Rishi Sunak believes Tories will 'do well' in Gloucestershire constituencies despite appalling council election results

Prime Minister Rishi Sunaduring his visit to Great Oldbury Academy with Siobhan Baillie the Conservative candidate for Stroud
-Credit: (Image: PAUL NICHOLLS PHOTOGRAPHY)


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is confident his parliamentary colleagues will “do well” due to their track record in Gloucestershire despite the Tories’ appalling results in the recent council elections.

The Conservative leader made the comments at Great Oldbury Academy near Stonehouse while on a visit supporting his colleague Siobhan Baillie who is seeking re-election as Stroud MP. Gloucestershire had six Conservative MPs in the last Parliament. But there are now seven seats up for grabs on July 4 due to boundary changes.

Mr Sunak was asked on Friday (June 7) by the Local Democracy Reporting Service how many Tory MPs he thought would be returned given the recent local election results saw the Conservative lose control of Gloucester City Council, be wiped out from Cheltenham Borough Council and decimated in Stroud District.

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He defended his colleagues' record and praised the hard work of Siobhan Baillie, Alex Chalk, Richard Graham and others in the county. “The choice at this election is clear," he said.

"After a difficult few years we have turned a corner with the economy and we are the party that has got a clear plan that is working as you can see with inflation back to normal and the economy growing and energy bills falling again.

"We will do well because we have fantastic candidates like Siobhan [Baillie], Richard [Graham], Alex [Chalk] and others who work very hard for their local communities and have got a track record of delivering for them and making sure this area gets the investment it needs, young people get the opportunities too and I think people can recognise their hard work and dedication to the area.

“And we’re prepared to take bold action, whether it’s a triple lock plus to protect pensions or creating 100,000 new apprenticeships by closing down rip off degrees. Or today’s announcement of cutting tax for working parents when it comes to child benefit.

Siobhan Baillie says she is up for the challenge of winning the marginal Stroud seat. She thanked Rishi Sunak for his support during a visit to Great Oldbury Academy near Stonehouse
Siobhan Baillie says she is up for the challenge of winning the marginal Stroud seat. She thanked Rishi Sunak for his support during a visit to Great Oldbury Academy near Stonehouse -Credit:PAUL NICHOLLS PHOTOGRAPHY

“These are all examples of bold action which will secure a better future for people here. Not just in Gloucestershire but across the country.”

Siobhan Bailie said Stroud is marginal seat and she is up for the challenge. “Nominations close today. We are expecting the Lib Dems, Greens, Labour probably a Reform candidate as well.

“For Stroud, it’s always been a marginal and I really like a challenge It’s going to be a really interesting debate, a really interesting election. We’ve got new boundaries as well and I am very much up for it. It’s fantastic to have the Prime Minister here supporting me as well.”

Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate Dr Simon Opher said he hoped the Prime Minister stayed long enough to see how hard the county’s teachers work. He said schools in the Stroud constituency have had to cope with real terms cuts of £2m since the Conservatives came to power – that’s £187 per pupil.

“Many schools are struggling to deliver the education and support children and young adults are crying out for. Labour will give schools the support they need, with 6,500 more top quality teachers. breakfast clubs in every primary school, and broadening the curriculum to set young people up for success."

Also expected to stand in Stroud are Liberal Democrat George James, Green Party candidate Pete Kennedy and Reform UK have selected Christoper Lester.