Independent vote 'would not achieve anything' says departing MP

PUBLISHED: 14:33 04 November 2019

Hugo Swire on rhe upcoming election in East Devon. Picture: Google/Hugo Swire

Hugo Swire on rhe upcoming election in East Devon. Picture: Google/Hugo Swire

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Departing MP Sir Hugo Swire has warned that voting for Claire Wright in the upcoming election 'would not achieve anything'.

Speaking ahead of his last day as MP for East Devon, Sir Hugo said a vote for independent candidates in the upcoming election would have no impact on the Brexit debate.

Voters are set to go to the polls on Thursday, December 12.

The Conservative MP, who announced earlier this year he would not be standing in the next election, also predicted his party would increase their majority in East Devon and the Liberal Democrats would sweep up the anti-Brexit vote.

He said: "If you want to stop Brexit, it seems you would vote for the Liberal Democrats or the Labour Party.

"Voting for an independent would not achieve anything.

"My prediction is that the Conservative Party will get more than 50 per cent of the share in East Devon and the Liberal Democrats will do better."

The Conservatives are yet to reveal who their candidate is, but Sir Hugo expects an announcement on Saturday (November 9).

He added: "Crucially, when Parliament is more important than ever, we do need people of quality.

"I will not interfere in the politics of East Devon because that would be unfair on the next MP but I will return to see friends and colleagues."

Sir Hugo was first selected to run as a candidate for East Devon in 2000 and was elected 12 months later.

He has successfully fought five elections since then.

During that time, Sir Hugo counts his involvement in the creation of a health and wellbeing hub in Budleigh Salterton and the campaign to save the former Rolle College site as his biggest successes.

Sir Hugo is also pleased with his part in identifying a potential new location for flood-threatened Tipton St John Primary School and that Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock has ruled out the closure of Ottery St Mary Hospital.

He said: "Thank you for putting up with me - it's been an absolute honour.

"It's been a huge chunk of my life but, at the end of the day, I only did it because residents continued to return me."

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