New Tory Party Chairman defends decision to appoint controversial MP Lee Anderson as his deputy

8 February 2023, 09:26 | Updated: 9 February 2023, 12:41

Nick Ferrari grills Greg Hands after Lee Anderson appointment as Tory Party deputy chairman

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

New Tory Chairman defends the decision to appoint controversial MP Lee Anderson as his deputy.

New Conservative chairman Greg Hands was pressed by Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC on whether he agreed with previous remarks by new deputy chairman Lee Anderson.

Mr Anderson has been the member for Ashfield since 2019. He was nicknamed "30p Lee" by fellow backbenchers for his spendthrift advice during the cost of living crisis.

Anderson's promotion came as Rishi Sunak sought to give his government a facelift, creating four new government departments and replacing ex-party chairman Nadhim Zahawi with Greg Hands.

Mr Anderson has previously suggested people in the UK use food banks because they "cannot cook properly" and "cannot budget", with other outspoken remarks including that "nuisance" council tenants should be forced to live in tents.

Watch: Andrew Marr: Rishi Sunak's 'kerfuffle reshuffle' will cause a lot of commotion for little tangible change

Read more: Rishi Sunak appoints firebrand Red Wall MP Lee Anderson deputy party chairman in mini-reshuffle

Just last week Mr Anderson compared the government to the "band on the Titanic" in a heated WhatsApp exchange about small boat crossings.

Mr Hands declined to say whether he backed some of Mr Anderson's past comments, but told LBC he had not "studied every single pronouncement made by Conservative backbenchers".

He said he would not comment on things that had been said in the past, but was looking forward to working with Mr Anderson.

Asked if he or the party endorsed those various views, he said: "In terms of things that may or may not have been said in the past, I'm don't have encyclopaedic knowledge of what everybody has ever said in the past."

Tory MP Ben Bradley says he wants to scrap government departments.

Business Secretary Grant Shapps will now be Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary, while ex-international trade secretary Kemi Badenoch will now lead a larger Department for Business and Trade.

Ex-Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan moves from her current role to a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Lucy Frazer joins the Cabinet with the culture brief.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Dame Esther Rantzen has told LBC why she is campaigning to change the law on assisted dying

‘Dogs get treated better than humans’, Esther Rantzen says, as TV legend demands assisted dying law change

Rishi Sunak (l) puts on a brave face to the Tories by-election defeats on a visit to Harlow. New Kingswood MP Damien Egan (top r) and Wellingborough MP Gem Kitchen (bottom r)

Rishi Sunak begs frustrated Tories 'not to put Starmer in power' after party suffers double by-election disaster

New Labour MPs Damien Egan and Gen Kitchen

'They are not very good results': Tory chairman admits after double by-election drubbings as MPs call for tax cuts

The peer was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'It was known yesterday' Azhar Ali had made more Israel conspiracy theory comments, peer tells LBC

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, a senior anti-fraud officer has said.

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, senior anti-fraud officer tells LBC

The vessel is due to lead the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, involving more than 40 vessels, after its sister ship was forced to cancel its deployment because of an 'issue' with its propeller shaft.

HMS Prince of Wales docked while it should be 'defending our interests abroad', Minister brands it 'not acceptable'

Lord Rose took aim at government quangos in the wake of the Post Office scandal

'They grow like multi-headed hydras': Asda chairman takes aim at government quangos after Post Office scandal

Exclusive
Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

Dentists who set up practice in areas of England with poor access to NHS care will be offered a £20,000 bonus

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stumped on exact figure for new dentists as ministers plan £20,000 ‘golden hello’

When asked by Nick to sum up the Government in one word, Ms Keegan said: "Delivering."

Gillian Keegan rates the Government using Ofsted descriptions - and it's not 'Outstanding'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules', the Housing Minister told LBC

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules'

Iceland CEO on his support for Labour after defecting from the Tories.

'The Tories have failed the nation': Iceland CEO and former Tory donor throws support behind Labour

The policing minister has said first-time offenders for knife crime will not be jailed.

No plans to jail first-time knife offenders despite desperate pleas of Nottingham attack victim's family

Exclusive
US voters can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden

'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work

Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari