Although the Conservatives can celebrate an impressive victory in Copeland last night, over in Stoke things look less rosy for the party. Despite Theresa May’s visit to Stoke-on-Trent this week, the Tory candidate Jack Brereton finished third, 79 votes behind Paul Nuttall.
To make matters worse for Brereton, he appears to have made little impression with Conservative MPs. During This Week‘s by-election coverage, Andrew Neil asked Matt Hancock to name the Stoke candidate to little avail:
‘Um… I didn’t meet him because I didn’t go… Phil Broughton?’
"What's the name of your candidate in Stoke?" asks @afneil
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) February 24, 2017
Given that Phil Broughton is the name of a Ukip politician, Hancock would have been better saying nothing…