Battle for the one place in Cornwall to definitely get a new MP

-Credit: (Image: Greg Martin)
-Credit: (Image: Greg Martin)

It's the one constituency in Cornwall where we will definitely get a new MP. Since the Camborne and Redruth constituency's inception in 2010, the seat has been held by Conservative MP George Eustice. However, Mr Eustice will retire come the General Election so who will replace him?

Polls suggest it will be a battle between the Tory who wants to be his successor, Cornwall councillor Connor Donnithorne, and Labour's Perran Moon. The UK Polling Report website currently shows a Labour gain, with a predicted 51.74 per cent share of the vote for Moon and 36.76 per cent for Donnithorne.

We asked each of the seven candidates standing in the constituency - which includes an area from Mount Hawke and Mawnan Smith to Hayle and Gwinear - to outline the reasons why they think they'd make the perfect MP for one of the most deprived areas of Cornwall.

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Conservative - Connor Donnithorne

I'm standing to be a strong, local champion as Camborne, Redruth and Hayle's next MP. I live just outside Redruth where we are raising our young family. As a parent, small business owner, and local councillor, I'll be an MP in touch with the challenges facing local people, because I face them too.

I'm a proud Cornishman and want to play my part in helping make our Duchy stronger, fairer, and more secure for One and All. As a local councillor, I protected free bus passes for pensioners, invested an extra £9 million to fix local roads and allocated £4 million to build more affordable homes for local people.

But there's so much more to do. Please lend me your vote in this election and I will use my platform as a hardworking local MP to bring about the change that we need for our part of Cornwall.

I run my own business and know what it takes to create well-paid jobs for local people. If I am elected, I will work with businesses to grow our Cornish economy and create more apprenticeships in growing industries such as tech, mining, and offshore wind. I'll support measures to secure our borders and tackle illegal migration. I want to unlock brownfield land to build more homes that locals need and can afford on local wages. I'll help secure our fair share of national funding to upgrade our local hospitals to provide people with better access to healthcare closer to home.

Politics is about delivering for local people on the issues that matter to them. And people have lost faith in Parliament. I want to be the change that works for our part of Cornwall and am working to earn that trust to become the next MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle.

Labour - Perran Moon

I was born and live in Redruth, so Camborne, Redruth and Hayle is the only parliamentary constituency I’d ever represent. For more than two years, I’ve been knocking on doors every week right across the constituency. After 14 years, five Prime Ministers, seven Chancellors, a crashed economy and constant Conservative infighting, the overwhelming feeling I’ve been getting from the people I meet is hardly surprisingly: it’s time for change.

Our communities have been so badly let down by the Conservatives. Mortgages and rents through the roof, food prices still rising (despite what the Conservatives may have you believe), record high ambulance waiting times, record high hospital waiting lists, dental services in a state of collapse and sewage being pumped into our rivers and seas on a seemingly daily basis.
But I am deeply optimistic about the positive changes that a Labour government will bring to Camborne, Redruth, Hayle and our surrounding villages, which is why I’m standing.

As an experienced businessman and father of three young adults, I have the experience, skills and passion to deliver the change that we need across our communities. In Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, we have huge opportunities with our tin, lithium and renewables businesses, all of which will help us transition our economy away from fossil fuels, while creating hundreds of new, high skilled, well-paid jobs.

That’s why, a few weeks ago, I took Shadow Business Secretary Jonny Reynolds to South Crofty. But, for our businesses to succeed, we need to have a steady supply of local talent. In Cornwall College, we are home to the South West’s best further education college. A couple of months ago, we were able to showcase the college to Shadow Skills Minister Seema Malhotra.
If elected as MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, I will deliver the change that our communities desperately need.

Liberal Democrats - Thalia Marrington

I’ve lived in West Cornwall for the past 22 years, am a mum to teens and until four years ago was a piano teacher with no aspiration to being an MP. But we all have a tipping point. For me it was during the pandemic, realising that at that crucial moment we needed trust in leadership, it simply wasn’t there.

Politics had been getting more polarised and divisive. Integrity was ebbing away. I realised the ONLY thing I could do was to become an MP myself, and so I set out, from the bottom rung, but with the values and principles I saw lacking from those at the top.

I joined the Liberal Democrats and in 2021 was elected to Cornwall Council in a previously safe Conservative seat. Since then, I’ve worked hard for people. If elected I have no interest in being average! We need to hear about Cornwall in Westminster. I would push for more decisions about Cornwall to be made IN Cornwall too.

I would continue the work I am doing around housing. I sit on a planning committee and proactively support the building of affordable and social homes in this constituency. Young people? Those desperate to see action on the climate emergency but fed up with warm words and little action? We need brave politicians who will speak for them, be bold and responsible for future generations.

I persuaded Cornwall Council to prioritise action to tackle violence against women here in 2021. To prevent abuse we must transform societal attitudes and understanding. We must also better support victims.

I’d like to be elected by being honest with people. Nobody will have all the answers but by showing my approach to dealing with problems and my already strong 'actions' as a councillor, I am providing a genuine choice for the many voters disillusioned with traditional politics.

Reform UK - Roger Tarrant

Cornwall is literally in my DNA, born in Redruth to a long line of Cornish farmers. I am a proud Cornishman who cares passionately about the Camborne, Redruth and Hayle constituency.

Among the Reform manifesto aims, one of my top priorities for this constituency is going to be housing. As Professor Malcolm Williams, from the Institute of Cornish Studies at Exeter University, said in recent research: “Houses are being built in Cornwall ... but it doesn’t seem to be helping the crisis of affordability and availability we see in the Duchy.”

Moreover, the under-building of houses, Section 21 and second homes, are a cynical form of political misdirection that will not solve the dire situation many good people find themselves in. The threat of the Renters Reform Bill has sent many landlords fleeing the market, which is reducing the amount of rented property available.

The truth is that the most significant effect on housing has been the incredible rise in legal mass immigration under both Labour and Tory Governments. Last year 1.2 million people came to live in this country. Plymouth has a population of 265,000, meaning the building of several cities worth of housing just to stand still. This is clearly unachievable. If levels of immigration were reduced to the numbers before Tony Blair came to office, there would be more than enough housing, and at affordable rents and mortgages.

Reform UK will review the planning system and social housing law to prioritise local people. No one should be worried about losing the roof over their head, or desperate to acquire accommodation. Crucially, Reform UK intends to end the addiction to immigration, which is not only putting a huge strain on housing, but also on the NHS and schools, and lowering GDP per capita making everyone poorer.

Green Party - Catherine Hayes

I’ve been actively campaigning for decades on environmental and social issues. For the last few years, I’ve dedicated my campaigning to affordable housing and have successfully raised the profile of this issue, which is so pressing for so many people in Cornwall.

Acting as spokesperson on this in national and international media has given me the confidence to stand as a candidate, and to speak out loud and clear about other urgent issues that face us all in this election.

I’m standing for the Green Party to protect the NHS from the threat of privatisation and restore it to full strength; to return the water companies to public ownership and invest in the infrastructure that‘s so desperately needed; to deliver the much-needed active response to the climate emergency that’s lacking at present in UK politics; to decarbonise our economy and invest in renewable energy and energy storage; and, of course, to turn the tide on the housing crisis.

Growing up and raising a family in St Erth, I really understand the challenges faced by individuals and families in small rural communities, and I’m dedicated to unreservedly supporting those communities, particularly those hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis. I also want to help make sure that industry in the South West can thrive through the decarbonisation of our economy.

Liberal Party - Paul Holmes

I represent the original Liberal Party of David Penhaligon, Lloyd George, William Gladstone and Jeremy Thorpe. We are ‘not’ the Liberal Democrats, who broke away from the Liberal Party in 1988.

When the Liberal Party was in Government, it passed legislation which we still enjoy today. These include the right of all men and women to vote in elections and in private. The right to be in a trade union, old age pensions, labour exchanges, council housing, allotments, the County Farms Estate, a national health service and much more. We stand for liberty, individual freedom and social justice.

Cornwall is the only Celtic nation in the UK without its own assembly. The Liberal Party will fight for a Cornish Assembly, transforming the majority of decision making from where it is presently in Bristol and London. We will reinstate the six Cornish district councils as Cornwall Council is too remote for its residents.

We are not building the houses we desperately need in Cornwall, priority should be given to affordable and social housing as well as the 16,000 homeless families and individuals currently in expensive temporary accommodation.

No usable agricultural land should be built on, including large solar farms, as the UK needs to be more self-sufficient in food production. Our traditional industries, farming, fishing and mining must be supported and expanded, bringing with them new job opportunities. We should be promoting Cornish produce like meat and fish.

We will encourage more developments for our traditional Cornish culture, especially music, dancing, language and history. The Liberal party won nearly 2,000 votes in Cornwall at the last General Election, gaining many new members.

Don't waste your vote by staying at home because the bigger parties have let you down, vote for the Liberal Party on July 4.