12 Of New Tory Deputy Chair Jonathan Gullis's Most Eyebrow-Raising Moments

The Red Wall MP is known for his rather outspoken approach.
Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, Jonathan Gullis, was just promoted to the deputy chair for the entire party.
Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, Jonathan Gullis, was just promoted to the deputy chair for the entire party.
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images

Jonathan Gullis has been appointed as the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman following Lee Anderson’s resignation earlier this year.

The MP for Stoke-on-Trent, known for his loyalty to Boris Johnson, just got the promotion amid a government reshuffle, after two ministers quit the government.

Perceived as an outspoken red wall MP, – much like his predecessor who has since defected to Reform UK – Gullis definitely has a way with words.

Although he has mostly been a backbencher for the last five years – aside from a short stint as the schools minister under Liz Truss – he has repeatedly made headlines with his comments on Covid, migration and schools.

Here’s a look at all the times he has caused a stir since getting into parliament in 2019....

1. Claiming the Tories have made people better off

The Tory MP stood up in the Commons and listed all of the ways the government has made the public better off earlier this month.

Apparently he forgot that we were in a recession in the latter half of 2023 and that the cost of living crisis is ongoing.

2. Trying to defend Tory wipeout at local elections

Last May, when the Conservatives were facing an abysmal set of results, Gullis refused to accept that this was a sign voters were rejecting PM Rishi Sunak.

Surrounded by voters cheering for Labour, Tory MP told the Sky News reporter: “I simply don’t buy that.”

He claimed “All the pollsters were saying that the Conservatives were expecting quite big losses across the country, we know that ultimately obviously it’s been challenging because we’re 15, 16 points behind in national polls.

“We’ve clawed that back, quite a lot, thanks to Rishi Sunak. Still Rishi Sunak delivering on those pledges.”

Sunak has only delivered on one of his five pledges from 2023, halving inflation.

3. Arguing with the ‘Twitterati’ and Gary Lineker

Last March, Gullis told Channel 4 News, that he did not mind upsetting the “Twitterati”.

He added: “Let’s be clear, when I talk about upsetting people I’m talking about the Twitterati, the Wokerati of North Islington, those champagne socialists who pontificate all day.

“Those are the people I don’t care upsetting, because those are the people who want to call people up here racist bigots, Nazis, like Gary Lineker has done.”

He was alluding to comments Lineker made about the government plans to stop migrant boats crossing the English Channel.

Lineker said the Tory MP’s comment were “outrageous and dangerously provocative”, and the Match of the Day presenter said he has never called Red Wall voters “Nazis”.

4. Name-calling renters

Last March, Gullis welcomed the government’s controversial new eviction powers which will help landlords remove nuisance neighbours or those who fall behind on their rent.

He told TalkTV: “When you’ve got a couple of scrotes who need kicking out, then obviously we’ll be able to do that much quicker and that will make a big difference to local communities.”

5. Name-calling his own constituents

Gullis went on a bizarre rant against the residents of Stoke-on-Trent North last January, in a strange social media video.

Listing all the areas which needed greater security, he said: “In places like Smallthorne where we sadly see scumbags who fly-tip their filth in our community.

″In Cobridge where scrotes deal and shoot up their drugs wreaking havoc on our community.

″And in Turnstall where savages and their anti-social behaviour causes mayhem for local businesses and local people.″

6. Name-calling teaching union leaders

Gullis, a former teacher and representative of the teaching union NASUWT, slammed the leaders of the National Education Union last January.

He attacked the joint NEU general secretaries Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted last January, telling TalkTV: ″Commie Courtney and Bolshevik Bousted have been working hard, desperately getting their strike that they’ve been so keen for because they’re Labour Party members, they’re Labour Party agitators who want to make sure they bring the Conservative government, and get an early general election.”

7. Calling out Bishops

After senior Church of England bishops – including the archbishops of Canterbury and York – criticised the Rwanda deportation plan for lacking morality, Gullis went on the attack.

Hitting out at the bishops while speaking to BBC Radio 4, he said: “I sadly think that there are too many people using the pulpit to preach from.”

8. Criticising missing migrant children

Last January, Gullis was slammed for his response to migrant children who went missing from a hotel in Brighton, run by the Home Office.

When a Labour MP raised the issue at prime minister’s questions in the Commons, Gullis heckled her and said: “Well, they shouldn’t have come here illegally.”

9. Defending the Rwanda scheme from the ‘woke’

In May 2022, when the government was trying to get migrants to board a plane to Rwanda, Gullis criticised the legal efforts to stop the scheme from going ahead.

Speaking in the Commons, he claimed his constituents were flabbergasted that the woke, wet and wobbly lot opposite are on the side of their lefty woke warriors, who are making sure these rapists and paedophiles remain in this United Kingdom, rather than standing up for the British people and their safety.”

Former PM Boris Johnson with Gullis
Former PM Boris Johnson with Gullis
WPA Pool via Getty Images

10. Attacking the ‘woke agenda’

In October 2020, Gullis wrote on Facebook described the National Maritime Museum’s decision to research the Royal Navy’s links to slavery was “leftwing ideological nonsense”.

In November 2020 also signed a letter to The Telegraph from the ‘Common Sense Group’ of Tory MPs, attacking the supposed “woke agenda” of the National Trust.

The MPs were complaining about the institution’s decision to look into the links between colonialism and properties now belonging to the Trust.

11. Declaring that ‘white privilege’ is an extremist phrase

In October 2021, Gullis said people using this phrase should be reported to the Home Office’s counter-terror programme.

During the same fringe meeting of that year’s Conservative Party conference, he said that teachers found criticising the Tories should be sacked.

According to a recording obtained by the Independent, he said: “It’s racist to actually suggest everyone who’s white somehow is riddled with privilege.”

12. Complaining of the reports around Covid deaths

In April 2020, he claimed on X (formerly Twitter) that the media had a “sick obsession” with the number of deaths during the Covid pandemic – he later apologised for his “poor choice of words” and deleted his post.

Two years later, he also went viral for not wearing a mask in the Commons chamber when it was packed.


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