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|
|Nick Perry||Lib Dem||1,614||(3.2%)|
|Conservative majority 4,796 (2.7% swing Lab to C)|
|Turnout 50,927 (67.8%)|
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