Claire Wright on election candidates: “not asking for an easy ride”

“Last week, the non-party campaign group Unite to Remain identified 60 seats where a deal had been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, in a move to defeat Conservative candidates.

However East Devon rivals have refused to do the same.

The organisation behind Unite to Remain has however backed Ms Wright as its preferred general election candidate in East Devon, despite rival parties failing to agree a truce in the seat.

Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy said the organisation had not included East Devon in the list of candidates but urged remain voters to back Ms Wright as the best chance to wrest the seat from Tory control.

He added: “It was not possible to gain cross-party agreement for a single candidate in every key constituency that we considered.

“Ultimately it has been up to the political parties in consultation with local members to make these tough choices.

“Sadly, we were unable to gain Unite to Remain all-party agreement in East Devon.

“Our suggestion therefore is to follow the excellent tactical voting advice of Best for Britain and Gina Miller’s Remainunited to support the remain candidate with the best chance of victory.”

Ms Wright, who won 35 per cent of the votes compared to the Lib Dems’ two per cent, said she had never approached any of her rivals or asked them to give her a free run.

However, she welcomed the Unite to Remain endorsement.

She added: “Of course, running as a sole candidate against the Conservatives would appear to give me a better chance but I am not asking anyone for an easy ride.

“I have fought a fair and positive campaign twice, without assistance, increasing my share of the vote without resorting to personal attacks and I don’t intend to start now.

“I would now urge my supporters to concentrate all of their energy on getting this people-powered campaign over the line.

“And, of course, we must avoid the danger presented by Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement – which could condemn us to years of trade negotiations and threaten the NHS – by offering the public a democratic vote which includes the option of remain.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/remain-candidates-refused-to-stand-down-and-back-claire-wright-1-6369663

East Devon: Vote Lib Dem, get Tory – the LiDems don’t seem to care

Local Lib Dems have attempted to explain why they are standing against Claire Wright. Owl is not publishing the link as Owl considers the article to be very “economical with the truth” to say the least and will not give them the further oxygen of publicity for their excuses.

They are attempting to say that Claire Wright has not been explicit enough about being anti-Brexit. They also say she hadn’t asked them to stand down!

Claire Wright has always been totally consistent in her support for remain – much more explicit than Lib Dems whose policies on Remain have wobbled precariously.

Indeed pro-Remain groups supported her for her Remain stance at the last election in 2017:

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/east-devon-independent-endorsed-for-brexit-views-1-5043331

and Googling her provides HUNDREDS of links to her support for Remain.

True she is too highly principled to interfere in their internal debates. However, even the Lib Dems national Leader can’t influence them.

Owl suspects vastly over-estimated ego has trumped common sense and doing what is best for East Devon.

East Devon Green Party candidate who is selling farm land to BIG developers says climate change is his priority!

VOTE LIB DEM, LABOUR OR GREEN – and get TORY!

Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.

The East Devon Green Party has chosen “farmer” Henry Gent to stand against Claire Wright!

Gent has featured in this blog before:

He’s a councillor (with Rylance – the Lib Dem candidate) on the now notorious Broadclyst Parish Council:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2019/10/12/broadclyst-twinned-with-mayfair/

Here is his declaration of interest, showing he has a large area of land optioned to Persimmon:

https://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/2437152/roi-henry-gent.pdf

Here is a 2014 planning application for his land – now the Tithebarn Lane housing development:

“14/2761/MOUT Demolition of the existing buildings and development of the site to provide up to 900 dwellings and a primary school with car and cycle parking, public and private open space together with landscaping and associated servicing (all matters reserved). Mosshayne Land North Of Tithebarn Lane Clyst Honiton 17/1019/MOUT Demolition of existing buildings and development […]”

and further info:

http://committees.exeter.gov.uk/documents/s38792/14%201090%2002%20Tithebarn%20Green%20land%20at%20Monkerton.pdf

Green? A very, very funny shade of blue-green perhaps!

Shocking.

“Unite to Remain supports independent Parliamentary candidate Claire Wright for East Devon despite parties not standing down”

PRESS RELEASE

“Unite to Remain supports independent Parliamentary candidate Claire Wright for East Devon despite parties not standing down

The organisation behind a Remain alliance has backed independent candidate Claire Wright as its preferred general election candidate in East Devon despite rival parties failing to agree a truce in the seat.

Unite to Remain last week identified 60 seats where a deal had been struck between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, in a move to defeat Conservative candidates.

The non-party campaign group has revealed that it also proposed Claire Wright – and whose 21,000 votes in 2017 make her the clear challenger to the Tories – but were unable to persuade the Lib Dems or Greens to stand aside.

Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy said the organisation had not included East Devon in the list of candidates but urged Remain voters to back Claire Wright as the best chance to wrest the seat from Tory control.

“It was not possible to gain cross-party agreement for a single candidate in every key constituency that we considered,” added Dunphy.

“Ultimately it has been up to the political parties in consultation with local members to make these tough choices.

“Sadly, we were unable to gain Unite to Remain all-party agreement in East Devon where we had proposed Claire Wright as the clear challenger to the Conservatives.

“Our suggestion therefore is to follow the excellent tactical voting advice of Best for Britain and Gina Miller’s Remainunited to support the Remain candidate with the best chance of victory, which in the case of East Devon is the Independent Claire Wright.”

Wright, who won 35 per cent of the vote compared to the Lib Dems’ 2 per cent, said she had never approached any of her rivals or asked them to give her a free run.

However, she welcomed the Unite to Remain endorsement and insisted voters could make their own decisions about whether to vote tactically based on past results.

“I have never asked for any favours from my rivals and I respect their decision to stand and fight for the seat,” she added.

“Of course, running as a sole candidate against the Conservatives would appear to give me a better chance but I am not asking anyone for an easy ride.

“I have fought a fair and positive campaign twice, without assistance, increasing my share of the vote without resorting to personal attacks and I don’t intend to start now.

“I would now urge my supporters to concentrate all of their energy on getting this people-powered campaign over the line.

“And, of course, we must avoid the danger presented by Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement – which could condemn us to years of trade negotiations and threaten the NHS – by offering the public a democratic vote which includes the option of Remain.”

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.

Hhhmmmm…

“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.”

https://www.radioexe.co.uk/news-and-features/local-news/former-radio-dj-standing-for-parliament/

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.

Labour delusion part 2: in it to win it?

Labour vote in the East Devon Constituency in the May 2017 elections:

District Council elections:
EDDC 2,126

Exeter City Council in local elections, part of EDDC constituency at General Elections:
1,344
(made up of St Loyes 550, Topsham 794)

Total 3,470

Exmouth Town Labour vote 265
(candidate Daniel Wilson – 5th of nine)

Vote Labour or Lib Dem – get Tory