Manchester Mayoral Candidate Defects to Reform UK

Some breaking news before we go to our next guest who may indeed want to comment on it, the Conservative Party candidate for the Greater Manchester Mayoral election of course being held on the 2nd of May along with London Mayoral election and other major cities elections has defected to the Reform UK party.

Dan Barker was selected as the tory candidate back last December but the Reform Party has confirmed that Barker will now stand as their candidate at the Manchester Mayoral elections.

Not quite sure what the Conservatives are going to do to find another candidate. Just quick reaction from Philip Ingram to that news we’ve had Lee Anderson defected and we’ve been told in the last couple of days actually some talk that Rishi Sunak is going to be allowing some of the Tories who’ve had the whip suspended for various accusations of wrongdoing basically to get it back to encourage them not to also follow suit after Lee Anderson left as well.

Losing your Conservative candidate to the Reform UK party just you know a matter of weeks before that Manchester Mayoral election that is quite a coup for Reform UK. A huge coup for Reform UK and they’re pulling this out of the bag every time.

I think when they first came around people were laughing at them too much, they are getting very serious, they’re not only four points behind the Conservatives in the latest poll I understand. Yes, the polls that they keep creeping up, clearly that is a threat, there’s a stalking horse that I think both main political parties need to be wary of.

Tory Candidate Defection

Well indeed, well I’m going to bring this up with our next guest who joins us in just a moment. Now more than half of parents say they support a complete ban on smartphones for under 16’s. A new report by a charity claims that smartphones and screen use is ruining children’s eyesight and their mental health. Joining me right now is Conservative MP and co-chair of the new conservatives Miriam Cates, good afternoon to you Miriam.

Now while I was reading that out about the mobile phones you were nodding your head then I don’t think children should be allowed smartphones in anyway shape or form, because you can’t control what they’re getting access to. They can be and they are being manipulated the apps that the children in particular like to get to and we know that those apps are having effects on children’s mental health and their behaviours and everything else.

When we grew up there were no mobile phones, it didn’t although I think often it’s the parents, I hate it when I sit on the train on the way home and I see a parent with often with quite young children, the parents on their phone the kids on their iPad.

I’ve got to you know I don’t think you should have ever seen a phone or an iPad before the age of three certainly. There is loads of evidence that this is bad for their brain development also they’re never going to find a book interesting if they see big flashing lights and images and I’m afraid those big flashing images aren’t as useful to you as the ability and the love of reading.

Connectivity is an Issue

But there is this thing meaning we gave our daughter a phone I think when she was in at the final year of primary school and wanted to walk to him from school and again like all parents you get a bit paranoid it’s crazy but like have a phone. We gave her you know kind of an old brick phone. Give them brick phone, but you know when we chat, one of Millie’s phones but we disagree.

We, I don’t know how to do the stuff my husband does. Literally the only thing she could do was make a call or send a text message, no certainly none of the other stuff, Insta or anything like that at 13.

When she was allowed to go on those yes but with private accounts but I have to say most of the time she and her friends they use their phones to call or message each other to find out what time we’re all meeting up later which is healthy.

I think we may have Miriam Cates back on the line and actually be able to hear her, Miriam are you there? I am can you hear me? Oh no I still can’t hear her, I don’t know what is going on let’s take the whole system down, just why don’t we just put her on the phone and she can just speak to me on the phone and then call me and then then we can just do we’re going to persevere we’re going to persevere play bear with us.

I’ll carry on talking, we’re going to do offence I mean the technology is not there to help us, there to blame and therefore we can blame the technology, the mobile on child behaviour my favourite time that that something like this happened is when we were talking to a government minister.

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Manchester Mayoral Tory Moves to Reform UK

Years back on the breakfast show an announcement about how we were going to be, they were going to improve Broadband communication because so many phone lines are poor. Our business, literally we couldn’t make the line work and it was just like what are the odds? One of the odds but this I think a lot of this is an issue.

But there’s a difference certainly with teenagers yeah you know your kid is out and about, if they’re not on their phone for start they don’t get homework, information from school, they don’t know when everyone else is meeting, they don’t know that you don’t get invites to things kids do.

I’m afraid just like adults could say you know they don’t they have to be on their phones. The question is what they’re doing on their phones and for how long. Well exactly and we still met up and knew what our timetables were and all the rest, we didn’t have mobile phones because we talked to each other and you had a paper diary where you had everything.

I know but we’re not back in the Dark Ages back things have moved on.