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Former High Peak and Derbyshire Dales Tory seats fell with Labour’s clean sweep of the county

Two key rural Derbyshire constituencies were among the Labour Party’s most-prized successes of the general election as they enjoyed a clean sweep across the county.

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

High Peak’s former Conservative MP Robert Largan, who was elected in 2019, failed to secure a second term with 14,625 votes as Labour’s Jon Pearce won the Parliamentary seat and was elected with 22,533 votes.

The newly-elected High Peak Labour MP Mr Pearce, who lives in the Hope Valley, had previously stated that the Tories had reigned over 14 years of "chaos and economic incompetence".

His pledges include tackling the cost-of-living crisis by creating a clean power company to cut energy bills, rebuilding public services, improving the availability of GPs or dentists, recruiting more teachers, taking back control of buses and trains, and holding water companies to account for river pollution.

Other High Peak candidates included Reform UK’s Catherine Cullen who secured 6,959 votes, the Green Party’s Joanna Collins got 3,382 votes, and Liberal Democrat Peter Hirst who got 1,707 votes. The turnout for the High Peak was 66.39 per cent.

Derbyshire Dales’ former Conservative MP Sarah Dines, who was also elected in 2019, became another victim to the Labour steamroller that ploughed across the county.

Tory Ms Dines was pipped to the post by Labour’s John Whitby by a narrow margin of just 350 votes, according to the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s website, after she had amassed 17,409 votes but Mr Whitby was elected as the Derbyshire Dales new MP with 17,759 votes.

The newly-elected Derbyshire Dales MP Mr Whitby is a former rock band singer who has worked as a civil servant. He is also a Derby City Councillor and has been a foster carer for 24 years.

Mr Whitby has stated that his priorities for the Derbyshire Dales will be to lead on what constituents want and he hopes to deliver more protection for the environment, more housing and in particular, affordable housing, while working to reduce NHS waiting lists. He also hopes to bring a banking hub to Bakewell after the closure of the town’s high street bank.

Other Derbyshire Dales’ candidates included Reform UK’s Edward Oakenfull who got 7,728 votes, Liberal Democrat Robert Court who got 4,860 votes, the Green Party’s Kelda Boothroyd who got 2,830 votes, Independent Rachel Elnaugh-Love who secured 369 votes, and the True and Fair Party’s Helen Wetherall who got 317 votes. The turnout for Derbyshire Dales was 70.16per cent.

Nationally, the outcome of results during the early hours of July 5 soon confirmed that Labour Leader Keir Starmer’s party had won a considerable number of seats over the Conservative Leader Rishi Sunak’s Tories and the General Election outcome across Derbyshire had also proven to be hugely damaging for the Conservatives.

The other nine Derbyshire constituencies secured by Labour include: Chesterfield, NE Derbyshire, Bolsover, Amber Valley, Mid Derbyshire, Erewash, Derby North, Derby South and South Derbyshire.

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