St Ives, West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly candidates for General Election 2024

With St Michael's Mount in the background, experienced windsurfers at Marazion take advantage of gusts of up to 70mph from Storm Henk as the Met Office issues an amber weather warning for Cornwall on Tuesday, January 2.
-Credit: (Image: Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)

The St Ives constituency - which covers the far west of Cornwall including Helston, Penzance and the Isles of Scilly - has been represented since 2015 by Conservative MP Derek Thomas. However, the latest polls suggest the seat will return to its former Liberal Democrat MP, Andrew George, at the General Election on July 4.

However, as we all know the polls can be wrong, so if you still need persuading who to vote for, here are the majority of the nine candidates standing in St Ives (the most candidates of any Cornish constituency) with the reasons why they think they'd make the best MP for West Cornwall.

It's an area that thrives on tourism but is also dependent on fishing and farming where there are more than its fair share of second homes and holiday lets but also a dearth of affordable and social housing with some of the most impoverished neighbourhoods not just in Cornwall, but across the UK and Europe.

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Conservative - Derek Thomas

As MP, I’ve been getting on with the job for West Cornwall and Scilly. My team and I have helped thousands of families as they face very difficult challenges. And, through working constructively with local community leaders, I have secured millions of pounds to improve opportunities, our economy, access to good transport links and NHS services.

This money is being spent on the NHS such as West Cornwall’s new outpatient department and the integrated care hospital on Scilly. Money is being spent on the restoration and refurbishment of iconic buildings, massive investment in public transport and to upgrade mobile and broadband connectivity. This is testament to the constructive and positive effort that can be achieved by working together.

Housing to meet local need is a complex issue to solve but the ask is simple - whether the home is existing or newly-built, you should be able to feel it is your secure home and, that it is affordable and healthy to live in. I’m working to find ways to retrofit homes for more low-income households, drive up construction apprenticeships and adopt affordable secure options for people to rent or buy.

Access to dentistry is another area I’ve focused heavily on. Working with local dentists I was able to contribute to the Government’s Dental Recovery Plan launched earlier this year. Things are improving, for example, a new dental practice in St Ives was able to book in over 1,000 child appointments within weeks of opening bookings.

Residents in West Cornwall and Scilly deserve to have an MP who is willing to tackle the big issues affecting our lives. I take this seriously and, as an example, since Easter I’ve raised the need for robotic surgery at Treliske, post-16 education costs for families on Scilly, the risk of pharmacy closures in St Ives, and support for inshore fishing and our farmers.

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Labour - Dr Filson Ali

From the lack of NHS services to drastic cuts in local schools’ budgets, the St Ives constituency has been poorly served by this Government and the previous Lib/Dem Conservative coalition. As a doctor in general practice every day I see the consequences of 14 years of government failure and incompetence.

Families have been made poorer by increases in interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis, caused by the Government’s mismanagement of the economy. Older people especially worry about the state of NHS services, such as the closure of the pharmacy service at the Stennack Surgery in St Ives.

For many young people their only hope of buying or renting a decent home is to move up country away from family and friends. The housing crisis is especially acute in this constituency. Average wages are £127 per week lower than the rest of the country while average house prices are 35 per cent higher. In some holiday hotspots many locals are priced out of the market by second homeowners who let their properties while paying nothing to support local services.

Local schools have suffered some devastating cuts. Humphry Davy School, a secondary school in Penzance, has had close to £600,000 slashed from its budget over the last 14 years. A cut equivalent to £715 per pupil. Nansloe Academy, a primary school in Helston, has lost around £1,500 per pupil in the same period.

Over successive elections Labour has been increasing its vote in Cornwall as local people recognise the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have failed them. This election we are offering the change that Cornwall and this constituency needs. As someone who has devoted their professional life to serving the public, I’d hope you will allow me the honour of serving you by voting Labour on July 4.

Liberal Democrats - Andrew George

Andrew George, Liberal Democrat Cornwall Councillor
Derek Thomas, Conservative candidate for St Ives

Together we can restore our country and get things back on the right track. It won’t be easy. Cornwall and Scilly have been taken for granted. I’m determined our voice should be heard again.

Together we can rebuild our NHS; reverse the widening inequality; restore our reputation in the world; fight climate change; secure housing justice; restore nature and curb the appalling sewage spills around our coast.

It’s not just that we must defeat the Conservatives – vitally important though that is. We need to build a broad consensus for change. I’m keen to work with those who want to help rebuild a kinder society. This is essential to deliver a stronger economy and a sustainable environment.

I’m standing on my record as MP (1997-2015), and the achievements of successful NHS, housing and environmental campaigning. I am currently a housing professional, leading a charity with a successful record of delivering decent, secure and genuinely affordable homes for locals. I know what needs to be done to improve the chances of local families and am determined to deliver.

Elections here in the St Ives constituency are a straight choice - if I don’t win we end up with a Conservative MP. We were close at the last three General Elections. This time I know, with your support, we can do it.

My first priorities for our area if elected will be to restore 24/7 urgent treatment at West Cornwall Hospital, press for the delivery of in perpetuity homes for locals which are currently stuck in the system, end tax loopholes on holiday homes to pay for homes for locals, accelerate action to ensure investment to stop sewage spills by controlling unjustified top exec/shareholder rewards in the water industry and to ensure the efficient delivery of remaining town deal and other investment programmes.

Reform UK - Giane Mortimer

As a dedicated Cornishman, I am deeply connected to our heritage, our country and our community. Since 1997, under both Labour and Conservative governments, we have witnessed a gradual erosion of our national identity.

This is a concern that will impact our future generations, and it is why I have chosen to stand for Parliament, to make a difference for our beloved Cornwall.
Our country needs a party that stands for truth, honesty and integrity, one with new ideas that address.

One of the pressing issues we face is immigration. Under past Labour, Conservative/ Liberal Coalition and ,more recently, Conservative governments, we have lost control of immigration, both legal and illegal. This is not a status quo we can afford to accept, as it costs us billions of pounds a year, not to mention the secondary costs borne by local councils and government departments.

  • An increasing backlog exceeding 7.4 million patients. The increase in house building and immigration sees hospitals insufficiently sized due to under-investment and poor planning.

  • A country stricken by past and ongoing strikes that impacted the whole country, reducing productivity.

  • A Bank of England that failed to control inflation that increased costs of mortgages, energy, food and rent.

  • Net Zero policies adopted without full consideration of the total emissions. Local councils declare climate emergencies without fully considering the impact on communities.

  • The highest rate of tax since the 1950s, and due to frozen allowances, it will increase year-on-year under both the Conservatives and Labour.

  • A distrust of politicians due to expenses scandal and no straight answers when challenged.

As a local lad, born and raised in Carbis Bay and educated locally, I am deeply committed to our community. I believe it is now my duty to repay the people of Cornwall, and in particular St Ives and the Scilly Isles constituency, including Penzance, by standing alongside you and acting as your potential Parliamentary Representative.

Green Party - Ian Flindall

Ian Flindall, Green Party candidate for St Ives
Dr Filson Ali, Labour candidate for St Ives

I run a small family farm near Morvah, producing quality food for the local market. We do our best to promote high standards of animal welfare as well as conserving and enhancing natural habitats and biodiversity on the land we farm.

I’m glad to say that local fauna such as lizards and slow worms are thriving there, as are ground-nesting birds such as stonechats and larks, as well as butterflies and other pollinators. We even have a small flock of choughs that regularly visits our farm to feed.

Before that, I used to work in the energy world, where I was responsible for several major energy conservation projects for local councils and the Ministry of Defence.

I’ve seen the energy bills for our farm more than double recently, so I’m keenly aware of the need to roll out renewables much more rapidly to keep bills down at the same time as cutting carbon emissions and strengthening the UK’s energy security. It’s shocking that the Government has done so little to do this in the past 14 years. The Ukraine crisis and the massive increase in energy bills has been a wake-up call – we urgently need to build renewable energy capacity and insulate people’s homes, so that energy – and money – isn’t wasted on heating the planet.

I’ve played a hands-on part in installing dozens of small wind-turbines in Cornwall, and I want to see our local communities benefit directly from a much bigger roll-out of renewable energy in Cornwall. I also think it’s vital that farmers are supported to improve the UK’s national food security while contributing positively to a more sustainable environment.

Liberal - Paul Nicholson

Paul, who has not supplied a photo, served in the Armed Forces for 26 years. In 1973 he served alongside Paddy Ashdown in Malta. After leaving military service he joined the Liberal Democrats and served as a Lib Dem councillor for four years. Paul and his wife, Amanda, have been married for 30 years and look after people with learning difficulties. They have four horses and enjoy taking part in endurance riding events.

He said: “I am standing in this election as a voice for all true Liberals in my constituency. The mainstream parties have wrecked the economy and ruined people's livelihoods. They are out of touch with ordinary people, especially in Cornwall, as we are too far away from the Westminster bubble. It's a disgrace that children in the St Ives constituency are not able to see a dentist, something we all took for granted when we were young.

“The Liberal Party are calling for a Cornish Assembly along with the reinstatement of the six district councils. We need affordable housing and investment in social care. Our elderly residents have paid their taxes all their lives so the very least we can do is to make sure they have a decent care package that they can rely on.

“My Christian values go hand in hand with my political beliefs and I would be privileged if you vote for me on July 4.”

UKIP - Jason Saunders

Awaiting information

Independent - Dave Laity

I was born and bred in Marazion and spent my working life in this area of Cornwall so am familiar with the needs of the locals. I brought up a family here; now they are in their 20s. I see the struggles facing the younger generation, our workforce and our future.

Speaking with many locals I hear them saying that things have to change to keep the youth from leaving the area simply to survive. I constantly hear people who are fed up with working hard only to see earnings vanish in taxes whilst services decline and prices soar. They report that they feel they’re living under a regime that’s oppressive and out of touch, governed from afar by rich elite with no idea of the struggles facing the local youth, businesses, farmers and trades.

People state there is no real alternative to the big parties' monopolies on policy. They are seeking change. We need someone who will represent the locals, who knows their needs and will serve them without fear or favour. Encouraged by the support for change I decided to stand for election as an independent candidate.

Should I be fortunate enough to have the privilege of standing as your MP, my commitment, with my team, will be to listen to you. The crucial thing is YOU and what YOU WANT from your hard-earned taxes YOU’VE paid into the system and from your MP. We commit to transparent governance, honest leadership, and fairness in all policies. These principles should guide every decision made for Cornwall and you, its inhabitants, its livelihood, its youth, its workers, its future.


We respond with; LET’S DO IT!

John Harris - The Common People

Mr Harris is the founder and sole candidate of The Common People and last stood in 2019.

His party website lists The Common People's manifesto, which includes:

  • On forming a majority government, The Common People will reconfigure the Departments of State. A new Department of Energy will be established for the first time since privatization in 1994.

  • We will establish a "Public Utility" category of business, for which we will prohibit the distribution of dividend payments. These are businesses which provide essential and unavoidable services to the public.

  • We are committed to implementing a universal basic income for every citizen of the United Kingdom, with the intention that net amount should be sufficient to keep a person of any age housed, fed, connected and recreationally fulfilled.

  • We intend that all modern land farming with multicellular domesticated plants and animals be relegated to a hobbyist pursuit, that it should happen on a vastly reduced scale catering for "organically grown" wealthy holdouts, that the freed land be re-wilded and that wildlife throughout the country be better protected from prejudicial human contact.

Look out for round-ups of the other constituency candidates across Cornwall.