Defeated Tory candidate in Tiverton by-election eyes future return

So apparently is “Tractorn Porn” Neil Parish, the Claas candidate.

Split votes very welcome! – Owl

Lewis Clarke www.devonlive.com

The Conservative candidate who saw a majority of 24,239 swing 30 per cent to a Lib Dem win has said she would stand again to become an MP. Helen Hurford was chosen as the Conservative candidate for the Tiverton & Honiton by election to replace porn watching Neil Parish. The election on June 23 saw a historic victory for the Lib Dem’s Richard Foord, where there was a swing of 38.1 per cent to his party, with the Tories seeing a swing of 21.7 per cent in the opposite direction.

This result was the sixth-largest swing against the governing party since 1945; in addition, the Conservative Party’s 24,239-vote majority from the 2019 general election is the largest ever overturned in a by-election.

Before the announcement of the result, it was reported that Helen and her team had locked herself in a dance studio where the vote was taking place at Lord’s Meadow Leisure Centre in Crediton. LBC journalist Theo Usherwood announced on Twitter: “The Tory candidate Helen Hurford in the Tiverton by election has just locked herself in the dance studio at Crediton sports centre.” After the announcement she did not make a speech, and exited the building swiftly.

In one of her first public appearances since the election, she spoke to Ewan Murrie at BBC Radio Devon, where she was asked whether she would stand again. She said: “Absolutely. Of course, I will. I’m not a one-trick pony. Politics is a dirty game and if you truly believe in your community and you want to represent your community, you’re going to rough ride. I truly believe in my community, and I would stand again.”

She added that while she would support whoever was Prime Minister come September 5, she would prefer Liz Truss: “Whoever is voted, I will support 100 per cent, that’s what we all need to do in the Conservative Party. Moving forward, having been defeated in the by election here in Tiverton and Honiton, the message that I receive repeatedly is trust and somebody that we can trust and get behind and I think Liz represents that.

“The repeated message that I received on the doorsteps was that people were really unhappy about partygate and that that was the main protest that happened during that byelection. Liz is squeaky clean when it comes to partygate, so I think that she will go well with constituents here. They will know we’ve listened to them during the by election and acted upon it.”

On why Liz stuck by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his cabinet, Mrs Hurford added: “Liz is loyal. She’s a loyal person to the Conservative Party and stayed loyal to Boris Johnson when he was the leader. She did her job, and she did it really well. She had a very tricky job. What she also represents is somebody who is determined to do what’s right for the people of this country.”

She said it was ‘tricky’ to explain what went wrong during the by-election: “Boris has a huge amount of support here. You knock on one door and are told ‘if you’re not supporting Boris, I’m not going to support you’. You knock on another door where they say, ‘if you’re supporting Boris, I’m not going to support you’. It really is that diverse.

“I’ve listened to the people of Tiverton and Honiton and heard them loud and clear when they repeatedly said they did not want a Prime Minister who has broken the Covid regulations. We would be ignoring what they’ve warned us in the by election. They spoke loud and clear with that protest vote. We cannot afford to keep ignoring the electorate.”

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