Cornwall Conservative MP Steve Double says he won't miss 'very ugly' politics

The former Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, says he's gutted to have lost his job but has spoken out about how he won't miss the "constant barrage of abuse". Mr Double says he genuinely fears for the future as politics has become "a very ugly place".

Mr Double received 13,488 votes - a 28.86 per cent share - but was beaten by Labour's Noah Law, who gained 15,958 votes and a 34.15 per cent vote share; a 17.11 per cent swing from blue to red.

Speaking after his defeat, Mr Double said: "I want to thank the more than 13,000 people in St Austell and Newquay who did vote for me. It was the largest vote share of any sitting MP in Cornwall and I'm grateful for those who wanted to keep me as their MP.

Read next: Cornwall's fury as it kicks out every one of its Tory MPs

Read next: Losing Tory MP cries and says she was 'swimming against the tide'

See all results and updates for Cornwall and nationally in our live blog here.

"I also want to thank my amazing staff, campaign team, and all those who supported my campaign. Sadly it was not enough but we can hold our heads high for the campaign we ran."

He added: "Being the MP for my home constituency for the past nine years has been an incredible honour. It is the best job I could ever have imagined. But it was so much more than a job for me. Serving and representing the place I belong went far deeper than work or politics.

"I am incredibly proud of all we achieved. Especially the funding for new roads, railway upgrades, new schools, a new college campus, hospital improvements, flood defences, new job opportunities and much more. I hope the new Labour government will still fund all these that are still to be completed as they will truly be life changing for many local people.

"It's also been a huge honour to help so many local people. With my amazing office staff we have assisted more than 40,000 people, households and businesses. For some our help has changed their lives."

However, Mr Double had some strong words about the state of politics and the trolling and abuse so many MPs receive.

"There is so much I will miss about being the MP for St Austell and Newquay, but there are things I certainly will not miss," he said. "Politics has become a very ugly place. The constant barrage of abuse and unfounded criticism takes its toll.

"I genuinely fear what the future will bring as I wonder why any decent, capable person would ever want to stand for election. So although I am gutted, there is also a sense of relief that I no longer have to put up with all the crap that comes with it."

Mr Double spoke about his successor. "I wish our new MP well and congratulate him on his victory. Although with only securing 15,000 votes, only a third of those cast, he will have his work cut out. But I do hope he succeeds as our constituency needs an effective MP to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead.

"I hope he will quickly learn to not be a Labour man but be a local man first and that he truly comes to love this place the way I do. This part of Cornwall is a truly special and amazing place. There is nowhere else like it anywhere. The people deserve someone to represent them who is truly passionate about our communities here. I don't see that in him yet but really hope it will develop quickly."

Finally, Mr Double thanked people for the kinds words he and wife Anne, a Cornwall councillor, have received.

"We are really touched by all the kind messages from people locally and from around the world. We are genuinely fine. We accept the world of politics can be brutal and when the tide turns there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.

"We will be taking time to rest recharge and in time consider what is next for us. We appreciate all your love and prayers for us."