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Derbyshire Dales and High Peak’s new Labour MPs enjoy ‘historic’ win and hope to improve region’s infrastructure

Two newly-elected Labour MPs in two rural former Conservative constituencies of Derbyshire have described victory in the Derbyshire Dales as ‘historic’ and that plans for the High Peak include improving public services and infrastructure.

The former Conservative stronghold of the county of Derbyshire which had nine Tory MPs and two Labour MPs fell completely to the Labour Party who secured all of the county’s 11 seats including the two former Tory constituencies of the High Peak and the Derbyshire Dales.

Newly elected High Peak Labour MP Jon Pearce, who defeated former Tory MP Robert Largan, has worked as an employment lawyer in health, social care and charity sectors, is eager to improve public services, infrastructure and schools as well as revitalising the NHS.

He said: “High Peak should be the best place to live in the whole country. We’ve got extraordinary countryside, strong communities and we’re the gateway to the Northern Powerhouse.

“With the world of work becoming more footloose, High Peak should be the most desirable place to run a business, to live, to work and to commute from and to.

“But there’s one big barrier to this – the state of our local public services and infrastructure.”

Mr Pearce added that after 14 years of a Conservative Government it is ‘time High Peak got its fair share’.

He said: “The next Labour Government will: revitalise and reform our NHS, work in partnership with business to green our economy and invest in the well paid, high skilled jobs of the future, and take back control of our buses and trains guaranteeing services and fares.”

Mr Pearce has stated that it ill be his job to make sure the High Peak gets its ‘fair share’ of investment for its towns, high streets and communities and its ‘fair share’ of improvements to schools, health and care services and police, and its ‘fair share’ of new jobs and business growth.

Newly-elected Derbyshire Dales Labour MP John Whitby, who defeated former Tory MP Sarah Dines by just 350 votes, described Labour’s success in the former Conservative seat as ‘historic’ after Labour has had to wait since 1945 to reclaim this rural area of the county.

He argued that the country was also desperate to rid itself of the Conservative Government which he claimed had fought itself and against the interests of its people.

Derbyshire-born Mr Whitby was an art student, an Open University student and member of a rock band, who has a Social Science with Politics degree and has worked in the civil service.

Mr Whitby and his wife also became foster-carers and over the past 25 years they have provided a home to 26 disadvantaged children.

As an active Labour Party member, he was elected to the Derby City Council ward of Mackworth in 2010 and he has held numerous leadership positions, including Chairperson of the Labour Group, of the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Board, of the Corporate Parenting Committee, and of the Neighbourhood Board.

The father-of-two was also the Mayor of Derby in 2017 when he helped to raise £75,000 for children’s charities focussing on environmental sustainability and promoting fostering, reflecting his deep-seated values and commitments.

He has also served as a panel member for Adoption East Midlands and as a Trustee of Derby Children’s charity Children First and he has served as the lead member for Children’s Social Care, Learning, and Skills for Derby City Council.

Labour’s newly-elected Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, has promised to prioritise the NHS, crime prevention, workers’ rights, energy security and border control, and building new homes and infrastructure after the 2024 General Election had been fought nationally on the economy, immigration and the NHS and many other issues.


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