What do we know about the EDDC Tory candidate?

He failed to be selected for Bristol North West last year when he was described rather differently than in today’s press release (see earlier post below):

“Simon Jupp: Currently Special Adviser to Tim Bowles, the elected Mayor of the West of England [today described as a special adviser to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab but see further on]. Jupp is a former journalist, having worked as a News Editor for ITV and as a BBC Radio Presenter. He is also a former press adviser and Head of Broadcast for the Conservative Party.”

Selection news: Shortlist for Bristol North West; Tall selected in Bath

He thinks many MPs are ignorant:

He was in and around Bath complaining about police cuts when he was on the Bristol South West short list:


He’s listed as working for Simon Clarke MP on 5 November 2019 not Dominic Raab (Simon Clarke works at the Treasury)

Click to access register.pdf

So, a little confused: has worked for or works for: Tim Bowles, Simon Clarke or Dominic Raab.

Busy man!

Plymouth-born ex-DJ Tory assistant to Swire pal Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab selected to fight East Devon seat

Well, that’s a bit of a surprise! Not a single local Tory seen fit to fight the seat! Or maybe courageous enough to fight it.

Instead another male career politico from outside the area who has apparently been trying to find a seat for several years.


“Conservatives in East Devon have finally selected the man (and it is another man: no female has ever represented East Devon, or before that, the Honiton seat, as it was called) whom they want to take over from Sir Hugo Swire at next month’s general election.

It’s been two months since Sir Hugo announced his intention to step down, but the Tories seemed in no hurry to select their candidate.

Now they’ve done so and it’s a Devon boy. Thirty-four year old Simon Jupp is currently a special advisor to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, a job he took this summer which then prevented him hosting programmes on Radio Exe, where he’d been an occasional freelance presenter. Mr Jupp has also been a reporter for ITV and a full-time presenter on the commercial radio station in his home city, Radio Plymouth.

But politics has been one of his long-standing interests and he has been trying to find a seat for some years. Now he’s landed what would normally be considered as one of the safest for the Conservatives, and indeed has rarely been anything other than true blue. You have to go back to 1886 to find a Liberal sitting pretty there and that’s only because the Conservatives didn’t bother putting anyone forward. There wasn’t even a vote. Other than a period in the 1930s when the Unionists represented the seat (which is much the same thing as today’s Conservative and Unionist party), it’s been Tory ever since.

But that could change with the current political situation. East Devon was a marginal Leave constituency in the 2016 referendum. Like Sir Hugo Swire, Mr Jupp is a remainer. He’s since said he thinks that democracy is best served if the UK leaves the EU as the electorate chose at the time. In the last three general elections, Labour haven’t pulled in much more than 10 per cent of the vote, whilst in the last election, the Lib Dem lost her deposit and the Greens didn’t stand.

However it’s the challenge from independent Claire Wright that could be Mr Jupp’s biggest thorn. Ms Wright, who represents the Otter Valley on Devon County Council, will be fighting her third general election. As with her new Tory rival, she has remainer instincts and in 2017 one in three East Devon votes put their cross against her name. She has the advantage of having built her profile in the constituency. Although Devon born and bred, Mr Jupp has been a political professional for some years and has spent much of this year stalking the corridors of Westminster and Whitehall. With an anti-establishment edge to the election, that may not count in his favour.

Unlike his two Conservative predecessors, Sir Hugo Swire and Sir Peter Emery, Mr Jupp has not been drafted into Devon from elsewhere. Educated in the state system, including at Shaugh Priory Primary School in Plymouth, he became a radio presenter rather thing to university. His family live in Devon.”


Devon County Council projected overspend (ie underfund) – £32 million

The budget position in the report outlines:

Adult Care and Health services are forecast to overspend by £6.7m

Adult Care Operations is forecasting to overspend by £6.6m, primarily the result of residential and nursing price and volume pressures, as client numbers are 125 higher than budgeted for

Adult Commissioning and Health is forecast to underspend by £347,000

Mental Health is forecasting an overspend of £412,000, with pressures being experienced from higher client numbers than the budgeted level

Children’s services are forecasting an overspending of £6.6m.

Children’s Social Care is forecast to overspend by £4.4m.
The total overspending on children’s placements is forecast to be £1.3m due to a lack of sufficiency in the residential market is leading to young people being placed in alternative settings with high cost support packages

Disabled Children’s Services are forecast to overspend by just under £1.9m, although a significant proportion of this forecast is associated with one exceptionally high cost placement.

The Atkinson Secure Children’s Home is forecasting an overspend of £203,000 due to recruitment and retention issues at the Home having had an adverse impact upon occupancy levels

The non-Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) element of Education and Learning is forecasting an overspend of £2.3m

The DSG High Needs Block, Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is forecasting a funding shortfall of £18.7m for the current financial year. There have been a further 33 placements since month 4 within Independent Special Schools, taking the average projection for the year to 568 placements compared to a budgeted level of 430.

Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste is forecasting an underspend of £402,000

Highways maintenance, Network Management, Street Lighting and Infrastructure Development are forecasting an overspend of £545,000, primarily the result of expected income not being generated until the start of 2020/21

Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (COPHEP) are forecasting a small underspend of £4,000

Corporate Services are forecasting an overspend of £2.3m
Non- service items are forecast to underspend by £9.9m”


6th formers not allowed near PM on school visit

“He is a prime minister said by supporters to be relishing the campaign trail and enjoying the opportunity to meet the public.

But not, it seems, if the public in question are Nottinghamshire sixth form students.

Boris Johnson was accused of avoiding teenagers on Friday after hundreds of youngsters were reportedly confined to classrooms and a common room during his visit to their school.

The year 12 and 13 pupils were kept away from the Old Etonian as he and his entourage spent 40 minutes at George Spencer Academy in Stapleford. …”


“Most schools in England worse off next year than in 2015, study says”

“Schools in the vast majority of constituencies in England will be worse off next year than they were in 2015, despite the Conservatives’ promise of additional funding, according to research.

The National Education Union (NEU) said just 18 out of 533 constituencies would receive real terms per pupil funding increases next April, compared with 2015, even with the extra £2.6bn announced by Boris Johnson. Of those, 13 are Conservative-held and include Jacob Rees-Mogg’s North East Somerset constituency.

With education a key battleground in the general election campaign, the NEU, the UK’s largest education union, has drawn up what it calls a constituencies league table for school funding to expose “the deep damage” being done to England’s schools. It concludes that schools in some of the most deprived areas will suffer increased budget pressures and cuts next year, despite the prime minister’s promises. …”


Indie councillor Martin Shaw makes plea to East Devon Lib Dems in Guardian letters page

“It is ironic that Unite to Remain, founded by Heidi Allen when she was an Independent MP, has become a three-way deal between the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Plaid Cymru, excluding the only grassroots pro-remain independent with a chance of winning: Claire Wright in East Devon.

Claire won more than 21,000 votes (35%) in 2017 to the Tories’ 29,000, while the Lib Dems gained less than 1,500. Independents also won by far the largest share of votes and seats in this year’s council elections.

Can I appeal to the Liberal Democrats, who are admirably standing down for other independents like Dominic Grieve, to consider withdrawing their candidate so as to help East Devon get a pro-European MP?

Martin Shaw
Independent county councillor, Devon’

Owl says: Vote Lib Dem or Labour in East Devon – get Tory.

Very rich man who was introduced to Tory politics by Swire says don’t vote Tory – destroy the party

“A prominent art historian and former Conservative adviser has cut ties with the Tories, saying that it is time to “destroy” the party.

Bendor Grosvenor, who is a co-presenter of BBC4’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, has voted Conservative for more than 20 years but blames “Johnsonian Toryism” and Brexit for driving “the broad church into the crypt”.

Grosvenor, 41, said that scandals, political purges and hardline support for leaving the European Union was driving many old-fashioned, liberal conservatives away.

The broadcaster, who was educated at Harrow and Cambridge and lives near Edinburgh, says he will now vote for the SNP.

He became a Tory member in 1997 and took an active role in the party after meeting Hugo Swire, the former Conservative shadow arts minister. “We ended up writing the cultural and heritage section of the Tory manifesto for the 2005 election. That was the highlight of my political career,” he said.

“Each time Kenneth Clarke ran for the leadership I was there supporting his campaign as a donor and a bit of a worker.”

Recent political events, including the illegal prorogation of parliament in August, had filled him with frustration and sadness, he said. “The Tory party has been the most successful political party in modern history, and yet it is running its campaign at the moment as if it couldn’t run a bath.”

Comments made this week by the Conservative MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and Andrew Bridgen about the Grenfell fire were the last straw for Grosvenor, who is related to the Duke of Westminster.

Mr Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, said that it would have been “common sense” for tower residents to ignore advice given to them by firefighters and flee the burning west London tower block in 2017. After public outcry Mr Bridgen went on Radio 4’s PM to defend the comments, saying that Mr Rees-Mogg would have made a “better decision” than authority figures on the night.

On Twitter Grosvenor wrote: “I’ve voted for, worked for, been a member of, and even a historian of, the Conservative Party. It is time now to destroy it, to smash it utterly, so that people like Rees-Mogg and Bridgen can never be near power again.

“It was that jaw dropping interview with Andrew Bridgen on Radio 4 after Jacob Rees-Mogg’s similarly extraordinary comments. I have been drifting apart from the conservatives for a long time. But yesterday I just thought it is time.”

The expulsion of Tory ministers and MPs who rebelled against Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan in September — including Mr Clarke, who has now stood down — was another “watershed moment where people like me thought there was no return,” Grosvenor added. “I plead guilty to what Brexiteers call Brexit derangement syndrome.

“Small ‘c’ conservative values I have always signed up for — as old-fashioned as it sounds, valuing the constitution as it is in part. On the decision to prorogue parliament and the all the legal ramifications and Supreme Court case: If the Conservative party has contempt for those basic conservative tenets then what is left of it?”

The Tory leadership was also in the crosshairs. “When I was working in politics I encountered Boris Johnson a few times,” Grosvenor said. “He always seemed to be shambolic and to bear the impression of whoever sat on him last. I don’t think that proves to make effective leadership at moments of crisis like this.”

Grosvenor, who recently discovered a work by Peter Paul Rubens for his TV show, now pins his hopes on the SNP before the general election on December 12.

“I think I would vote for the SNP. Brexit, the May government and now the Johnson government have so shaken the foundations of everything that we took to be the settled constitutional and political order. Now all bets are off.

“I don’t view any of the options with great enthusiasm. It’s a moment of profound frustration and sadness that it’s come to this.”

He also claims the question of Scottish independence no longer a matter of whether, but when, describing it as inevitable. “If there was a referendum tomorrow, I would support it.”

Source: Times (yesterday – pay wall)

Numbers, numbers everywhere …

Along with unsubstantiated “good news” stories, East Devon Watch will not be featuring competing claims and numbers being put about by all the parties – eg the number of doctors they will recruit, the amount of child care they will give, etc.

These numbers seem to be randomly plucked out of the air, the only feature seeming to be the need to top the numbers of other party promises about the same things made a few minutes earlier.

If voters can’t see what this is about, they might want to consider not voting at all.

“General election 2019: Teenagers and new UK citizens could play a big role in deciding Britain’s future”

“Thousands of coming-of-age teenagers and new British citizens could play a key role in the general election as the political parties look to sweep up first-time voters.

Under-25s are the biggest age group to have registered to vote since 1 October – with more than 190,000 joining the electoral register in the past week alone – and many will be casting their ballots for the first time on 12 December.

[Do it here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote%5D

In the 2017 election, the age of voters became a clear dividing line in British politics, with older voters backing the Conservatives and younger voters supporting Labour.

Dr Ben Bowman, a lecturer in sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University and an expert in youth politics, said: “Young people can play a big part in this election. If parties can offer policies that bring them out to vote, then young people can swing seats across the country.

”Parties could also get smart about how they organize young people. They can play a big part in campaigns if they’re properly included.

“Young people feel disappointed with politics, and hurt by austerity, just like everyone else. But they don’t want to vote and forget about it; they want to have direct influence, to take direct action. They want to see results.”

He added: “There are two things to watch for in the campaign – which party is pushing voters to register and which party is promising specific policies for young people.”

A poll by YouGov found at the start of this month Labour were still polling well amongst young voters, holding 38 per cent support amongst voters under the age of 29, compared with just 9 per cent amongst those aged over 70.

However, it said they had lost “a lot of their younger voters” since the last election, notably to the Green Party, while the Liberal Democrats were polling at 20 per cent among all age groups.

A poll for the Higher Education Policy Institute has said more than half of students (53 per cent) are ready to vote tactically – with Brexit a key factor. The poll of 1,000 undergraduates, carried out before the election was called, suggested that 74 per cent oppose Brexit.

Between 120,000 and 200,000 people become British citizens each year. Last year, it was reported that the number of German, Italian and French nationals applying for citizenship had more than trebled in three years as the impact of the referendum is felt. There is no source of data on the voting intentions of new UK citizens, although a number voting for the first time after settling in the UK from EU countries have told i they are more likely to back Remain-supporting parties.

The3million campaign, which represents EU citizens living in the UK, has called for them to be given the right to vote in elections – a move which would require a change in the law.

A spokesman said: “It’s a disgrace this election will see over two million EU citizens being denied their votes, despite being directly affected by its result. …”