Claire Wright explains why she believes people should not vote Conservative in tomorrow’s local election

” … As a former East Devon District Councillor who stood down in 2015, I left because I could not bear the continued nastiness of the ruling group anymore. It was a hard, challenging and ultimately game-changing time, where I exposed underhand practices, culminating in a police investigation, worked tirelessly on planning issues and did my best to make the council more transparent.

Things changed massively on EDDC as a result of my time there and I’m glad I did it, but I view it as a period of my life where I was battling the forces of darkness. That may sound melodramatic but I can tell you that is how it felt. Fortunately, I had massive support from members of the public during that time, who came to meetings, spoke at them and generally provided me with amazing support.

To think that this group might now be on the verge of falling and allowing a new progressive, representative group to take its place makes me very happy indeed. …

Polling day tomorrow. Please go out there and vote!”

“New Statesman” magazine tips Independents to give EDDC Tories a scare tomorrow …

Stephen Bush column in the current “New Statesman” political magazine talking about what to look out for in 2019 elections:

” … Ooh, there’s a lot going on here. The fun one is East Devon, where in the parliamentary seat Claire Wright, an independent, has a fighting chance of winning ahead of the Conservatives. The local battle is largely between Conservatives and independents, so keep an eye on that. …”

“Why I’ve joined a new group of MPs trying to fix Britain’s futile adversarial politics”

Could you see Swire or Parish doing this for the sake of our district and our country? No. Could you see Claire Wright doing this? Yes.

“… A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in joining the More United Network. One call with its leadership team and I was sold. The idea is simple really, a new platform for MPs who are willing, where possible, to work cross-party in the national interest, regardless of which party is in power.

I know it’s a cliche, but becoming a dad completely changed how I viewed the world. My outlook was different, less selfish and short termist. I began thinking more about the sort of country I wanted my kids to grow up in. And I could either be the guy who sits round the dinner table or down the pub putting the world to rights, or I could get out there and fight for the things I believe in. So that’s what I did, and two years later I was elected to parliament.

Most MPs enter politics for reasons like this, having been inspired by something or someone in their lives to make a positive difference. And going to work surrounded by a group of people with an immense breadth and depth of knowledge and experience means there’s always something to learn, and areas where common cause can be found.

What many people don’t know is that some of the best work in parliament happens in the All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs), where MPs with a shared interest join forces to push for change. Sadly, this sort of positive cross-party cooperation doesn’t often make the headlines.

On the whole, MPs tend to agree on the destination we want to arrive at. We all want to make sure our NHS is at its best, that we’re giving our kids the best start in life and an excellent education so they can fulfil their potential, that people can achieve the dream of home ownership, that our high streets thrive, our environment is protected, and that we have the right transport and digital infrastructure in place.

What is true is that we don’t always agree on the path to get there. That is no bad thing either, we need a battle of ideas, and no side has a monopoly on good ones.

This is what the More United MP Network hopes to achieve; bringing people together in a space that allows consensual politics to flourish so we can find solutions. Seeking out differences and grievances just for the sake of it doesn’t help anyone.

Outside the Westminster circus, real life and real issues are affecting my constituents. Too many feel the deck is stacked against them. It is that pervasive sense of unfairness that threatens social cohesion, and has seen people lurching to populists on the left and right in search of scapegoats and easy answers.

It’s the job of serious MPs to tell it straight – that there is no silver bullet or magical solution to all the issues facing us as a nation. That whilst of course at times our political differences will be too big to bridge, where we can work together to make your lives better, we should.

And when it comes to those of us in the More United Network, we will.”

Wright v. Swire round 2 (knock-out by Wright, contest over)

“Claire Wright has responded to claims she and other ‘remainers’ were seeking to ‘play political games’ in the Brexit debate.

In his column, East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire claimed those who supported staying in the European Union changed from campaigning for a ‘people’s vote’ to now calling for Article 50 to be revoked.

In response, Miss Wright says she is still in support of a second EU referendum and Sir Hugo should focus on local issues rather than ‘picking a fight’ with her.

She said: “Sir Hugo Swire has misrepresented my position on Brexit in his column of last week.

“My position has not changed. I still support a second referendum on the basis that now that we are far more aware of the true impact of Brexit, the people should be given the opportunity to have a say – that is democracy.

“It also appears to be the only way to address the total impasse in Parliament in what must be one of the most shambolic periods of government in British political history.

“I supported revoking Article 50 only when it appeared that a disastrous ‘no deal’ Brexit was the likely outcome.

“I have explained this twice to Sir Hugo via Twitter following his questions, but he seems not to understand.

“Among many other things, a ‘no deal’ Brexit, still supported by Sir Hugo, would bring an immediate end to all our trade agreements, lead to food and medicine shortages and a sharp rise in prices.

“It is a very great shame that the Conservative government’s obsession with leaving the EU has eclipsed every other issue.

“What Sir Hugo should actually be concerned with, is how and why a local school – Exmouth Community College – has been forced to ask parents for money to help them manage, as his government continues to starve our schools of resources.

“He should be worried about why it is now regularly taking four hours for ambulances to reach elderly people who have fallen and broken their hips, why hospital waiting times for operations continue to grow, why hospital beds are still being cut and why East Devon’s hospital buildings are still at risk from being sold off.

“And Sir Hugo should be asking why his government is not only failing its climate change targets but has scrapped green housing-building initiatives, incentives to buy less polluting cars, why it is investing in roads rather than rail (apart from the massively damaging HS2) and why it has introduced the horribly environmentally destructive practice of fracking.

“While Sir Hugo obsesses over Brexit, which new Tory party leader to align himself with and picks fights with me, Rome burns.

“And with it, so do our precious public services and planet.”

Former Remainer MP disses Remainer opponent – accuses her of ‘political games’

So, who is playing political games here – Swire who switched from Remain to Brexit or Claire Wright who has been a ‘strong and stable’ Remainer!

(And Owl does hope she will get a right of reply during this local election period)