward in the last Cheshire East Council elections (he lost). He has Bozo The Clown as his Twitter header photo. A Twitter feed full of Tory PR and talking points. Next.
John Dwyer, described as “Former Assistant Chief Constable”, advocates “For More Police On Our Streets”. What is not told is that Dwyer was Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner from 2012 to 2016, overseeing cuts in Police numbers. He was defeated by David Keane. Who represents the Labour Party. Dwyer represents … the Tory Party. He, too, was a borough councillor in Nantwich. Another cod Tory endorsement.
If Kieran Mullan really was a popular local candidate, he would have had no trouble securing endorsements from across the community. But as he’s a serial carpetbagger, he’s had to fall back on passing off his fellow Tories as disinterested locals. Which they are not.
Are the Tories serious about contesting Crewe and Nantwich? It doesn’t look that way.
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