The main contenders for the battle of Snozzle & NQY have been officially declared and as expected it’s a rerun of the 2015 election with Stephen Gilbert aiming to win back the seat he lost to Steve Double who took the seat for the Conservatives in 2015.
With Phil Hutty’s nomination also now confirmed it will make 4 out of Cornwall’s 6 constituencies a rematch of the 2015 general election. However, Mr Gilbert has only stepped in at this moment as local Councillor Joanna Kenny, who had been chosen as an interim parliamentary candidate for the seat, has stood aside following an injury for Stephen to run again.
That leaves only the Camborne /Redruth candidate for the Liberal Democrats to be announced and that is expected sometime over the bank holiday weekend.
Steve Double MP said today “I am delighted to confirm my re-selection to stand as the Conservative candidate for the St Austell and Newquay Parliamentary Seat at the upcoming General Election, on Thursday 8th June. The local Party met yesterday evening and I am very grateful and humbled that they have once again put their faith in me to be the local candidate.
I want to continue to be your strong voice in Parliament and work with Theresa May to deliver on the referendum decision.
This General Election is all about the continued Brexit process and who the Country wants to be leading these crucial negotiations.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has triggered Article 50. There is no going back.
Over the past year we have seen the opponents of Brexit and the democratic decision taken by the British people, repeatedly try to delay or water down the Brexit process.
62% of voters in our constituency voted to leave the EU and I will be committed to deliver on your decision and work with the Prime Minister to get a good deal for Cornwall.
Being your MP, for the place where I was born and raised and have lived and worked in my whole life, and representing you in Parliament these past two years, has been the greatest honour of my life. I want to continue the work I have started and deliver for this area”
However much of Mr Double’s short time in office so far has been overshadowed by revelations of an extra-marital affair in June 2016 with Sarah Bunt, a 26 year old, also married, constituency worker that was fodder for the national tabloids. Mr Double had used his ex-pastor Evangelical Christian credentials to get elected including his, now much ridiculed ““Strong families are the basis of a strong society.”
Former MP Stephen Gilbert chose yesterday to confirm that he will contest the seat for the Liberal Democrats in the snap election.
Stephen said: “It is already clear from the polls that this election won’t change our Government, but this is a chance for St Austell & Newquay to change our MP.”
“For two years now I’ve watched as our MP fails to live up to his promises and fails to deliver for the people of our community. He said he would be able to do wonders, but what have we got to show for it? He’s failed and now we have a chance to vote for change.”
Gilbert served as the MP for St Austell & Newquay from 2010 to 2015 and has previously been a Councillor in the local area. He lives in St Austell and is from a clay-mining family from Nanpean.
“The Conservatives want you to think the main debate is about Brexit but that decision has already been made. We need to move on. There are critical local issues that need a strong, independent, campaigning MP. The question for us all is whether we want another of Theresa May’s poodles as our local MP, or a campaigning MP who will stand up to the government when it starts making cuts and say enough is enough – this is a straight choice for the voter.”
Over the next six weeks Stephen will be knocking on doors, calling constituents and reaching out to the public on social media to get his message across. Stephen added, “People know me, and they know I can do the job because I have done it before. St Austell and Newquay needs a local MP to stand up for local issues, that is what it is all about.”
“I have a record of delivering for people in St Austell & Newquay and this election is about electing a hardworking local MP who will make sure that there is effective opposition to the Government in Westminster and will speak up for local people.”
Stephen added: “We all know that only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives in Cornwall and the result in 2015 should remove any doubt. In Cornwall a vote for Labour, the Greens, or Mebyon Kernow helps the Conservatives.”
“I am appealing directly to everyone who does not want to give the Tories a blank cheque for the next five years – please lend me your vote this time and let’s stop them.