Tory MP Robert Jenrick — the victor in the by-election to replace MP-for-hire Patrick Mercer — will struggle to shake off his ‘carpetbagger’ label if a recent interview with Radio Nottingham is anything to go by.
The Newark MP was ambushed by presenter Mark Dennison on the question of whether he actually lives in his constituency. Following on from his ridiculous campaign claims to be an “entrepreneur” — exposed by Scrapbook back in April — Jenrick looks to have responded by exaggerating somewhat:
“Yes, we live in Southwell … We’re in Southwell.”
This is a theme previously covered in an interview with Harry Cole:
“We’ve committed to making a life here, basing our family here … We’re living in Southwell, another part of the constituency.”
While Jenrick may well rent a property on expenses, Scrapbook somehow doubts that his hot shot lawyer wife is spending a minimum of five and a half hours commuting from Nottinghamshire to Canary Wharf each day. This is perhaps why the couple own a multi-million pound townhouse in Westminster along with another home in, errr, Herefordshire — two and a half hours’ drive away from his constituency. Neither are rented out, according to his entry on the Register of Members’ Interests:
8. Land and Property
A house in London and a house in Herefordshire. (Registered 12 June 2014)
The BBC even quizzed him on why he originally wanted to do the interview from Shropshire, offering the explanation that he was visiting his parents. While Scrapbook wouldn’t begrudge the Jenrick kids an opportunity to see grandma and grandpa, this brings us neatly to another point: his parent’s business — a central plank of the “entrepreneur” claim.
This would be the company also invoked during his 2010 election campaign in Newcastle-under-Lyme, with Conservative copy referencing a “local manufacturing business” — when it was actually based an hour’s drive away and in an entirely different county.
There’s something about ambitious politicians and problems with geography.