Hucknall MP suggests 'unsuitable candidates' were elected in last two elections

Hucknall MP Mark Spencer has raised eyebrows in Westminster among his own party after making comments that suggest unsuitable candidates were elected to Parliament in the last two general elections in 2017 and 2019.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:47 am

And the Daily Mirror reports that Mr Spencer, in an interview with Parliament’s in-house magazine The House, said better candidates would be chosen for the 2024 election because parties would have more time to plan.

Mr Spencer, the former chief whip who is now Leader of the House of Commons, hinted that unsuitable candidates were able to stand in the 2017 and 2019 elections because they were both snap elections and there was a rush to find candidates.

In the interview he said ‘all parties – ‘but certainly the Conservatives’ - would deliver a ‘higher calibre’ of candidates at the next election, because ‘it won't be a surprise’.

Mark Spencer said parties would have more time to properly scrutinise candidates before the next election. Photo: Aaron Chown/AFP/Getty Images

"I think we'll be in a much better place at the next general election, certainly in the Conservative party as we will have taken much more time to scrutinise people.

"There will be a much longer process.

“I don't think having two rapid general elections in a row has helped parliamentary parties.

Parliament has been mired in controversy of late with accusations of bullying, and sleaze – two Tory MPs have resigned in recent weeks – as well as the ongoing ‘Partygate’ scandal involving the Prime Minister breaking lockdown rules.

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer is also facing accusations of breaking lockdown rules while Mr Spencer himself is still under investigation over alleged ‘Islamaphobia’ allegations.

The Dispatch has contacted Mr Spencer for comment.

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