Luke Graham – Tory MP for Ochil and South Perthshire – Yet Another Political Carpetbagger Imported From England – Exposing Lack of Tory Talent in Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Graham’s of Swindon

Paul Sean Graham was born in the USA in 1958 USA. He married an English girl, Suzanne Elizabeth Graham (nee Wheeler) in 1984. At the time of the marriage he apparently had a son Daniel Aaron Graham b 1975.

15 Dec 1998: The Graham family formed, Amplecom Limited. 50 Fairlawn, Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, SN3 6EU (Change of address notified: 5 September 2016. Dorcan Business Village, Murdock Road, Swindon, United Kingdom, SN3 5HY:)

Paul Sean Graham and Daniel Aaron Graham were the company’s directors. Additionally, director’s assignments were supported by a secretary – Suzanne Elizabeth Graham.

Luke Patrick Graham worked as a director from 19 January 2016 until his resignation date, 30 June 2017. Murdock Road, Dorcan, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5HY, England. The company is still operating.

 

 

 

 

Luke Patrick Graham was born in 1985, in Eldene, Swindon and attended Dorcan Comprehensive School in Swindon where he excelled in drama and art, joining the Dorcan Performing Arts Group. Once asked to comment he said: “Drama got a lot of people engaged at school – many may not have been before and that is why the performing arts group was set up. There was a big gap for extra curriculum clubs at Dorcan at the time and it slowly grew in popularity. It is still going today and it is great to see that it is still strong with lots of people as members.”

Graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2006, with a BA in Economics and Social Policy he remained in Sheffield and took up employment with the University union from July 2006-2007.

He relocated to London late 2007 and took up employment with Tesco PLC where he was initially tasked to finance duties, including production of performance reports. Tesco were expanding into Asia and in 2008 Luke volunteered to move to China to assist with the ill-fated challenge of developing new shopping centres in Beijing before moving on to Thailand where he completed similar duties.

In 2012, he left Tesco and joined a recently formed “Tough Mudder” venture in the USA where he remained for just under 2 years

In 2014, he returned to the UK and took up a short term contract of employment with Marks and Spencer PLC, employed in Marketing & Strategy. Whilst there he was seconded to the, HRH Princes’ Accounting for Sustainability Project.

 

 

 

 

May 2015 General Election: Ochil & South Perthshire

A guddle of a constituency, grouping traditional labour voters in the old mining communities, farmers in the farmlands around Crieff and the rich people of Auchterarder. The seat throws up weird and wonderful results from time to time. But opinion polls suggest that the SNP could win a staggering 55 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats and the prize will fall to Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, an ex-Tory, ex-Labour ‘political butterfly’ who is now one of the SNP’s biggest hopes.

The Tory’s recruited a young Englishman, from Swindon, Luke Graham, to fight for the seat. He had no previous links to the constituency or indeed Scotland and his selection confirmed the lack of talent available to Ruth Davidson and her revitalised party.

He had no place of permanent residence in the constituency making use of an accommodation address satisfying candidacy qualification rules (Clearly no intention of hanging around if defeated).

It was hoped Graham would spring a surprise but this would be dependent on the bulk of the anticipated collapse in the labour vote transferring to his cause, which is not what the forecasting pundits were thinking.

The Tory’s encouraged constituents to vote tactically to defeat the SNP but this was a forlorn hope. There was an 18% + swing to the SNP. But the Tory candidate’s vote held up well.

Party        2010          2015           Change
SNP         27.63%     46.00%       +18.37%
Lab          37.91%     28.43%        -09.48%
Cons       20.49%     20.71%        +00.22%
Lib Dem  11.40%     02.56%         -08.84%

Summary

The Tory polling strategy was to conduct a high visibility public campaign concentrated on blanket canvassing of areas of the constituency where the Tory vote is traditionally strong.

The subsequent gathering of a Tory support figure more than matching that of previous elections proved this political judgement to be sound.

In contrast the SNP stuck to the old ways maintaining a high public profile in towns and larger villages with a higher population density, contacting rural voters by telephone and or promotion leafleting which is impersonal and less effective that doorstepping potential voters.

A campaigning policy weakness that went unnoticed by the SNP in the wake of the landslide victory gained from the collapse of Labour and Lib/Dems.

 

 

 

 

23 Jun 2016: EU Referendum – Britain Stronger In Europe Campaign

Luke Graham, an avid supporter of Britain’s membership of the EU took on the duties of finance director of, Britain Stronger In Europe, dubbed “Project Fear” by sections of the media.

The group unsuccessfully campaigned in favour of the United Kingdom continuing membership of the European Union in the 2016 British referendum. It was launched in London on 12 October 2015 and declared as the official “Remain” campaign for the referendum by the Electoral Commission .

In the referendum, 51.9% voted in favour of leaving the EU, which meant that the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign failed to achieve its goal.

In August 2016 the Electoral Reform Society published a highly critical report on the referendum and called for a review of how future events are run. Contrasting it very unfavourably with the ‘well-informed grassroots’ campaign for Scottish independence, It was described as “dire” with “glaring democratic deficiencies” which left voters bewildered.

The report noted a generally negative response to establishment figures with 29% of voters saying David Cameron (a Remain supporter) made them more likely to vote leave whilst only 14% said he made them want to vote remain.

Looking ahead, the society called for an official organisation to highlight misleading claims and for Ofcom to define the role of broadcasters are expected to play in any future referendum.

 

 

 

 

05 Sep 2016: Tech and the Beancounters

Following his failure in Scotland and in the EU Referendum he made his way home to the more hospitable surroundings of Swindon with the purpose of getting back to work in finance and IT.

Thus motivated he first re-joined his parent’s company in January 2016 then formed a new company (with his father and brother), “Tech & the Beancounters”. Company Address: 50 Fairlawn, Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, SN3 6EU. Provision of financial management services. Directors and Main Shareholders: Luke Graham, Paul Sean Graham, (father) and Daniel Aaron Graham, brother?

 

Liz Smith Landlady

 

 

 

6 Apr 2017: General Election – Ochil & South Perthshire

The UK Prime Minister called a surprise General Election, to be completed on 6 June 2017. The decision to go to the country seeking a new mandate to govern was prompted by opinion polls indicating the Tory Party would command a majority following the election.

The Tory’s in Scotland were also on a high following a good showing (overtaking labour) in the Scottish local elections.

Ruth Davidson was spotted riding a water buffalo across Scotland beating the drum for her party, promoting for all she was worth that the battle for the hearts and minds of Scots would be between the SNP and the Tory’s, the other party’s reduced to fringe voting status.

Key constituencies would be those previously commanding large numbers of Labour voters. Tactical voting would dictate the daily discourse of the media by party’s opposed to the SNP that the Labour vote was up for grabs. But to which political party would Scot’s Labour voters turn.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP, would be defending the seat against a Tory candidate who at 6 May 2017 had not yet been chosen by Ruth Davidson. The SNP majority of around 9,000 votes was thought to be insurmountable and the seat unwinnable. Excepting that a scandal of significant proportion would engulf the SNP candidate which was unlikely. But!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

03 May 2017: Luke Graham Nominated Candidate for Ochil & South Perthshire General Election 8 Jun 2017.

Sponsored by: Alexander Stirling Fraser Mair, 82yo Perthshire, multi-millionaire landowner and entrepreneur, who leases, Stables Cottage, Madderty, Woodend, Crieff PH7 3PA to Elizabeth Smith, MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education.

Luke Graham, the Tory carpetbagger from Swindon notified the Electoral Commission that his place of residence was Stables Cottage. It is assumed therefore that he was temporarily residing with Miss Smith when in the constituency whilst retaining his home address in Swindon.

 

 

 

 

12 May 2017: SNP General Election candidate, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh embroiled in misconduct probe by legal watchdog related to former career as lawyer

The spoiler

The revelation sparked calls from rivals for her immediate suspension and for Nicola Sturgeon to say when she found out about the matter. But in a statement, the SNP said the probe was over “administrative matters” and Ms Ahmed-Sheikh would be “continuing her campaign to be a strong voice for the people of Ochil and South Perthshire”.

Before her election in 2015, she worked with Glasgow law firm Hamilton Burns. The Law Society of Scotland does not comment on whether it is carrying out misconduct probes and would only confirm Ms Ahmed-Sheikh did not renew her annual practising certificate last October.

In a statement released through SNP HQ, Ms Ahmed-Sheikh said: “I’m proud of my 17-year career in the legal profession. I am aware that issues have been raised with the Law Society in relation to administrative matters during my time at my former firm. The Law Society has a duty to uphold professional standards and they must be allowed to do so without prejudice. In the meantime, I’m getting on with fighting this election campaign and seeking re-election to stand up for the people of Ochil and South Perthshire.”

 

 

 

 

8 Jun 2017: Ochil & South Perthshire General Election Campaign

The Labour Party and Lib/Dems tried hard early on but then sunk without trace leaving it a two horse race between the SNP and the Tory’s for the seat.

Graham was all over the constituency like a rash, in his battle bus (land rover) greatly assisted by a strong, brash Tory team of activists, not that many of whom spoke with a local dialect.

His daily schedule was always full of engagements and he milked the media for attention with great success getting them to repeat often and loudly his party dogma slogan, “no indy ref2”.

The Tory’s also constantly encouraged constituents to vote tactically to defeat the SNP

Tasmin’s campaign was rather muted although quietly effective by comparison but she appeared to be pre-occupied dealing with the unwelcome and intrusive media attention given over to her private life. but this was a forlorn hope.

There was a 21.00% swing to the Tory’s. The SNP candidate’s core vote held up well. But Labour and Lib/dem voters transferred their loyalty to the Tory’s.

Party          2010        2015            Change         2017           Change
SNP           27.63%   46.00%        +18.37%        35.30%       -10.70%
Lab            37.91%    28.43%       -09.48%         20.00%       -08.40%
Cons         20.49%    20.71%       +00.22%         41.50%      +20.80%
Lib Dem    11.40%    02.56%       -08.84%          03.20%      +00.60%

Summary: Graham deserved his win. He outclassed all other candidates, conducting doorstepping and canvassing in all weathers. The next election might well bring about a different result since Graham was elected due to the miserable performance of Labour and the Lib/Dems and any improvement next time would see the end of the Tory Party.

 

 

 

 

28 Jun 2017: Westminster: Queen’s Speech — Emergency Service Staffing and Pay

Opposition party’s called on the Government to end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise. The motion was denied by the Tory government. Scottish Tory MP’s including Graham, voted in support of the Westminster government.

Comment: The SNP Scottish government has lifted the pay cap awarding staff at least a 3% pay increase.

 

 

 

29 Jun 2017: Queen’s Speech — Energy Prices — Europe — Tuition Fees — Public Sector Pay — Minimum Wage — Student Grants — 29 Jun 2017

Tory MPs, including Luke Graham, other Scottish MP’s and the DUP voted:

Against an energy price cap.
Against a properly resourced industrial strategy.
Against maintaining the benefits of the European Single Market and Customs Union.
Against maintaining the existing rights of EU nationals living in the UK and EU nationals living in the EU.
Against increased funding of public services.
Against scrapping university tuition fees.
Against restoring Education Maintenance Allowance, maintenance grants and nurses’ bursaries.
Against ending the public sector pay cap.
Against increasing the minimum wage.

Comment: Brutal measures from a government determined to continue with the imposition of harsh austerity measures, rewarding the rich minority of society whilst destroying the will to live amongst the many.

 

 

 

 

7 Jul 2017: Westminster Parliamentary Session: Register of Members’ Financial Interests – Luke Graham, (Ochil and South Perthshire)

Graham declared his financial interests indicating he would be in receipt of occasional travel and associated expenses from the companies with which he retained an interest.

1. Shareholdings: over 15% of issued share capital Tech & the Beancounters Ltd; accounting and finance (a subsidiary of Amplecom Ltd). (Registered 04 July 2017)

2. Miscellaneous Unpaid director of Tech & the Beancounters Ltd. I will receive occasional travel and associated expenses. (Registered 04 July 2017)

3. Unpaid adviser to the Finance and Resource Committee of Sheffield Union. (Registered 04 July 2017)

4. Until 30 June 2017, Director of Amplecom Ltd, 16 Dorcan Business Village, Murdock Road, Swindon, Wiltshire SN3 5HY. No payments since my Election. (Registered 06 July 2017)

 

 

 

10 Jul 2017: Telecomms Bill (England) Luke Graham Contributes to the Debate

My hon. Friend will agree that the age disparity between young and old can be bridged through the internet and through proper broadband and mobile connections, particularly in rural constituencies and especially those in Scotland.

Although some powers have been devolved—unfortunately no SNP Members are here tonight to speak on such an important issue—I hope that my hon. Friend and the Minister will recognise the important role that Westminster can play in all the nations of the UK by giving funding and offering direction for broadband and mobile.

Intervention by Lindsay Hoyle Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Panel of Chairs. Order!!

Mr Graham. This Bill is for England and Wales, not for Scotland. So we need to deal with England and Wales and not drift too far

Comment: Dear! Dear! Luke. That is the reason no SNP members were present at the debate.

 

 

 

19 Jul 2017: Westminster Speech by Luke Graham – Armed Forces (19 Jul 2017)

On the positives, does the hon. Gentleman recognise the contribution of our cadet training forces across the United Kingdom, such as the 383 Alloa Air Training Corps in my constituency, and that we are investing in youth, which will help supply the manpower for our forces in the future?

Comment; Well then now we know the agenda. More young men and women to be recruited to be led by Donkey’s. Enough already I say!!!

 

 

 

31 Jul 2017: Luke Graham MP’s Office Opening in Alloa

Luke Graham opened a constituency office at 32 Primrose Street Alloa.

 

 

 

11 Sep 2017: Westminster Debates – European Union Integration

There have been votes in Parliament on the degree of the UK’s integration with the European Union. Specific matters voted on include the UK’s opt out from the European Union Police and Criminal Justice Measures and the establishment of a European Union External Action Service. Luke Graham consistently voted against more EU integration.

Remember, Graham is the chappie who took on the role of Finance Director of the “Britain Stronger In Europe Campaign.” He claimed to be a “die hard” Europhile. He speaks with forked tongue methinks

11 Sep 2017: Luke Graham voted to end the supremacy of EU law in UK law; to convert EU law into domestic law on the UK’s exit from the European Union and to give ministers the power to correct deficiencies in retained EU law.

11 Sep 2017: Luke Graham voted to end the supremacy of EU law in UK law; to convert EU law into domestic law on the UK’s exit from the European Union and to give ministers the power to correct deficiencies in retained EU law.

14 Nov 2017: Luke Graham voted to end the supremacy of EU law in domestic law and to remove the mechanism which enables the flow of new EU law into UK law.

14 Nov 2017: Luke Graham voted not to require courts or tribunals to have regard to anything done on or after exit day by the European Court, another EU entity or the EU.

21 Nov 2017: Luke Graham voted against requiring the UK Government to report on changes to EU legislation which form part of UK law, and against requiring the Government to consider adopting such changes to ensure that the rights of workers and employees in the UK are no less favourable than they would have been had the UK remained a member of the EU or EEA.

21 Nov 2017: Luke Graham voted against the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights remaining part of UK law on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

21 Nov 2017: Luke Graham voted against retaining general principles of EU law derived from EU treaties, direct EU legislation and EU directives, as part of UK law after the UK leaves the EU, and voted to only retain those general principles deriving from European Court [of justice] case law.

 

 

 

25 October 2017: Prime Ministers Questions – Luke Graham asks a Loaded Question

As of 2016, 17% of premises in Scotland were without superfast broadband, compared with just 11% for the UK as a whole. Will my right hon. Friend join me in calling on the Scottish Government to do more and to engage constructively with Departments here in Westminster to deliver this crucial service to communities in Scotland?

Mrs May: I say to my hon. Friend that we all recognise the importance of broadband and of fast broadband being available to people in our constituencies. He is absolutely right—the Members of the Scottish National party come down here and spend a lot of time talking about powers for the Scottish Government, but actually it is time that the Scottish Government got on with using their powers for the benefit of the people in Scotland.

Comment: Telecomms and broadband roll-out is not a delegated matter. It is for the Westminster government to decide and implement policy.

 

 

 

 

14 Sep 2017: Point of contact with Ochil and South Perthshire MP unveiled

Recently elected MP Luke Graham has opened a constituency office in Crieff. Located at 2 Comrie Street, the new office will give residents and business owners direct contact with their Conservative MP.

 

 

 

15 Nov 2017: Luke Graham and his Tory MP Colleagues Claim credit for sorting out the VAT charge on the Scottish Police Force

The Scottish government, with the support of the Tory Party merged its eight forces into a single body. HMRC indicated that the change would necessitate a change in VAT qualification since the new body would report direct to the Scottish Government which was not registered for VAT.

The SNP made representations over nearly 3 years, to the appropriate persons within HMRC and Tory government ministers at Westminster asking that a minor change be made to the legislation so that the Scottish Police force would not be disadvantaged over all other police bodies in other parts of the UK. Scotland’s plea for justice was rejected out of hand time and time again.

Then, late 2017 the Chancellor finally agreed the ruling was unfair and it was withdrawn, (but not backdated). The Westminster government broadcast the news through the usual media outlets praising the lobbying skills of the new group of Scottish Tory MP’s who had been sent to Westminster at the 2017 General Election. Needless to say Scot’s were outraged that their elected government requests had been studiously ignored over years, by the Tory government in Westminster. The matter also raised questions about the poor negotiating skills of David Mundell, the Scottish Tory Secretary of State for Scotland who had apparently done nothing to pursue the matter before the intervention of the little group of new blood Tory MP’s that had recently joined him at Westminster. An uninspiring lot of opportunists !!!

Luke Graham tweeted: “Great to hear PM recognise it is Scot Tory MPs representing Scot Police & Fire on VAT, not SNP who caused charge first place!”

Comment: But the 2011 Tory Mainfesto Committed the Party to Reforming the Police Forces in Scotland Thereby incurring the Vat Charge. An extract:

“Scottish Conservatives are committed to maintaining Police numbers over the next Parliament and in order to ensure we can achieve this at a time when the public sector has to make savings, we will merge Scotland’s eight police forces into one.”

 

 

 

12 Dec 2017: Westminster – The “Meaningful Vote” amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill

The Tory Government was defeated after the House of Commons voted in favour of former Attorney General Dominic Grieve’s Amendment 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – to amend Clause 9 of the Bill to require the final Brexit deal with the EU to be approved by statute passed by Parliament – by a majority of just 4.

309 MPs voted for the Amendment, (including 12 Conservatives who defied the whip to oppose it.) 247 Labour MPs, 34 SNP MPs, 12 Lib Dem MPs, along with 4 MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Green MP and one Independent.

305 MPs voted against the Amendment, including 295 Conservatives (all Scottish MP’s). 2 Labour MPs (disobeying their whip to back the Amendment) and all 10 DUP MPs.

Comment: Graham, the Europhile, has betrayed the 12 Tory MP’s brave enough to stand up to the bigoted anti EU policies of the Tory government

 

 

 

 

13 Dec 2017: Luke Graham’s Performance in the commons at Westminster

He has spoken in debates on 126 occasions which is very high.
He has voted 65 times after debates. Never once against the Tory government

 

 

 

Assessment

A very capable young man who has adapted to politics well. He is always ready to promote himself in the media. Interested in acquiring a good working knowledge of constituency matters and in this respect he has ensured his profile is always to the fore through his twitter and Facebook pages.

His stay in the constituency, long term is not assured and, so far as can be ascertained he lodges at the home of Liz Smith Tory MSP at the weekends, when he returns to Scotland from Westminster to complete constituency surgeries etc.

His permanent address is still listed as being in Swindon, with his Dad and Mum and near to his business interests, declared to Parliament.

Getting inside his mind is impossible in normal circumstances but here is a short glimpse:

Swindon is never too far away in his mind and he often reminisces about his time in the town and at Dorcan. Reflecting on his short time in Scotland he said: “some nationalists have used the fact I was born in Swindon against me, but, on the whole it has been good. I’m proud of where I come from and I think people see that. I have always felt very strongly about being British and my parents still live in Swindon so when I go to see them, I feel like I’m going home.”

Videos of interest: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PdgBswuYGk) and (https://ieondemand.com/presentations/rolling-forecasting-for-the-future)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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