North Cornwall candidates for General Election 2024

-Credit: (Image: Pauline Kent)
-Credit: (Image: Pauline Kent)

Since 2015, former postman Scott Mann has been North Cornwall's Conservative MP but will that run come to an end on July 4? Polls are suggesting it will be a close-run battle between Mr Mann and Lib Dem candidate Ben Maguire, with the latter edging it according to recent YouGov and Electoral Calculus / Find Out Now polls.

However, we all know polls can't be relied upon and as so many candidates across Cornwall have told me, when it comes to doorstepping across the Duchy many people are telling prospective MPs that they still haven't made up their minds who they're voting for.

We asked each of the candidates standing in the constituency - which includes Padstow, Wadebridge, Camelford, Bude, Bodmin and Launceston - to outline in their own words the reasons why they think they'd make the perfect MP for an area of Cornwall which has its fair share of wealth and second homes, but also deprivation and need.

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Conservative - Scott Mann

My job as your MP is to make decisions in Westminster that benefit you at home, and our United Kingdom as a whole. My role in the Government Whips Office has put me at the centre of efforts to deliver legislation to reduce legal and illegal migration, and to fight efforts by Labour and the Lib Dems to open our borders and soften our laws.

Politics is at the heart of everyday life and helping people with their concerns remains my priority. Since I was first elected, I have actioned over 67,500, dealing with hundreds of emails from residents every week.

Some of the things I’m most proud of delivering include:

  • A Community Diagnostic Centre

  • A new STEM Skills Education Centre

  • Over 600 affordable homes

  • Millions of extra funding into our communities

  • New laws to fix our housing market

  • Economic help for our hospitality industry during and after the pandemic

  • Tax cuts for workers with an 8.5% increase this year for pensioners following pension rise of 10% in 2023.

I am proud of all we have achieved, but there is so much more I want to do for our community.

North Cornwall needs an MP who is committed to our area. One who keeps their promises. One who is honest with their constituents about their views, rather than saying something different on every doorstep. We need an MP who has a track record of delivery from day one, back when I was a postie and a local councillor for North Cornwall, then as your MP in Parliament. We need an MP who loves North Cornwall who has a proven record of delivery and supports the entire constituency regardless of politics and personalities. This is why I will be seeking re-election as your Member of Parliament.

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Labour - Robyn Harris

We need a voice for North Cornwall to champion fishing, farming families, residents, workers, and retirees. My journey began at Wadebridge School, followed by studying art and illustration at Falmouth University, and later transitioning into mental health and learning disabilities, nursing for the NHS in Bodmin.

Currently based in Padstow and residing in Wadebridge, I have been a part of North Cornwall for over 40 years. I have witnessed the region's recovery since the 1970s recession, supported by European funding. However, economic challenges persist in 2024 due to Conservative policies, impacting housing affordability and low wages for essential workers.

My involvement with the Labour Party as a student, followed by becoming a town councillor and joining the Labour Women's Network, has provided me with political insights. I have also served as the chairperson of Unison Cornwall Local Government.

With my background in local governance and advocacy within the Labour Party, I am well-equipped to represent and advocate for the needs of my community. One pressing issue is housing affordability, particularly affecting key workers such as teachers, nurses, and retail staff due to the seasonal nature of employment in rural and tourism-driven areas.

Safety, security, work and health are my pledges to you.

  • Reintroduce police officers with increased patrols and neighbourhood police officers to enhance safety and security in North Cornwall

  • Trial Neighbourhood Health Centres to provide various healthcare services under one roof for Cornwall

  • Implement a new deal for workers to ensure fair wages and end exploitative practices

  • Improve access to childcare and offer free breakfast clubs for primary school children in North Cornwall

  • To support working people through sustainability, and environmental changes to reduce energy prices, through advocating clean energy

  • To question what is “affordable housing in North Cornwall”, a rural and tourist area.

Liberal Democrats - Ben Maguire

I’m Ben Maguire, your Liberal Democrat candidate for North Cornwall. Born and raised in Cornwall, I’ve witnessed first-hand Westminster’s neglect of our beloved Duchy, and I’m here to fight for change. These are my campaign priorities:

1. Tackling the Housing Crisis

Cornwall faces a severe housing crisis with 20,000 people on the social housing waiting list. Liberal Democrats will reverse the £500 million Tory tax cut for holiday homes and force developers to provide genuinely affordable housing. Everyone in Cornwall deserves a safe, affordable home.

2. Stopping Sewage Pollution

South West Water repeatedly pollutes our waterways - yet, in 2023, 292 Tory MPs, including our current MP – voted to allow sewage dumps for another 15 years. Lib Dems will demand a stop to the discharge of sewage, ban fat-cat bonuses and transform private water companies into public benefit companies.
3. Strengthening the NHS

Cornwall’s NHS is at breaking point. Ambulance wait times are at dangerous levels and NHS dentists have all but disappeared. My father worked as a GP, and my siblings work in Cornish hospitals, so I’m acutely aware of the crisis we face. Lib Dems will overhaul the NHS dentist contract, reform adult social care to reduce hospital waiting times and recruit 8,000 more GPs. It’ll take time to fix everything but we need to start NOW!

4. Supporting Fishing and Farming

Farming and fishing, the lifeblood of Cornwall, have been neglected by the current government. Food security has never been more important. I will ensure a strong voice in Westminster for farmers and fishermen and hold regular meetings to address their concerns.

As your MP, I will tirelessly advocate for North Cornwall. Together, we can build a future where our environment is protected, housing is affordable and healthcare is accessible. Cornwall deserves better. It’s time for change.

Reform UK - Rowland O'Connor

I am standing to be your MP for North Cornwall because I could see the incompetence and the lack of leadership from our Parliamentary MPs during Covid. The incompetence is still costing our children, communities and businesses dearly and it can never happen again. To take action, I decided to join Reform UK to offer a choice other than the legacy two party system.

I believe in preserving our freedoms and having honest, intelligent MPs and councillors. We need to restore faith in our local and national politics. As a local businessman I have decided to stand up for the politically lost in North Cornwall and try to save our country from ruin before it’s too late.

Fundamentally, I believe that our sovereign rights as individuals to make our own decisions is paramount to government or state intervention and mandates. Our government and local authorities exist to serve us, the citizens of the UK and not the other way around as many in authority seem to believe.

I promise to:

  • Protect national borders from illegal migration. Pick up migrants out of boats and take them back to France

  • Deal with the cost of living crisis - raise the minimum tax threshold to £20,000. Scrap the VAT on energy bills. Lower fuel duty by 20p per litre. Scrap environmental levies

  • Immediate deportation for foreign criminals. Deport foreign nationals immediately after their prison sentence ends. Withdraw citizenship from immigrants who commit significant crime

  • Cancel Net Zero saving us up to £1 trillion. Invest in more sustainable, natural alternatives to promote the environment

  • Support local farmers by cutting imports, ending net zero quotas and preserving farm land for food

  • Implement Brexit properly which includes taking back full fishing rights and cutting red tape originally set out by the EU.

Green Party - Lance Symonds

Many people in Cornwall are struggling, feeling they’ve been ignored and thrown to the side. I want to give such people a voice and help tackle the issues they face as best I can.

The Green Party places a high value on human wellbeing. But so much of our system is undermining this. Housing costs, for instance, including the difficulty in accessing a mortgage and dangerously high rents, are due not just to a lack of social housing but also to a lack of regulation and rent controls to prevent greedy landlords exploiting their tenants.

We also need to save our NHS and reverse the privatisation of health services. Health is a right, and a fundamental one too.

As a young person I see tackling the climate crisis as a huge challenge. This country has an opportunity to lead, to roll out far more renewables that our communities can benefit from and that can create good jobs. Many who talk about reaching net zero by 2050 rely on us finding new technology to lower greenhouse gases while not making the changes we know can cut these quickly. And that distant date gives them an excuse to procrastinate – perfect for governments that won’t be there to take accountability when those targets fail to be met!

We need much tougher regulation of the transnational corporations that dodge taxes and suck the lifeblood out of communities, and renationalisation of the privatised water companies that pollute our beaches and rivers with sewage. Yet all we see are slogans and broken promises.

Voting for a party that will harm the future of you and your family, that’s the real wasted vote. The Green Party, myself included, will push hard to do what needs to be done before it’s too late.

Heritage Party - Sarah Farrell

I am a born and bred Cornish 'maid'. Cornwall is my home, and I cannot stand by and allow the destruction of this beautiful county without trying to do something about it. There are many pressures on our county based on false narratives driven by corporations who value their profits above all other considerations. We desperately need change and to make our county great again.

One of our key priorities is to eliminate subsidies that discourage farmers from cultivating their land and potentially lead to farm closures. We will pay farmers to produce food, not meet climate targets.

The Heritage Party is a party based on social conservatism. We, as the living generation, are responsible for looking after the heritage which has been passed to us from our forefathers and we have a duty to pass it on to the next generation. It is crucial that those in positions of power prioritise the well-being and prosperity of our own citizens, ensuring a thriving economy and a sense of security in our own country.

Successive governments have eroded our freedom, given away our sovereignty and mismanaged our economy. The Heritage Party exists to return to the principles of social conservatism, to reverse the cultural destruction wrecked by politically correct ideologies and to return to our true traditions and heritage. In embracing these principles, we believe the UK can once again become a great and prosperous nation.

The Heritage Party stands for straightforward, common-sense values and principles that will restore pride, purpose and prosperity to our nation:

  • Defend our culture and heritage

  • Upholding free speech and liberty

  • Valuing traditional family values

  • Protecting children from harmful gender ideology and sexualisation

  • Safeguarding national sovereignty

  • Exercising control over our borders

  • Fostering self-sufficiency in skills

  • No ‘net-zero’ – keep our cars

  • Take financial responsibility

  • No more lockdowns

  • Disentangle from foreign wars

For these reasons, I am delighted to be standing for the Heritage Party.