‘It’s been the greatest honour of my life’ – former East Devon MP Simon Jupp speaks out and thanks voters for their support after losing to Lib Dem rival

Former MP Simon Jupp has broken his silence on losing the new Honiton and Sidmouth seat to Liberal Democrat Richard Foord, saying serving East Devon had been the ‘greatest honour of my life’.

Until the general election was called Mr Jupp was the MP for East Devon. In recent weeks, amid boundary changes, he campaigned to win the newly-created Honiton and Sidmouth seat.

After learning Liberal Democrat rival Richard Foord had beaten him to become the Honiton and Sidmouth MP, Mr Jupp wished his successor ‘all the very best for this term of Parliament’.

He said it had been a ‘pleasure and privilege’ to help those living and working in East Devon.

In an online message to his supporters, Mr Jupp said: “Thank you to every single person who placed their trust in me. I appreciated every vote, but it wasn’t enough to win.

“I want to take this opportunity to wish my successor all the very best for this term of Parliament.

“If you told me just ten years ago that I’d have served as a Member of Parliament, I would have been amazed. My interest in politics only started when I moved from presenting to journalism at the BBC.

“I have always been driven by local issues and helping people, and I believe I did my best to serve the people of East Devon throughout a very difficult time for our country.

“It was the greatest honour of my life to represent a truly beautiful part of my home county.

“As one chapter of my life closes, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been part of the journey.

“My wonderful team, both past and present, and my truly dedicated campaigners who’ve worked incredibly hard on my re-election campaign.”

Mr Jupp was selected by local party members to stand as the Conservative candidate for East Devon. He was elected with more than 50 per cent of the vote in December 2019.

But when a recent constituency boundary review resulted in the end of the East Devon seat, he joined the campaign trail to win the newly-created Honiton and Sidmouth seat.

He went head-to-head against Richard Foord, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, whose seat had also been abolished through boundary changes.

After polls closed, Mr Foord secured 23,007 votes, while Mr Jupp received 16,307.

Honiton and Sidmouth

Richard Foord (third from left) wins the new Honiton and Sidmouth seat. Simon Jupp is pictured second from the right.
Photo: Bradley Gerrard/LDRS.

Mr Jupp said: “I also want to thank the brilliant charities, Councillors, officers, community organisations and countless others who I’ve worked with over the last few years to help improve the lives of local people.

“I will be eternally grateful for everyone’s efforts and the truly heart-warming messages from many people who voted for me.”

He added: “It will undoubtedly take time for the Conservative Party to rebuild from this defeat, but I hope it does so without lurching towards any ideology that seeks to divide rather than bring people together.

“Nothing lasts forever. It was a pleasure and privilege to serve you all. I look forward to the next chapter of my life, but first it’s time for a rest… and maybe a cider or two.”

Sidmouth

Simon Jupp MP officially opening Sidmouth’s Banking Hub.
Photo: with permisison.

During his political career in the Conservative Party, Mr Jupp has been a special advisor to the former First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.

Devon

On the campaign trail: Simon Jupp joined Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, meeting local farmers at Sidbury Village Hall.
Photo: with permission.

While MP for East Devon he served as a member of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee, Transport Select Committee, Chair of the Great South West All-Party Parliamentary Group and Chair of the Hospitality and Tourism All-Party Parliamentary Group. And as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Transport and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

East Devon

Simon Jupp MP and the former Chancellor.
Photo: with permission.

Locally, he successfully campaigned for funding to protect Exeter Airport, secured a new police station for Exmouth, a new train station for Cullompton, plus championed scores of Cranbrook residents when their heating system failed.

East Devon MP Simon Jupp at Exeter Airport.

East Devon MP Simon Jupp at Exeter Airport. Photo: with permission

Who counts the East Devon votes through the night once the polling stations close?

 

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