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Birmingham's only Conservative MP says their election campaign was 'absolutely appalling'

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell reveals he refused to distribute official party leaflets because they were so bad

The Conservative general election campaign was “appalling”, Birmingham Tory MP Andrew Mitchell has said.

And he said literature provided by the central Conservative campaign was so bad that he refused to distribute it in his Sutton Coldfield constituency.

Mr Mitchell was the only Conservative to be elected in Birmingham. Speculation that Tories could make gains at Labour’s expense in seats such as Birmingham Edgbaston proved to be unfounded as there was actually a swing to Labour across the city.

However, the swing in Sutton Coldfield was the lowest of any Birmingham seat and Mr Mitchell received 61% of the vote, up from 54.6% in 2015.

Speaking on TalkRadio, Mr Mitchell said: “It was an absolutely appalling campaign. I have fought nine general elections in my political career and this was by miles the worst.

“At times we appeared almost to almost be campaigning against the record of Conservative-led administrations since 2010.

“And some of the literature was frankly so inept and awful that in Sutton Coldfield we declined to bother our electorate with it and didn’t put it out,”

Theresa May, accompanied by her husband Philip, makes a statement in Downing Street.
Theresa May, accompanied by her husband Philip, makes a statement in Downing Street.

He told interviewer Julia Hartley-Brewer: “We rely on people to get the campaign right and the fact is the campaign was not got right, and was as I say in my judgement the worst of any campaign since 1983, which was the first time I fought.”

However, he said Theresa May should continue as Prime Minister, saying: “The people have spoken last Thursday night in the General Election and it is her duty as the leader of the largest party now to find a Queen’s Speech that can pass through the House of Commons successfully next week and to put together an administration which can run the country properly and effectively, and that is what I think she is doing.”

It later emerged that the Queen’s Speech, when the Government sets out is planned legislation for the next year, is likely to be delayed while the Conservatives attempt to reach a formal agreement with the Democratic Unionist party.

It was previously expected to take place on Monday June 19.

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