Frit Jupp shuts down comments on his Facebook page – and where IS he?

REMEMBER: a vote for any candidate other than Claire Wright is a vote for this elusive chap who doesn’t answer questions and who always seems to tell us where he has been and not where he is – a la Swire and Johnson!

Oh dear – thin skin. There were rather a lot of comments from people who had some very tricky questions for him on his Jupp for East Devon Facebook page – none of which he answered as he never engaged on the page at all.

People can’t even ask him questions, let alone get any answers as he’s either:

(a) Christmas shopping instead of attending a hustings he promised to attend (Sidmouth)

or

(b) surrounded by so many Tory minders as he takes his selfies at various town and village road signs that there is no opportunity to ask him anything at all

or

(c) only posting where he has BEEN rather than where he’s GOING!

Well looks like he’s wanting to be a Swire-clone MP (Swire 649th worst constituency MP out of 650 according to change.com!).

A Christmas Pantomime for 2019

From a correspondent (thank you!)

“Once upon a time in a land far, far away from the Palace of Westminster, there lived a woman of courage who was famous for her noble qualities and outstanding achievements.

She lived in the Shire of East Devon and worked tirelessly trying to improve the lives of the local inhabitants. She was admired by the folk of the Shire, who thought that she was the ‘Wright’ sort of person to fully understand their fears, hopes and dreams, having lived alongside them in their community for many years.

The townsfolk and villagers had long been ruled by local, affluent land-owning Barons, who had failed to consider their less prosperous neighbours’ viewpoints and beliefs. However, as the Barons continued to amass great wealth, many people in the Shire became poorer, some even having to resort to begging on the streets or visiting food banks to ensure their families were fed!

The wealthy Barons also encouraged voracious Development Dragons to roam the land, devouring the Shire’s green fields, ravaging the countryside and exhaling clouds of pollutants into the environment. However, the Dragons were tolerated by the Barons because these giant monsters agreed to leave sizeable pots of gold to the Barons in compensation for the destruction that had been caused by their huge appetites and consequently the pots of gold allowed the Barons to grow even richer and fatter!

The Palace of Westminster feared all challenges from the Shires and so the Sheriff sent forth a ‘last minute’ Champion on the very long, arduous journey from Westminster to East Devon to do battle to ‘Juppardise’ any chances of independence for the Shire.

It was proposed that a Jousting Tournament should take place on Thursday 12th December 2019 from dawn to dusk, with the overall winner gaining control of the Shire. The Palace was able to supply big-budget lances for the Joust and such an arsenal may prove difficult to overcome and the odds seem stacked against the diminutive figure of the Shire’s heroine.

However Goliaths can be toppled and she has always been able to rely on support from numerous Magical Otters with phenomenal powers beyond belief and they all intend standing shoulder to shoulder with her in this special battle. As the time for the Jousting Tournament approaches there are very large numbers of Shire folk preparing to make the journey to support her in their droves.

Will there be ‘A Happily Ever After’ ending to this Fairytale?

That part of the Story is yet to be written. …”

Where Jupp goes Johnson follows as he refuses to attend his own constituency’s hustings!

A VOTE FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN CLAIRE WRIGHT IS A VOTE FOR JUPP AND JOHNSON.

Jupp (East Devon, Tory) preferred to go late night shopping rather than attend Sidmouth hustings. Johnson preferred to shop at Dart’s Farm rather than attend the Channel 4 climate change debate. Now Johnson has also refused to attend his own hustings.

Japp and Johnson – total non-believers in the democratic process.

“Organisers had initially rearranged to accommodate the Conservative candidate after the event clashed with Mr Johnson’s debate with Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC, but the PM declined nonetheless.

Labour candidate Ali Milani, who did attend the debate, wrote on Facebook afterwards: “Local hustings are a pillar of local democracy. Every local resident should have the right to ask all their candidates questions and hear their views. …”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/general-election-boris-johnson-hustings-uxbridge-south-ruislip-labour-ali-milani-a9235811.html?

“I am the only candidate who can win this seat from the Conservatives”, Claire Wright tells packed hall at Sidmouth hustings

From a correspondent:

The popular Independent candidate’s opening statement of this obvious fact was greeted with warm applause tonight by the large audience who attended the hustings at All Saints Church Hall, organised by the Vision Group for Sidmouth.

Six candidates were present: Henry Gent (Green Party); Eleanor Rylance (Liberal Democrat); Peter Faithfull (Independent ); Dan Wilson (Labour), and Claire Wright (Independent).

The Tory candidate, Simon Jupp, had agreed to be there, but withdrew at the last minute, citing an alternative commitment to appearances at late-night shopping events at Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton that evening. Mr Jupp’s agent’s letter, courteously read out by Vision Group’s Peter Murphy,who Chaired the meeting, prompted loud guffaws from the floor.

All candidates acquitted themselves well, but a vote for any except Claire Wright would simply play into Boris Johnson’s hands. Only Claire Wright, with her decade of dedicated service as first a District, and now a County Councillor, could claim to have the “knowledge, experience, and contacts on the ground” to seriously challenge the Tory hold in East Devon.

“Disgruntled Tories may stay at home in East Devon, giving Independent candidate Claire Wright a chance”

Tory parachuted-in candidate described as “straight from Tory central casting” – love it!

“Independent candidate Claire Wright is gaining ground on the Conservatives:

Fake news, the ripping down of posters, an independent candidate with a chance of winning, and a new Conservative candidate helicoptered in from central casting.

The sleepy coastal constituency of East Devon is not at all used to such excitement at election time. This, according to pretty much any expert you choose to listen to, is the only seat in the UK where the independent has a realistic chance of winning a seat in Westminster.

That independent candidate is Claire Wright, currently a local councillor and a lifelong resident of the constituency.

The i politics newsletter cut through the noise

“I am going to win. I can feel it here,” she says raising her hand to her chest.

Her confidence is not entirely misplaced. It is clear that Ms Wright is the only candidate in East Devon that can beat the Conservatives for the first time in 156 years.

Boris Johnson visited an East Devon farm shop in an attempt to give the Conservative candidate a boost.

The Tories are clearly concerned at the momentum building for Ms Wright. So much so that Boris Johnson popped up in a local farm shop to support his candidate on Thursday. The same day Ms Wright gained her own celebrity endorsement from Hugh Grant.

Mr Johnson showed up to extol the virtues of Simon Jupp, who has left his role as an adviser to Dominic Raab in the Treasury in an attempt to retain the constituency for the Conservatives following the retirement of Hugo Swire, who bequeathed him a majority of just over 8,000 to defend.

Third time lucky?

While such a buffer would usually suffice, Ms Wright believes her third attempt at the seat is going to send Jupp back to London with his tail between his legs.

Since her first effort in 2015, Ms Wright has all but wiped out support for the Liberal Democrats, and, after the 2017 election, slashed the Tory majority by a third.

“There’s three key things that are different this time around,” says Ms Wright. “First, the funding has been much easier this time around. We’re not quite at our expenses limit of £16,000, but we’re not far off.

“Second, we’re finding far more people know who I am in this campaign, and, third, more and more of them realise that voting for me as an independent candidate is not a wasted vote. They know what I stand for and they know I can win this.”

During her decade in district and county politics Ms Wright has been a vociferous campaigner for local NHS services, environmental matters and education. Indeed, if you put her manifesto pledges next to those of the Liberal Democrats, then you would be hard pushed to notice much difference.

A ‘final’ Brexit referendum

However, one area where she does move away from the Lib Dems is on Brexit. She advocates a second, and final, referendum on this most divisive of issues.

“In that second referendum, I will campaign to remain,” she says. “Clearly, my opponent is pro-Brexit and there’s a distinct difference in our positions on this and so many other incredibly important issues facing people today. I want to boost our local services, while the government has cut funding to them. I want to keep the smaller hospitals like the one we have here in Exmouth open. The Conservative cuts means they could be forced to close. I want to make huge changes in the way we tackle the climate emergency immediately. The Conservatives don’t.”

While the 54 per cent of voters in the East Devon district opted in favour of Brexit, the Parliamentary constituency map extends a little further to the west and into the suburbs of remain voting Exeter. This means the split between leavers and remainers is almost straight down the middle in the Parliamentary seat.

After an hour talking in the Exmouth ice cream parlour owned by her enthusiastic campaign manager Tony Badcott, she drives up to the Brixington area of this beach-loving community to knock on some doors, trying to convince more voters of her ability to represent them in the Commons.

In previous campaigns Ms Wright had not focused her efforts on such areas because they were considered staunch Tory. However, there does appear to be something of a shift. As she walks from door to door, there are two clear themes. Either people are voting for her, or those that did vote Conservative last time remain undecided. The undecideds are in the clear majority, with several Brexiteers suggesting they will not bother voting.

“I voted for Brexit and for the Tories, but they didn’t get Brexit done,” said one animated voter. “I’m not going to bother voting for any of them. They all just lie, and lie and lie.”

While this is clearly a vote Ms Wright cannot count on, it is an indication of what could be the determining factor in East Devon. The more disgruntled, Brexit-backing Conservative voters stay at home on polling day, the greater her odds of winning will be.

Such a victory would be an extraordinary event, as it would be the first ever victory for an independent candidate that has faced competition from all the main parties. There’s no Remain pact here. The Lib Dems and Green Party candidates are currently refusing to give Ms Wright her blessing, despite the fact that their votes could prove crucial in preventing what they do not want most – a Conservative victory.

A new ‘local newspaper’ appears

During the afternoon’s canvassing a member of Ms Wright’s small army of committed volunteers gets in touch with her, after receiving the first, and probably only, edition of East Devon Future through her letterbox. Only on close inspection, and with the help of some magnification for many, does it become clear this ‘local paper’ is nothing of the kind. It is funded, in fact, by the Conservative and Unionist Party.

“It’s fake news,” says Ms Wright. “It’s a clear attempt to deceive voters.”

Conservative central office has posted this newspaper through voters’ letterboxes.

Just an hour or so later, as darkness begins to fall on her campaigning in Brixington, Ms Wright also learns that one of her large campaign boards had been ripped down by “two men dressed in black”. Things are certainly ramping up with only 12 days of campaigning left.

As for Ms Wright’s Conservative opponent, he appears to have realised tide on the River Exe could be turning against him. At Thursday’s hustings at Exmouth Community College, Mr Jupp could not apologise enough for what the Conservatives have delivered, or, for many in the audience, failed to deliver in a raft of areas such as the NHS, education and the environment.

“I am sorry for that,” he began several answers with, hoping the voters would now trust him to make things better.

Ms Wright says: “It was a surprise to hear him lament the ‘scandal that food banks exist’, that the NHS had been ‘neglected’ and to declare that ‘funding has been far too low for far too long’ in our schools.

“His admission that the Conservatives had been ‘not too friendly toward teachers in the past’ will come as no surprise to the watching teachers at Exmouth Community college. They had to write a begging letter to parents when there was not enough money to buy simple materials.”

While no one i spoke to, other than Ms Wright herself, could say she will win for sure, the pressure is certainly on Mr Jupp to deliver for the current occupant of No.10.

When one member of that hustings audience interrupted him to highlight “the devastation Tory austerity cuts had caused” cracks in the Conservative candidate’s composure began to show.

“Don’t heckle,” Mr Jupp snapped back at the voter. “It’s quite rude.”

You get the feeling there’s a lot more heckling left in this race yet.”

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/general-election-2019-disgruntled-conservative-party-voting-east-devon-claire-wright-1328557

Jupp accepted Sidmouth hustings invitation on 15 November – pulled out after deciding to shop in Exmouth instead

FRIT! FRIT! FRIT! (see also post below)

OWL DOES HOPE HE WILL BE EMPTY CHAIRED! Maybe replaced with a block of ice!

“Mr Jupp’s campaign manager, Dan Hallet had initially responded to the Vision Group’s invitation to all candidates with a firm acceptance on November 15: “Simon will definitely attend the event scheduled for Fri 6 Dec at 1900,” after which a confirmation and an agenda were sent out to all candidates and released to the press and online.

Hustings chairman Peter Murphy said: “We were rather surprised then when we received a further email on November 24 from Mr Hallet.”

According to VGS, Mr Hallet responded: “I have double-booked Simon to attend late night shopping events and canvassing sessions in the constituency. …”

https://sidmouth.nub.news/n/conservative-candidate-pulls-out-of-sidmouth-hustings-event