Politics

Tory who said council tenants should live in tents and pick potatoes wins seat

A Tory who said he wants "nuisance" council house tenants to live in tents and work in fields has won a seat held by Labour for 40 years.

In a shocking video rant on Facebook, Lee Anderson said he thinks they should be plucked from their homes and made to pick potatoes for 12 hours a day.

During the campaign he was caught getting his friend to act as a 'swing voter' in another disinformation scandal to hit the Conservative party.

Mr Anderson took the constituency of Ashfield in Nottinghamshire from Labour with 19,231 votes (39.3 per cent share).

Ashfield Independents candidate Jason Zadrozny  won 13,498 votes (27.6 per cent), while Labour's Natalie Fleet won 11,971 votes (24.4 per cent).


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The seat had been held by Labour since 1979, with MP Gloria De Piero serving from 2010.

She had announced in July that she was resigning as Shadow Justice Minister and would not stand in the general election.

In the bizarre Facebook clip, Mr Anderson said: "I stood on this spot a few months ago banging on about nuisance tenants throughout this lovely estate and the fact they were making peoples lives a complete misery.

"People say, 'they have got to live somewhere' – that's right, so my plan would be, and again this is just my own personal opinion, is that these people who have to live somewhere, let's have them in a tent, in the middle of a field.

"Six o'clock every morning, let's have them up, let's have them in the field, picking potatoes or any other seasonal vegetables, back in the tent, cold shower, lights out, six o'clock, same again the next day. That would be my solution."

Mr Anderson was previously a Labour supporter, but said he was driven out of the party by Momentum activists.

He said he worked at homeless charities before moving into politics.

In the caption accompanying the footage, Mr Anderson said his solution would: "Reduce anti social behaviour. Free up much needed housing for decent people. Solve the labour shortage on our farms."

Many Facebook users reacted angrily to the video, with one writing: "I live on a Council estate and have c**p neighbours but all live in private housing nothing to do with council so don't assume all have council houses have trouble makers."

During the campaign Mr Anderson was caught getting his friend to act as a 'swing voter'.

The candidate was trying to impress a journalist when he called up his pal to help him.

Not realising he was still wearing a mic, he was recorded saying: "Don't make out that you don't know who I am… you know I'm the candidate, but not a friend, alright?"

He told him what to do when they arrived and minutes later Mr Anderson he brought the journalist to his pal's door.

Footage shows Mr Anderson telling the reporter the call was about "some leaflets that have just come for me".

When they arrived at the house, his friend loudly told him: "There's no way Labour are ever going to get my vote again!"

He then backed Mr Anderson's infamous proposal to have 'nuisance tenants' live in tents and work in fields.

The Daily Mail team realised they had recorded him setting up the meeting when they reviewed the footage.

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