A senior Tory MP revealed today he will refuse to take part in ‘unconscious bias’ training for MPs arranged in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.
Ben Bradley, a vice-chairman of the party under Theresa May, lashed out at a ‘metropolitan groupthink that is intolerant to any diversity of views’ and said he would not take part.
Parliament has paid Challenge Consultancy £7,000 to design a course on ‘unconscious bias’ for MPs. In total the company, which has also trained BBC staff, has also raked in nearly £800,000 from Parliament for conduct lessons that will include training on words they should avoid and ‘woke-friendly history’.
The consultancy uses a giant blue puppet called UB as part of its unconscious bias training.
Mr Bradley, 30, the MP for Mansfield, accused the firm of ‘profiteering’ and claimed working class ‘core’ Tory voters in his Nottinghamshire constituency and ‘Red Wall’ former Labour seats won by the Tories in December’s election ‘abhor the antics of BLM, of Extinction Rebellion and the like telling them what they should think’.
Ben Bradley, a vice-chairman of the party under Theresa May, lashed out at a ‘metropolitan ”groupthink” that is intolerant to any diversity of views’ and said he would not take part
Femi Otitoju with ‘UB’ puppet, that is said to be used in the ‘unconscious bias’ training given to MPs in a course designed by Challenge Consultancy
London and other major cities have been struck by several waves of BLM protests in the wake of high profile murders in the US
‘They know their own minds. It’s that kind of conflict with the metropolitan bubble where our institutions largely exist that lead us to Brexit, too. Woke ideology seems pretty deeply embedded at this point,’ he told the Conservative Home website.
‘In my view we should be unabashed in our cultural conservatism, sticking up for free speech and the right to ‘make my own bloody mind up, thank you very much’, and stepping in to block this ‘unconscious bias’ nonsense.
‘I, for one, will not be taking it, and I’d call on my colleagues to take the same stand. Maybe we can have a good go at some bigger reforms too. After all, this is a Conservative Government!
Research published in February this year by parliament’s minority workplace network Parlireach reported cases of senior managers getting the names of BAME staff wrong or of ‘mixing them up with other BAME colleagues’.
Parlireach also found that BAME staff were more likely to be stopped by security guards and asked to show their security pass.
The decision to provide unconscious bias training to MPs comes after Sir Keir Starmer said in July that it was being introduced for all Labour staff.
Sir Keir said at the time that he was ‘going to lead from the top on this and do that training first’.
Speaking amid widespread Black Lives Matter protests, the Labour leader said he believed ‘everybody should have unconscious bias training’ and that ‘it is important’.
Mr Bradlery added: ‘Nobody doubts that racism exists and can make life more challenging for some people. Nor that sexism exists, ageism and discrimination across a whole spectrum.
‘That much is true. What I doubt here is that these things are somehow buried deep in all of our subconscious, steering us at every turn, and that with the help of some genius ‘educator’ I can be cured of my unseen evil.
Mr Bradley claimed working class ‘core’ Tory voters ‘abhor the antics of BLM, of Extinction Rebellion and the like telling them what they should think’
‘I’m yet to see the evidence of it achieving a great deal, apart from big profits for the training company.’
It is not the first controversial remark Mr Bradley, who was first elected in 2017, has made.
In 2018 it was revealed he suggested men on benefits should get a vasectomy and stop relying on the welfare state to support their children.
Days after being made Theresa May’s Youth Tzar it was revealed he said Britain would drown ‘in a vast sea of unemployed wasters’ if the poorest families had too many children.
And he said people on benefits must take responsibility for their lives and stop having babies if they cannot afford to support them.
He made the controversial remarks in a controversial and now deleted blog post written in 2012 in which he backed Tory reforms to bring in a benefits cap.
It was also revealed he urged police to use water canon to play ‘splat the chav’ during the 2011 race riots.
He apologised for the comments after they surfaced online, saying he has ‘matured’ over the previous six years.
In February the same year he was forced to say sorry to Jeremy Corbyn and pay an estimated £35,000 after defaming the then Labour leader.
He claimed the leftwinger ‘sold British secrets to communist spies’ after allegations over Mr Corbyn’s contact with a Czech intelligence agent in the 1980s.
But he was later forced to apologise and accepted the accusation – which he made in a tweet – was ‘wholly untrue’.
His own tweet admitting his error notched up 38,000 retweets in less than 24 hours.