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News Archive > General > Former MP stands for election

Former MP stands for election

By Warren Wilkins 3rd May 2017

Former MP stands for election
Former MP Stephen Gilbert will fight for the St Austell and Newquay constituency

The town’s former MP who lost his seat in the 2015 Tory landslide has announced he plans to fight to win back the seat and give local people a voice in a Parliament expected to be dominated by a large Conservative majority.

Steve Gilbert, aged 40, who has spent the last two years training as a school teacher at Penrice, is set to pass up a job teaching history to attempt to retake the St Austell and Newquay seat on behalf of the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Gilbert believes that with Theresa May almost certain to win a large majority in the June General Election, the only way to prevent an ‘economically disastrous’ hard Brexit will be to have enough MPs able to stand up against the May Government, and speak up for  the needs of local people.

The former MP is unequivocal in his view that the result of the independence referendum must be respected, but says he wants to fight to get the best possible deal for his constituents, which he believes current MP Steve Double has failed to do. He told the Voice that whatever deal Theresa May gets from Brussels, the people should get a say in whether it is good enough. Mr Gilbert said: “I want to be clear, I voted Remain and believe that Britain is stronger in Europe, but I respect the referendum result.

“What I don’t respect is our current MP who has consistently voted to put his party’s interest ahead of the interests of our farmers, fishermen and the interests of our vital tourist industry. We need an MP who is capable of standing up for Cornwall, but what we have is a weak Tory yes man.”  

Mr Gilbert believes that Theresa May will ignore the needs of Cornwall as big business and London lobby groups battle it out for their own sectors.

He said: “Any final Brexit deal needs to be put to the British people because there is just too much at stake to give May a blank cheque and then just stand back and trust politicians in Westminster to look out for the people of St Austell and Newquay, 250 miles away.  

“We may have voted for departure but we didn’t vote to have no say at all about what that departure would be like. These are the people who brought us the lie about £350 million a week for the NHS.”

Steve Gilbert served as the area’s MP from 2010 to 2015 and was a councillor before running for Parliament. Mr Gilbert lives in St Austell and is from a clay-mining family from Nanpean.

Mr Gilbert won his seat for the Liberal Democrats in 2010 with a majority of 1,300 over Conservative rival Caroline Righton, securing 43% of votes cast. But in the 2015 General Election Lib Dem support across Cornwall slumped, and local businessman Steve Double took the seat for the Conservatives with 40% of votes cast. The 2015 General Election also saw a surge in support for UKIP whose share of the constituency vote jumped from 3.7% in 2010 to 16.9% in 2015.

By Warren Wilkins 3rd May 2017

John Hodson 5th May 2017 22:43
Shows real commitment to the teaching profession; trains to be a teacher, a vocation in which you are dedicated to your pupils, and then an election comes up and so he ditches that idea to get back in office.
Steve Thomas 10th May 2017 22:46
This guy is a user. Presumably he would have had to promise to commit to teaching in order to get the training, but he obviously didn´t mean it did he. Someone with those sort of morals ought to be ....... a politician!!
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