Newly-elected Conservative MP knocks Jeremy Corbyn off his perch
Watch: Ben Bradley gave an emotional acceptance speech after winning the parliamentary Beard of the Year contest.
After striking a last-minute deal to move Brexit talks on to the next phase, Theresa May finally looks like she has something to celebrate. But she is not the only Conservative MP in a position to crack open the champagne.
“Obviously this is pretty exciting,” said newly-elected Mansfield MP Ben Bradley last night, when it emerged that he had succeeded where previous Tories have failed.
The 27-year-old MP has been named the winner of parliamentary Beard of the Year in the annual competition run by the Beard Liberation Front. He takes over the title from Jeremy Corbyn who was deemed ineligible in 2017 (but will be back to defend his title in 2018).
The Labour leader has previously won the award in 2001, 2007, 2011, 2012 (shared), 2014, 2015 and 2016, but was kept off the ballot papers this time around “to allow new Parliamentary beards to make their mark”. Former Tory MP John Randall shared the award with Corbyn in 2012 but no Tory MP has been the outright winner.
“I am flushed with emotion and I need to immediately thank everybody who has supported and voted for me,” said Bradshaw in an emotional acceptance speech. “It was like general election night all over again in the lead up to 12 o’clock…. I’m looking forward to what is likely to be a very swanky and extravagant awards ceremony.”
Organiser Keith Flett made no attempt to downplay the fact that a Tory MP had won the award for the first time. It underlined that "the modern Parliamentary beard has come of age," he said.