Who are Boris Johnson’s new Tory MPs?
Almost a third of the Conservatives descending on Westminster will be sitting for first time
Boris Johnson will welcome more than 100 new Conservative MPs to Westminster later today following the Tories’ huge election gains.
The new arrivals’ first job will be to vote for the prime minister’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which Johnson plans to bring to Parliament before Christmas. The bill could be put to MPs as early as Friday, the BBC reports.
How many new Tories are there?
A total of 109 new Conservative MPs will take their seats in Parliament today, after the Tories swept to victory in many traditionally Labour-held areas to claim an 80-seat majority.
The “Class of 2019” accounts for almost a third (29.9%) of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, says ConservativeHome.
Which big-name Tories lost their seats?
One of the biggest losers of the election was environment minister Zac Goldsmith, who lost his Richmond Park seat to the Lib Dems for the second time in three years.
A number of former Conservatives also stood and lost as independents after having the whip removed by Johnson for voting in Parliament to block a no-deal Brexit.
Former Tory ministers David Gauke, Dominic Grieve and Anne Milton all lost their seats, as did Anna Soubry, who stood for the Independent Group for Change. Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah, Phillip Lee and Antoinette Sandbach were defeated too, after switching to the Liberal Democrats.
And former Welsh secretary Alun Cairns resigned on the first official day of the Tory election campaign, amid claims that he lied about his knowledge of an aide’s “sabotage” of a rape trial.
How has face of the parliamentary party changed?
The new Tories coming into Parliament mostly represent northern and Midlands seats. A No. 10 source told The Guardian: “The seismic events on Thursday returned Conservative MPs in Bolsover, in Blyth and in Bishop Auckland, to name a few. This election, and the new generation of MPs that have resulted from Labour towns turning blue, will help change our politics for the better.”
Those making their parliamentary debut include Jonathan Gullis, a secondary school teacher and NASWUT trade union representative, who won the Stoke-on-Trent North seat and is one of the new Tory MPs from a “modest background”, says The Telegraph.
“Another unlikely Tory is Chris Loder, who won Sir Oliver Letwin’s old West Dorset seat” after recently reprising his former career as a train guard to cross a picket line in order to “keep South West Trains running”, the newspaper adds.
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Welcoming the newcomers, Mike Penning, the Tory MP for Hemel Hempstead since 2005, said: “I’m thrilled. All this Tory elitism stuff is just Westminster bubble tosh. People in the Midlands and the North have stuck two fingers up to the elitism in Labour, not the Conservatives.”
The number of female Tory MPs has increased by 29%, although women still only represent less than a quarter of the parliamentary party. Labour remains the party with the most female MPs, despite losing 15 in the election, and also has the most BAME MPs.
Who are the new MPs to watch?
Dehenna Davison, 26, has become the new MP for Bishop Auckland after losing in Sedgefield in 2017. She styles her name on Twitter as “Dehenna #GetBrexitDone Davison” and describes herself as a “muscle car, baseball & fluffy animal enthusiast”.
Davison was born into a working-class family in Sheffield and lost her father when she was just 13, after he was killed by a single punch. She later married a Tory councillor 35 years her senior after meeting him while studying politics at university.
Another one to watch is Alicia Kearns, the new MP for Rutland and Melton, who has worked for the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice on counterterrorism, Middle East issues, and nuclear leaks. During the campaign, Kearns said her priorities were “ending rural disadvantage and securing the funding we deserve, tackling rural crime, protecting rural life and delivering Brexit”.
New Ashfield MP Lee Anderson may be worth keeping an eye on, albeit for slightly different reasons, after winning his seat despite an election gaffe that was one of the most awkward moments of the campaign.
The politician was door-knocking in the marginal constituency with a Daily Mail journalist when a voter said he recognised Anderson as the Tory candidate and told him: “I will be going with you. There is no way Labour will ever get my vote.”
It was only later that a Mail producer realised their team had video and audio footage of Anderson speaking to the “constituent” on the phone, arranging the door-knock and the comments.
Anderson can be heard saying: “Make out you don’t know who I am - you know I’m the candidate but I’m not a friend, all right?”