England's glory. Photo: Getty Images
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What's the deal with Tories and bricks?

If there's one thing a Conservative loves, it's a brick. Or maybe a bit of scaffolding.

What's the deal with the Tories and bricks?

The week before the party conference in Birmingham saw education secretary Nicky Morgan appearing in a photoshoot straight out of The Thick Of It, proudly holding a "brick of aspiration":

Then Boris Johnson took a diversion on the way to conference, stopping in at Ibstock Brick in Staffordshire to admire some bricks being produced for new homes in London.

It was the least romantic remake of Ghost imaginable:

Boris then waved a brick around during his speech the next day, emphasising that love 'twixt man and brick was nothing to be ashamed of:


Photo: Getty Images

And, as many observers have noted, when there's a chance to don a hard hat and a high-visibility vest, it's impossible to get Gideon not to take it - especially when there's a chance to fondle some big bits of wood:


Photo: Getty Images

The PM and his chancellor even took some time out yesterday to visit the ongoing construction work at Birmingham's New Street Station, concrete and scaffolding and all:

This Mole can't help but notice that the Tory love of construction is in stark contrast to the party's record on the issue over the last few years. Maybe they just love bricks and mortar too much to go without handling them on a regular basis.

Which is fine, of course. But we wonder.

I'm a mole, innit.

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Andy Burnham's full speech on attack: "Manchester is waking up to the most difficult of dawns"

"We are grieving today, but we are strong."

Following Monday night's terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, newly elected mayor of the city Andy Burnham, gave a speech outside Manchester Town Hall on Tuesday morning, the full text of which is below: 

After our darkest of nights, Manchester is today waking up to the most difficult of dawns. 

It’s hard to believe what has happened here in the last few hours and to put into words the shock, anger and hurt that we feel today.

These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorise and kill.

This was an evil act. Our first thoughts are with the families of those killed and injured. And we will do whatever we can to support them.

We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual as far as possible in our great city.

I want to thank the hundreds of police, fire and ambulance staff who worked throughout the night in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

We have had messages of support from cities around the country and across the world, and we want to thank them for that.

But lastly I wanted to thank the people of Manchester. Even in the minute after the attack, they opened their doors to strangers and drove them away from danger.

They gave the best possible immediate response to those who seek to divide us and it will be that spirit of Manchester that will prevail and hold us together.

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