Voters 'tired of Westminster chaos' - new Green MP

Ellie Chowns
The Midlands' first Green MP, Ellie Chowns, said voters wanted MPs who "get away from the tribalism of politics" [BBC]

The first ever Green MP to be elected in the Midlands said voters were tired of chaos and polarisation in Westminster.

Ellie Chowns was elected as the MP for North Herefordshire in an historic night for her political party who now have four sitting MPs.

Speaking on BBC Politics Midlands on Sunday, Ms Chowns said people in North Herefordshire, which had been held in its various forms by the Conservatives since 1906, felt their vote had been taken for granted for a very long time.

Nationwide, 42% of voters chose not to vote for the Tories or Labour with 70,000 people in Birmingham voting for independent candidates.

Ms Chowns said: "People told me all the time they're really tired of the argy-bargy and the polarisation in politics.

"They want somebody as their local representative who they know is going to work incredibly hard on their behalf and get away from the tribalism of politics and really reach out and I think that's why we were able to win in North Herefordshire."

The guests on BBC Politics Midlands. Four MPs, three women and one man, sit on a circular couch opposite host Rob Mayor
MPs Preet Gill (Labour), Mike Wood (Conservative), Helen Morgan (Liberal Democrat) and Ellie Chowns (Green Party) were the guests on Sunday's BBC Politics Midlands [BBC]

Helen Morgan, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, told the programme people did not want to see the governing party "tearing itself apart" and focusing on culture war issues which did not affect their everyday lives.

"I think they wanted politicians to focus on the very serious issues that they're facing in their day-to-day lives," she said.

"It's an [ongoing] problem in Shropshire that you can't get an ambulance if you're very sick, that you might have to wait a long time in awful circumstances in A&E because of the under resourcing there. People want those issues fixed."

Helen Morgan
Helen Morgan said culture war issues had no relevance on the ground for voters [BBC]

In Birmingham, 70,000 people jettisoned the main political parties and cast their vote for independents.

Many looked to have put their support behind candidates running on a pro-Gaza platform, as Labour majorities were slashed in former stronghold areas.

The long-standing Perry Barr Labour MP Khalid Mahmood narrowly lost his seat to independent candidate Ayoub Khan while Jess Phillips scraped through in Yardley with a majority of 693 votes over Workers Party candidate Jody McIntyre.

Mish Rahman, from Wolverhampton, who sits on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, said he was furious with the party’s response to the war in Gaza.

“In my community it has got to the point where I am now embarrassed about my affiliation with Labour,” he said.

Speaking on BBC Politics Midlands, Preet Gill, the re-elected Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, said: "I think it's really important that we listen to the community and of course we've got to rebuild trust back and I know we're going to do that. Every vote really matters.

"But this is an overwhelming result here, especially in the West Midlands. People have seen a changed Labour Party under Keir Starmer, they've put their trust in us."

Preet Gill
MP for Edgbaston Preet Gill said Labour had an overwhelming result in the West Midlands [BBC]

Reform UK had the third highest vote share in the election, performing well in many seats across the Midlands as the Conservative's share of the vote plummeted.

James Crocker, a Reform UK candidate who came third in Stratford-on-Avon, told the BBC: "A lot of people across the country didn't like being taken for a mug.

"A lot of people just didn't turn up to vote for the Conservatives full stop.

"But the reality is people voted Reform UK because they saw in Nigel Farage a leader and somebody who spoke to them, who spoke their language and that is something sadly missing in British politics today."

When asked if the Conservatives should have made a deal with Reform UK like it had previously done with the Brexit Party, the Conservative MP for Kingswinford and South Staffordshire Mike Wood said "it takes two sides to make a deal".

Reform's chairman Richard Tice "has always been very clear that his main objective isn't to support the Conservative Party, it's to destroy the Conservative Party", he added.

Mr Tice previously said the Tories were "terrified" of his party.

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