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Braving the lion's den...

Byline: CONFERENCE SKETCH by Jonathan Walker

AS we've reported, Birmingham's only Conservative MP, Andrew Mitchell (Con, Sutton Coldfield), was unable to make it to the Conservative Conference at the ICC. But the city was represented by an MP nonetheless.

Birmingham Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart braved the lion's den to deliver a speech about the European Union at one fringe event - even though she's a Labour MP.

LONDON mayor Boris Johnson received a hero's welcome in Birmingham from the Tory faithful.

And he couldn't resist a small dig at the city and its Labour-run council, as he boasted about the "freedom pass" introduced in London, giving free bus, train and underground travel to people over 60 and disabled people.

Boris said: "I apologise to the people of Labour-run Birmingham as I generally and periodically apologise to so many other cities but that is a privilege that older people have only in Tory-run London."

In fact, a very similar scheme already operates in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

STAFFORDSHIRE MP Aidan Burley doesn't seem to know when to keep quiet.

First, he was pictured attending a friend's stag do where the groom dressed as a Nazi.

Then he slammed the Olympics opening ceremony as "lefty multicultural c***".

Now, the MP for Cannock Chase has been heard making a bad-taste joke at the Conservative conference.

A fellow Tory MP mentioned that he was speaking at an event about the genocide of the Kurds, a middle eastern group without a country of their own who have experienced persecution throughout much of their history.

Mr Burley chuckled: "For or against?" LOCAL Government Secretary Eric Pickles revealed he keeps a photograph of Che Guevara on his wall - alongside images of Maggie Thatcher and Winston Churchill.

He told delegates at the ICC: "In my Ministerial office, I've placed reminders of what it means to be a Conservative.

"A bust of Disraeli. A poster of the great Winston. A memento of the magnificent Margaret.

"But over my left shoulder is a photograph that often catches the eye of visitors. Che Guevara, the Cuban revolutionary, smoking a large Havana cigar.

"It's there to remind me that without constant vigilance - the cigar-chomping Commies will take over."

I have wonderful news for Eric - the cold war ended long ago.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 10, 2012
Words:381
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