Bracknell’s MP has reacted to the Labour’s drubbing in the Hartlepool by-election and the Local Elections 2021 more broadly.

James Sunderland, the MP for Bracknell since 2019, also voiced serious concern over the result in Scotland, and made an emotional plea for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and fellow Conservatives to ‘save the Union’.

He said: “I’ve always been quite clear, do not underestimate the enemy. I won’t be slagging off Labour publicly, because it’s not my problem to do that, we’ve got our own problems. I think you should respect your opponent and those your up against.

“I think the result locally in the past week is a reflection of national politics, and Labour has got a lot of work to do. In Hartlepool, a 10,000 vote shift, 4,000 majority to a 6,000 Conservative victory is seismic, and that’s happening all over the North, and that’s because local people have been taken for granted by the Labour party, and I don’t want to diss my opponents, but I think in many ways  it’s a reflection of local delivery and it’s a reflection of the national outlook, and the Conservatives are winning on both counts.

“Boris has got a huge majority of about 90, he now needs to convert that into saving the Union.”

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We asked whether the Prime Minister had the power to reject a second Independence referendum. Mr Sunderland said: “Boris has done that, and he can say no, but there is always a risk that can be legally challenged, there’s always a risk, because he wants to bring people with him.

“If you look at the vote in Wales, it’s a quite strong Labour vote, the Tory vote was up, Northern Ireland is a tricky place to operate, Scotland is where the risk is. We’ve got a lot of work to save the Union in my view, in trying to convince people across all our nations.”

The Conservatives have a majority of 82 in the House of Commons, but this functions as a majority of 89 because the seven Sinn Fein MPs from Northern Ireland do not take up their seats in Parliament.

Mr Sunderland delivered his statements at a mini rally at the Trilakes Country Park in Sandhurst after all five Bracknell Conservative Association candidates won their respective contests.

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James Alexander, newly elected Bracknell Town Councillor for the Great Hollands South ward, originates from Motherwell in Scotland. Giving his views about the situation in Scotland, he said: “The Conservative share went up in Scotland this year, and I pay close attention to it. Labour haven’t won Motherwell in the 2000s, it’s always been the SNP. It is down to narrative. The SNP are vey good at putting out narratives that are very difficult to test, they play on emotion. We have to demonstrate the benefits of the Union, and why it’s stronger and better to be one island and one country, rather than separating. But it can’t be the Project Fear of 2014.”

Bracknell News:

There is some evidence to Mr Alexander’s claim that the share of the Conservative vote increased in Scotland. Scottish Parliament uses the Adittional Member System, electing 73 constituency representatives and 56 regional representatives. There was a 0.6 per cent increase in the regional vote and a 0.1 vote decline in the constituency vote for the Conservatives. The Scottish Parliament now has 64 SNP, 31 Conservatives, 22 Labour, eight Green and four Liberal Democrat MSPs.

Mr Sunderland confirmed he kept his campaign promise to move to Bracknell if elected. He chose to move from Hampshire, but could not say where he lives given his position as Chairman of the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill and long military record.