Mansfield MP Ben Bradley has said he very much backs Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lead the Conservatives into the next General Election.
However, the MP said he would be open to running for regional mayor in the future and may not stand again as MP for Mansfield due to social media abuse.
In an interview with Gloria De Piero on GB News, Mr Bradley said the high levels of abuse aimed at MPs might prompt him to change direction.
Mr Bradley said he backed Boris Johnson to lead the Conservatives into the next General Election saying:
“I mean, who else is there? Nobody engages with people in the way that he does, and for every email I get that says he’s awful and should go get another one that says he’s brilliant, don’t ever get rid of him.
“Like everything at the minute, politics is so divided, isn’t it? And so kind of bitter in many ways.
“So I think unless somebody comes forward with some brilliant, you know some Messiah-like vision as to what they’re going to do, that’s better or different than he’s the best chance we’ve got as far as I can see.
“And that agenda for areas like Mansfield, the levelling up, stuff…that comes from him.
“So if he clears off, there’s no guarantee that Jeremy Hunt would have the same focus on Mansfield.”
Asked if he would stand as a mayor, he said:
“Maybe…I don’t know. We’re still a couple years away from an election, I think we’re probably still 18 months away from picking somebody, which is a long time away in politics.
“I don’t know whether I’ll stand again for Parliament, as I said, it depends on the day of the week sometimes, whether you love it or hate it. I don’t know whether my wife would want me to do it again either, so we’ll see.
“But I am really enjoying the local delivery bit. I’m really keen on education, young people, early intervention type work, and now we’ve got the levers at the council to actually do it, and it’s really rewarding, so I’m enjoying that.
“You look at some of the other parts of the world – Andy Street, Andy Burnham – and the clout that they’ve got to change things and do things, there’s a lot of appeal in that, but Lord knows where we’ll be in a year or 18 months time.”
During the interview Mr Bradley also told how he was victim of a constant flow of negativity aimed at MPs by social media users and that police also foiled a physical attack on him at his first constituency surgery.
Opening up on his experiences Mr Bradley, the MP for Mansfield, Notts, said:
“Sometimes you say dumb things that get you a lot of interest that you didn’t mean or you get yourself into trouble. But there’s this constant flow of it I find, and there are some days where you are left thinking: ‘Why do I bother.’
“I blocked somebody this week on Facebook, not because they were particularly abusive, but just because it was a constant torrent of negativity on everything…then you get abuse for blocking people.”
Mr Bradley was speaking in an interview with presenter Gloria De Piero, in which he revealed that police intervened to stop a physical attack on him five years ago.
Describing what happened he said:
“During my first surgery I ever had in 2017, we had a guy come and wave Mace around and he had pepper spray stuff. So yeah, it was perfectly calm and then all of a sudden [he] just jumped up and started waving his spray can around. He got arrested pretty quickly.
“You get a handful, five to ten people who are just at you all the time. Usually they have got pretty serious mental health issues and probably are at every other agency around the place as well.”
Detailing the threats made against his wife Mr Bradley, who paid tribute to the police’s response in dealing with the abuse he’s suffered, said:
“They (trolls) also threatened to kidnap my wife once, which was nice. Social media is ridiculous, but you never know how seriously to take these things because on the one hand it’s probably some kid praying about some keyboard warrior who will never do it but then if you ignore it and then something does happen you’d never forgive yourself.
“The police ended up at his door and it turned out it was some teenager who burst into tears as soon as they walked through the door.
“People don’t understand the impact of their words today when it comes to Twitter in particular.”
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