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Amber Rudd on the stump (photo: Frank Copper).

Amber Rudd promoted following re-election

Amber Rudd has been named Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change following her re-election for Hastings and Rye last week. Nick Terdre reports.

Shorn of the need to give posts for a coalition partner, Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed the town’s newly re-elected MP Amber Rudd as Minister for Energy and Climate Change, a Cabinet post. She was previously a junior minister in the department under Liberal Democrat Ed Davey.

After climate sceptics were appointed to posts with environmental responsibility in the previous administration, the appointment of Ms Rudd, who accepts the reality of climate change, was welcomed in some quarters. However, she is also in favour of fracking, and could find herself at the centre of controversy if the new government presses ahead with a pro-fracking policy.

Labour’s hopes of recapturing Hastings and Rye were dashed as Ms Rudd held the seat with an increased majority. She polled 22,686 votes against 17,890 for Labour’s Sarah Owen, a majority of 4,796, up from 1,993 in 2010. In third place came the Ukip candidate Andrew Michael with 6,786 votes, followed by the Green Party’s Jake Bowers, with 1,951, and the Lib Dems’ Nick Perry, with 1,614. Compared with 2010, Ukip increased its vote almost five-fold while the Lib Dems, as elsewhere, were the big losers, their vote being cut by almost four-fifths.

“Thank you for the opportunity to represent Hastings and Rye again,” Ms Rudd said in a statement. “Hastings is a fantastic town, surrounded by stunning countryside, villages and the wonderful town of Rye.  We are so fortunate to live here. I will continue the work of an MP supporting individuals, groups, schools and being a useful and supportive guide for people in difficulties, always standing up for the vulnerable.”

“I am ambitious for our community. I will continue to focus on delivering more jobs and opportunities for people and supporting local businesses as they expand, always promoting apprentices. I have plans to attract businesses and build job opportunities, and, importantly to do better during the next five years for our fishermen.”

“Investment in local infrastructure will remain a priority for me. This covers road improvements such as the A21. On rail I will continue with the HS1 project to make sure it can be delivered as soon as possible.”

“I’d like to thank everybody who voted for me and supported the campaign for a better future for Hastings and Rye,” Ms Owen told HOT. “This has been a long, tough campaign, but it has been an even tougher past five years for our NHS, those on low incomes, and people struggling to get by. I will still fight for my home town, which I love. I will still fight for a better future for Hastings and Rye.”

The message from Nick Perry was: “Can I say a big thank you to all those lovely Hastings and Rye residents who voted for me. Congratulations to Amber on her success.” On his concerns about council planning decisions and Sea Change Sussex, he told HOT, “I am sure we will continue to work with anyone and everyone to get greater accountability from those responsible for delivering regeneration in our area, particularly Sea Change Sussex.”

Hastings & Rye: Parliamentary Election May 2015
Amber Rudd Conservative 22,686 (44.6%)
Sarah Owen Labour 17,890 (35.1%)
Andrew Michael Ukip 6,786 (13.3%)
Jake Bowers Green 1,951 (3.8%)
Nick Perry Lib Dem 1,614 (3.2%)
Conservative majority 4,796 (2.7% swing Lab to C)
Turnout 50,927 (67.8%)

Posted 20:06 Monday, May 11, 2015 In: Election 2015

2 Comments


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  1. Harold

    PR is a must have supported since the 80’s, but I do not think for one second the Government will give us a chance and even if they did the media/press would campaign against, why would they give up so much power. Dar points out the failings or some of them of all the parties, I personally think if you can support 50% you are doing well, no rose tinted idealism for me. I do think the majority including those who thought voting was something other people did have ended up with the worst out come. Though UKIp were all for more Austerity and privatisation, many supports thought they were against the cuts, I would love to meet a Lib Dem who voted UKIp and ask them why? I now think with the electoral reforms coming we are about to become a One Party State, many will be pleased with that but I have my concerns. Finally if we had a vote on the EU today I would vote to stay in, but if Cameron negotiates a new deal it is unlikely to be one I can support and even though i believe the consequence of leaving the EU will be damaging to our economy I will now vote to exit, I will be campaigning for this out come, Cameron should have been careful about getting what you wish for.

    Comment by Harold — Wednesday, May 13, 2015 @ 22:17

  2. DAR

    Labour lost a significant chunk of working class votes to UKIP because the party is seen in those quarters as a party run largely by metropolitan, middle-class intellectuals (as embodied by Ed Miliband)who can’t bring themselves to agree with, or even acknowledge, their concerns about immigration. That doesn’t surprise me when I hear, for example, that a factory on the Castleham industrial estate employs a whole load of Latvians and Lithuanians in an area where unemployment is a big issue. Labour (and others)need to stop conflating “anti-immigration” with “anti-immigrant”: there is a subtle, but important difference.

    It was always clear that Amber Rudd had her eye on the “greasy pole”: unfortunately, she has succeeded in climbing further up it. Supposedly interested in climate change issues, nevertheless she (like many local Labour types too) has approved of the “Road To Nowhere” and the concomitant environmental destruction.

    UKIP have tapped into an issue which, along with the economy, is at the top of ordinary people’s agendas so their “surge” is not surprising. However, their persistent anti-green stance is a massive policy error.

    The Greens have got some good ideas, but they have others that are pure “Alice in Wonderland” which will never be accepted by a majority of people.

    As for the LibDems, it’s pitiable. I think they’ve been rather too harshly punished for their spell in government. Also, for me, they’re too wedded to the EU.

    Lastly, Proportional Representation is a “must” if we are to rid ourselves of a “Mickey Mouse” democracy where one party (UKIP) gets 13% of the national vote share yet only 1 MP, but another (Tories) gets 36% – only 3 times the share of UKIP -yet 300 times as many MPs and more (331). I know we had a referendum on PR in 2011 which resulted in its rejection, but it was the wrong type of PR, and, anyway, this election has re-ignited the issue.

    Comment by DAR — Wednesday, May 13, 2015 @ 18:52

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