General Election 2017

28th June 2017

The General Election on 8 June was the fifth in which I have stood to be your Member of Parliament and I am honoured and humbled to have received the support of so many once again.

I would like to congratulate all the candidates. It is not easy to place oneself in the firing line but it is vital for our democracy that people should continue to be willing to do so and to debate their differences with civility and mutual respect.  

It was, in many ways, a remarkable election here in Torridge. For the first time, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party achieved a clear second place, thousands of votes ahead of the Liberal Democrats, and Labour is now the main challenger in this constituency and throughout the South West. Having fallen a few seats short of an overall majority, that is something the Conservative Party must now reflect on and learn the important lessons from the national campaign.

In the meantime, as substantially the largest Party in the House of Commons, it is only the Conservative Party that has the ability and legitimacy to form a Government and I welcome that the Prime Minister has got on with the business of Government against the backdrop of horrific national tragedies such as those we have seen in Borough Market, Kensington and Finsbury Park. The response of people who have provided help, compassion and support has once again shown the deep well of solidarity and public spiritedness that exists in Britain.

The Prime Minister has steered the country through a difficult period and will continue doing so as we progress through the negotiations to leave the European Union. The negotiations have now begun and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has reported that the talks were productive and constructive. 

During the campaign, I had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of constituents and discuss their priorities. It will not be a surprise that the principal issue raised with me was the arrangements for Britain’s exit from the EU. I am determined to see the UK achieve a flexible and pragmatic arrangement with the EU that will create new opportunities for our local industries while providing the certainty, reassurance and responsible stewardship that our economy requires to remain strong. I will be vigilant to protect the interests of our constituency in these negotiations. 

I will also continue my campaign to secure a fair deal for our farmers and the revitalisation of our fishing industry. I have for a long time been proud to work with and lobby for our local fishermen and I will continue to advocate for a new start for our fishing fleet, which would bring increased prosperity and opportunity to our coastal and rural communities.

During the campaign, I also had ample opportunity to speak to parents and residents about the funding that local schools will receive next year. While school budgets have been rising, costs have increased at a greater pace. Devon MPs are united in working to achieve greater provision for schools to alleviate the increasing cost pressures they have experienced in the last few years.  With our encouragement, the Department for Education is now pursuing all options to increase school funding.

The next few months will also be a crucial period for Holsworthy Hospital.  I will shortly meet the Head of the Devon CCG to press for the earliest possible reopening of the beds after their temporary closure and I will be collaborating closely with the Mayor’s working party, the CCG and the NDDHT to facilitate a way forward.

It is encouraging that the first stage of the review into our health services in Devon has found, as I have consistently represented to the Department of Health and those conducting the review, that vital A&E, stroke, maternity and paediatric services must be retained at North Devon District Hospital. 

At the election, I made clear that one of my top priorities was to guarantee my constituents access to the health services they need and a good level of care and as your MP I will continue to fight not only to protect these services but to enhance them.

Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.
Saturday 14th July
Holsworthy, Tavistock
Saturday 28th July
Bideford, Torrington