“How an Independent Devon councillor [Claire Wright] could hold the fate of the COUNTRY in her hands”

“Devon County Councillor Claire Wright could hold the fate of the country in her hands, bookmakers Ladbrokes are suggesting.

The Independent councillor for the Otter Valley ward has twice stood for election to Parliament and on both occasions came second behind the Conservatives.

But following Sir Hugo Swire announcing last week that he will be stepping down from his role as the MP for East Devon at the next election, Cllr Wright has declared that she will once again be standing. She is now the favourite to take over from Sir Hugo.

Flavible Politics, making projections based on a ComRes poll from September 12 have her winning the East Devon seat in their latest election predictions.

New Statesman political correspondent Patrick Maguire, had also said that apart from North Down, East Devon is just about the only seat in the UK that could plausibly be won by an independent.

Ladbrokes have set the odds on who will have the most seats after the next election at 10/11 for both a coalition of the Conservatives, DUP and the Brexit Party and a coalition of the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and the Social Democratic and Labour Party, any elected Independents could determine who the next Prime Minister is.

Posting on Twitter, Ladbrokes said: “It looks like Jason Zadrozny and Claire Wright will get to choose who the next PM is.”

Cllr Jadrozny is the leader of Ashfield District Council, currently run by the Ashfield Independents.

Cllr Wright said on Twitter that she could handle the pressure and that if there is an election soon, she hopes to be East Devon’s MP.

She said: “Over the last three years the Conservatives have been focusing on two things. One to save the party from Nigel Farage and to do that they have basically turned the party into the Brexit Party. Secondly, they have been focusing on cutting public services.

“I see the damage that those austerity policies have done in my ward every single week. Party politics does seem to be broken. The two main parties are irretrievably split. The Conservatives in particular seem to be intent on self-destruction and I think Hugo Swire’s resignation is very much part of that.

“East Devon residents deserve someone who is not going to be tied to the party whip, who is not going to be chasing a ministerial career, but someone who is going to have one agenda only, and that is to put their views and needs above everything else.

“If there is an election in the next few weeks, I hope that I can be that MP.”

She said that the announcement that Mr Swire would not stand in the next election was a shock, but that she has been preparing with her team for a year and that they have recently ramped up their preparations.

Predicting a November election she said: “This will be my third election and my team and I are ready to build on the two previous elections.

“The momentum in 2017 and the excitement and energy was incredible – it felt then that I could win, and now we are that much further on.

“I was a serious threat. Brian May backed me before the last election as one of his ‘common decency’ election candidates.

“I think East Devon will be close whoever the Conservatives put forward. This is the Tory heartland. East Devon has been Conservative for 150 years. That’s what I’m up against. It’s a huge challenge.

“This will be my third general election and my manifesto will be based on a survey I carried out at the beginning of this year. Hundreds and hundreds of people filled out the survey and I feel confident I know the issues that people are concerned about in East Devon.

“The Conservatives have just been disastrous for the country – they have gone from one crisis to the next. It’s been like watching a slow car crash – and in the last few weeks it’s turned into absolute meltdown.

“The whole Tory agenda is simply about saving their own skin. The rhetoric seems to be about how they can out-Brexit the Brexit party and turn themselves into the new Brexit party.

“The things they should have been focusing on are public services and the environment. Devon County Council has lost £100m from its budget and all the people in Devon have lost out on services as a result of those cuts.”

Announcing his decision to stand down, Hugo Swire, who has been the MP for the area since 2001, said: “At a meeting earlier of the Executive if the East Devon Conservative Association I announced that I would not be standing for re-election as the Member of Parliament.

“It was my original intention to stand down in 2022, when the next general election was scheduled to be held.”

He continued: “I served in a number of different roles in opposition, including in the shadow cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In Government I was first appointed as Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office and then Minister of State in the Foreign Commonwealth Office.

“Whilst I was honoured to have been appointed to these roles, my greatest privilege has been to serve my constituents, regardless of their political allegiance, I am truly grateful for consistently returning me at elections and will continue to serve them to the best of my ability until an election is called.”

Reaffirming his support to Mr Johnson, he added: “We live in challenging political times, but I remain convinced that to bring the country back together we need to deliver on Brexit and I shall continue to support the Prime Minster and the Government in their endeavours.”

Bruce de Saram, chairman of East Devon Conservatives, said: “East Devon Conservatives would like to thank Hugo for his outstanding work as our MP since 2001 and also his service as a Northern Ireland and Foreign Office Minister, where he developed a passion for the Commonwealth among his many other interests.

“Hugo rose to the challenge of being our MP, winning five general elections. He has continually challenged injustice with great passion and been very visible in the constituency, standing up for local residents.

“We are very sorry to say goodbye to him and wish him well for the future.

“We will now begin a process to select a candidate to build on Hugo’s excellent work.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/how-independent-devon-councillor-could-3324854

“All eyes on Devon independent politician Claire Wright ahead of pending General Election”

Owl says: it would be tragic if other mainstream parties put up candidates against her which might bring a Tory back to power.

“National political pundits are predicting that independent Devon politician Claire Wright could be about to make history.

It comes after last night’s shock announcement that East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire will not stand in the looming General Election. The Conservative saw his majority dwindle in the 2017 General Election after a serious challenge from independent candidate Ms Wright, who came a close second in the traditional Tory heartland – she gained 36 per cent of the votes with 21,270 votes and Sir Hugo took 48 per cent with 29,306 votes.

New Statesman political correspondent Patrick Maguire, said: “This is fascinating. Apart from North Down, East Devon is just about the only seat in the UK that could plausibly be won by an independent (in this case anti-austerity councillor Clair Wright) at the next General Election.”

Historically very few seats in Parliament have ever been won by candidates with no political party backing.

Although there are currently 31 independents in Parliament, they were all elected as members of different political parties and have later quit.

Today the independent Devon County Councillor for Otter Valley admitted she was shocked when she heard Mr Swire’s announcement that he won’t stand in the upcoming General Election. She said: “I had heard a few rumours but I didn’t believe them. There were no signs – in fact he had been more active in recent weeks.

“I think he knew he would have a stiff challenge.

“I have been preparing with my team for a year and we have recently ramped up our preparations rather swiftly. Now I am excited.”

She has been aware that nationally political pundits have begun to watch her with interest. She said: “It’s always nice to get a tweet from a National journalist. I have noticed on my Twitter feed that national journalists have started following me recently.”

Predicting a November election she said: “This will be my third election and my team and I are ready to build on the two previous elections.

“The momentum in 2017 and the excitement and energy was incredible – it felt then that I could win, and now we are that much further on.

“I was a serious threat. Brian May backed me before the last election as one of his ‘common decency’ election candidates.

“I think East Devon will be close whoever the Conservatives put forward. This is the Tory heartland. East Devon has been Conservative for 150 years. That’s what I’m up against. It’s a huge challenge.

“This will be my third general election and my manifesto will be based on a survey I carried out at the beginning of this year. Hundreds and hundreds of people filled out the survey and I feel confident I know the issues that people are concerned about in East Devon.

“The Conservatives have just been disastrous for the country – they have gone from one crisis to the next. It’s been like watching a slow car crash – and in the last few weeks it’s turned into absolute meltdown.

“The whole Tory agenda is simply about saving their own skin. The rhetoric seems to be about how they can out-Brexit the Brexit party and turn themselves into the new Brexit party.

“The things they should have been focusing on are public services and the environment. Devon County Council has lost £100m from its budget and all the people in Devon have lost out on services as a result of those cuts.”

The anti-austerity councillor is also known for her strong stance on protecting the environment. She said she likes to be totally independent: “I like to plough my own furrow. I don’t want to have to answer to a party and told what my policies are.

Bruce de Saram, chairman of East Devon Conservatives, said: “East Devon Conservatives would like to thank Hugo for his outstanding work as our MP since 2001 and also his service as a Northern Ireland and Foreign Office Minister, where he developed a passion for the Commonwealth among his many other interests.

“Hugo rose to the challenge of being our MP, winning five general elections. He has continually challenged injustice with great passion and been very visible in the constituency, standing up for local residents.

“We are very sorry to say goodbye to him and wish him well for the future.

“We will now begin a process to select a candidate to build on Hugo’s excellent work.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/eyes-devon-independent-politician-claire-3316742

Claire Wright on Swire, politics and East Devon

Looking forward to Swire’s better explanation of his reasons for standing down, given that he adores Boris and supports a hard Brexit.

Was there the suggestion he might be deselected?
Was he frit?
Does Boris have the (formerly safe, but not now) seat for one of his mates?
Is a local Tory polutico ready to make his or her mark?

Come on, Hugo – spill the beans!

Claire Wright responds to Hugo Swire standing down at next election

“Independent parliamentary contender Claire Wright has said tonight she ‘stands ready to take on the issues’ important to people in East Devon after a shock announcement from her long time political opponent East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire.

In a tweet sent out tonight the MP said he remained a supporter of Boris Johnson but will be standing down at the next General Election.

Nub News contacted Claire Wright, who came a close second in East Devon in the 2017 General Election, for her views on Sir Hugo’s announcement, she said:

“Party Politics is in turmoil. I stand ready to take on the issues that matter to people here in Devon East of health services straining to cope, underfunded schools and the irreparable damage to our environment under the watch of the current Conservative government which lurches from one crisis to another and has put narrow party political interest above the needs of local people.”

https://exmouth.nub.news/n/claire-wright-says-she-stands-ready-as-east-devon-mp-announces-departure?

“Devon MP Hugo Swire will not stand in the next General Election”

Owl says: FRIT! FRIT! FRIT!

“The Member of Parliament for East Devon says he will not stand in the next general election.

Conservative MP Hugo Swire, who was first elected in 2000, insists that he will continue to support Prime Minister Boris Johnson but says he will not be standing for re-election.

Announcing his decision via social media this evening, he said: “At a meeting earlier this evening of the Executive if the East Devon Conservative Association I announced that I would not be standing for re-election as the Member of Parliament.

“It was my original intention to stand down in 2022, when the next general election was scheduled to be held.”

He continued: “I served in a number of different roles in opposition, including in the shadow cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In Government I was first appointed as Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office and then Minister of State in the Foreign Commonwealth Office.

“Whilst I was honoured to have been appointed to these roles, my greatest privilege has been to serve my constituents, regardless of their political allegiance, I am truly grateful for consistently returning me at elections and will continue to serve them to the best of my ability until an election is called.”

Reaffirming his support to Mr Johnson, he added: “We live in challenging political times, but I remain convinced that to bring the country back together we need to deliver on Brexit and I shall continue to support the Prime Minster and the Government in their endeavours.”

The announcement prompted quick reaction from the prospective parliamentary candidates (PPC) for East Devon.

Eleanor Rylance, for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Conservative chaos continues.”

And independent PPC Clair Wright simply posted a ghost emoji after Mr Swire shared his announcement on Twitter.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/devon-mp-hugo-swire-not-3314246

“Claire Wright is ‘ready for the fight’ if general election called”

“It’s been an extraordinary and unprecedented few weeks in politics.

A man without scruple is now our prime minister, aided and abetted by a reckless adviser and the most hardline rightwing cabinet we have ever seen in this country.

In practice this means selling the soul of our country and the union, by morphing into the Brexit Party.

Expelling 21 moderate Conservatives on Tuesday evening, including Winston Churchill’s grandson and father of the house, Ken Clarke, has meant that the transition of the Conservative Party into the Brexit Party is already complete.

It was clear from the moment he took office that Mr Johnson’s plan was for a general election, to drive through a no deal Brexit, yet to try and dupe the electorate into thinking he wanted an amended withdrawal agreement from the EU.

He already knew his request for removal of the Irish backstop was firmly opposed by both the Irish government and by default the EU on peace grounds.

But more staggering than anything else has been the determination with which this government has lied, duped, schemed and plotted to achieve its nefarious aims.

Boris Johnson seems to be a man without principle. He has one aim. Power.

We also have a chancellor who is claiming austerity is over following a decade of cuts and misery, imposed by his own Conservative government.

£100m stripped from Devon County Council alone, which has hit children, the poorest, elderly and disabled people and those who don’t have a voice more than anyone else. I’ve seen the impacts of austerity on residents in my ward and it’s deeply disturbing.

But now, despite a no deal Brexit firmly on the table and the economic hit the country will take – around five per cent at least and a potential recession – Sajid Javid has launched an opportunistic vote grabbing budget, which implies that the austerity agenda was never more than a decision for a government determined to shrink the welfare state.

East Devon’s MP Hugo Swire is at the very heart of this government, robustly defending every move Mr Johnson makes.

A passionate supporter of a no deal Brexit, Mr Swire is now the epitome of the newly formed hardline rightwing Conservative-Brexit Party.

So a general election looms. Where does this leave me? Well my team and I have been preparing for a year and are on standby for battle.

This will be my third general election in four years, from a platform of over 21,000 votes in 2017.

I’m ready for the fight to come and I’m ready to enter parliament as a new MP, filled with hope and a desire to work to my best ability on behalf of the people of the East Devon constituency.

For me, there will be no party whip, no wish for a highly paid ministerial position. Just working alongside like minded MPs, representing local people on the issues they tell me are most important to them. I can’t wait!”

It’s been an extraordinary and unprecedented few weeks in politics. A man without scruple is now our prime minister, aided and abetted by a reckless adviser and the most hardline rightwing cabinet we have ever seen in this country. In practice this means selling the soul of our country and the union, by morphing into the Brexit Party.

Expelling 21 moderate Conservatives on Tuesday evening, including Winston Churchill’s grandson and father of the house, Ken Clarke, has meant that the transition of the Conservative Party into the Brexit Party is already complete.

It was clear from the moment he took office that Mr Johnson’s plan was for a general election, to drive through a no deal Brexit, yet to try and dupe the electorate into thinking he wanted an amended withdrawal agreement from the EU. He already knew his request for removal of the Irish backstop was firmly opposed by both the Irish government and by default the EU on peace grounds. But more staggering than anything else has been the determination with which this government has lied, duped, schemed and plotted to achieve its nefarious aims.

Boris Johnson seems to be a man without principle. He has one aim. Power. We also have a chancellor who is claiming austerity is over following a decade of cuts and misery, imposed by his own Conservative government.

£100m stripped from Devon County Council alone, which has hit children, the poorest, elderly and disabled people and those who don’t have a voice more than anyone else. I’ve seen the impacts of austerity on residents in my ward and it’s deeply disturbing.

But now, despite a no deal Brexit firmly on the table and the economic hit the country will take – around five per cent at least and a potential recession – Sajid Javid has launched an opportunistic vote grabbing budget, which implies that the austerity agenda was never more than a decision for a government determined to shrink the welfare state. East Devon’s MP Hugo Swire is at the very heart of this government, robustly defending every move Mr Johnson makes.

A passionate supporter of a no deal Brexit, Mr Swire is now the epitome of the newly formed hardline rightwing Conservative-Brexit Party. So a general election looms. Where does this leave me? Well my team and I have been preparing for a year and are on standby for battle.

This will be my third general election in four years, from a platform of over 21,000 votes in 2017. I’m ready for the fight to come and I’m ready to enter parliament as a new MP, filled with hope and a desire to work to my best ability on behalf of the people of the East Devon constituency. For me, there will be no party whip, no wish for a highly paid ministerial position. Just working alongside like minded MPs, representing local people on the issues they tell me are most important to them. I can’t wait!”

https://exmouth.nub.news/n/claire-wright-is-ready-for-the-fight-if-general-election-called?fbclid=IwAR3fluSS9OIrKYG-Tc-lp2Ng7KwjZQ-3AbO-Njut_sSgOvyy2Y0b3CfqFj0

Breathtaking hypocrisy of DCC Tories on Adult Health Scrutiny Committee

Below is a story about Sara Randall, Chair of the Adult Health Scrutiny Committee and a County Councillor for Broadclyst, Richard Scott, a committee member and Exmouth County Councillor and Phil Twiss, a committee member and Honiton County Councillor meeting with carers. Sue Younger-Ross and a DCC Officer Timothy Ridgeway were also attendance.

These are Tory councillors who have continuously and viciously thwarted the Herculean efforts of Independent Councillor Claire Wright to get a fair deal for carers, to investigate the county’s provision for health and social care and refused to discuss any aspect of Devon’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s massive funding cuts. A group which also refused to fight the closure of community hospitals in Axminster, Honiton, Seaton and Ottery St Mary, (though Twiss did make a very mild stand, knowing full well he would be outvoted by his pals).

It is a sure sign there is an election brewing and a breathtaking exercise in hypocrisy.

The article is here:

https://honiton.nub.news/n/honiton-carers-meet-the-county-councils-scrutiny-committee