Newton Abbot

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22794 (47.3%)
Labour: 4736 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 11506 (23.9%)
Green: 2216 (4.6%)
UKIP: 6726 (14%)
TUSC: 221 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 11288 (23.4%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Devon. Part of the Teignbridge council area.

Main population centres: Newton Abbot, Kingsteignton, Dawlish, Teignmouth.

Profile: Covers the town of Newton Abbot and the strip of coast between the estuaries of the Teign and the Exe. Newton Abbot is a historic market town that boomed as a Victorian railway town, it was the home of the south Devon Railway works and British Rail had workshops here until 1981. To the east of the town is the wide estuary of the River Teign and the collection of villages around it. On the coast Dawlish and Teignmouth are both former fishing villages that became popular seaside resorts with the coming of the railway and have remained popular with tourists and people retiring to the coast.

Politics: There has been a seat centred on this area since 1983, called Teignbridge until boundary changes in 2010. It was originally a solid Conservative seat but in some previous elections has been a close marginal between the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

Current MP
ANNE-MARIE MORRIS (Conservative) Born 1957, London. Educated at Bryanston School and Oxford University. Former lawyer and owner of a marketing company. West Sussex County councillor 2005. First elected as MP for Newton Abbot in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 20774 (43%)
Lab: 3387 (7%)
LDem: 20251 (42%)
UKIP: 3088 (6%)
Oth: 783 (2%)
MAJ: 523 (1%)
Con: 21593 (35%)
Lab: 6931 (11%)
LDem: 27808 (46%)
UKIP: 3881 (6%)
Oth: 685 (1%)
MAJ: 6215 (10%)
Con: 23332 (39%)
Lab: 7366 (12%)
LDem: 26343 (44%)
UKIP: 2269 (4%)
MAJ: 3011 (5%)
Con: 24679 (39%)
Lab: 11311 (18%)
LDem: 24398 (39%)
Oth: 2557 (4%)
MAJ: 281 (0%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Teignbridge

2015 Candidates
ANNE-MARIE MORRIS (Conservative) See above.
ROY FREER (Labour) Publican.
RICHARD YOUNGER-ROSS (Liberal Democrat) Born 1953, Surrey. Educated at Walton County Secondary School for Boys and Oxford Polytechnic. Contested Teignbridge 1992, 1997. MP for Teignbridge 2001-2010.
Comments - 239 Responses on “Newton Abbot”
  1. Suspension of the whip is right. There is a case that she should also be expelled from the Conservative Party – however harsh, I think this is necessary to send a message and because else you are just storing up a load of bad PR when you have to return the whip.

    However, in practice neither of these two things are much more than symbolic, at least until there is an election. Nobody has any power to force her to resign her seat and she will presumably continue to support the Conservative Party on most matters (she is very right wing so unlikely to start voting with Lab on much). She will probably even continue to sit on the government benches (I think Nigel Evans and Mike Hancock did in 2010-15, when they had periods of being suspended from their party whips).

  2. What a dim witted moron this woman is.

  3. She should have the whip removed on a permanent basis but of course we all know she won’t

    Her racist commemts might well help her here amongst the dim witted country bumpkins that make up much of the electorate in these parts

    It kind of hammers how genuinely thick so many Tory Brexiters are

  4. I haven’t heard the comments yet – but the last comment rather reinforces my bemusement at the way AW runs (or rather doesn’t run) the site. Insulting the electorate of Newton Abbot is fair game, but fairly tame political debate seems to be censored.

  5. “Her racist commemts might well help her here amongst the dim witted country bumpkins that make up much of the electorate in these parts

    It kind of hammers how genuinely thick so many Tory Brexiters are”

    That is uncalled for. Her constituency actually isn’t particularly rural and contains some beautiful seaside towns and very nice people, many of whom would never dream of speaking in that way.

    I’m a bit torn on this as she probably didn’t mean the phrase in an offensive way, but with reluctance I conclude that she has to be treated very harshly as a way of drumming into the Conservative parliamentary party that this kind of language belongs in the 1950s and will not under any circumstances be tolerated.

    In general it seems that the pretty good progress that Cameron made with the ethnic vote has gone into reverse over the past year and this kind of thing will not help.

  6. Yes, I agree with that, Boris Johnson’s Dad stood here in 2005 and it was only 53% Brexit.

    Yes, no doubt it will be all over the Lib Dems focus leaflets though:

    Hypothetical by election (which won’t happen):

    Con 42 (-13)
    LD 34 (+12)
    Lab 22 (-3)
    Others 2

  7. Agreed, Hemmy. This wasn’t malicious or directed at anybody, it was just idiotic. Arguably Boris’s comments on Barack Obama’s “part-Kenyan ancestry” were worse (milder language, more pernicious intent), but he gets away with it because of the Boris Johnson Exemption Clause. But you’re also right that she had to be suspended to limit the damage to the Conservative Party’s image.

  8. It was an insensitive comment as opposed to a racist one – but unbelievably stupid all the same

    Did she honestly think she wouldn’t get pulled up on it> Presumably yes

    May’s harsh reaction makes total sense – when people play the race card against the Tories – she can cite her response here

  9. True. It’s not a comment I’ve heard since a Judge said it 20 years ago.

    It’s not as if the MP is aged 85 (it was an expression 50 years ago).

    My 90-year-old granddad used to request “n*gger brown” as the colour of trousers he wanted his daughter to get him.

    Plus of course some black people refer to other black people as such, in the same way queer has been reclaimed.

    What did amuse me was that the BBC couldn’t even state what was said, which reminded me of the Clarkson recording of a nursery rhyme.

    The international Golly fanclub is in Liverpool, as many collected the gollyw*g tokens and toys from the local jam factory as recently as the 1990s. But I realise since around 2005 MPs aren’t even allowed to refer to any of the above or Enoch. Whereas during his lifetime he was respected as great orator and academic by those including Tony Benn.

  10. In fact it also reminded me of the Kilroy ‘sacking’ and the Carol Thatcher incident. Here Charles Moore compares the latter to the BBC’s initial inaction re Jonathan Ross and that the BBC is fine with racism if it’s directed at Americans etc:

  11. As I said yesterday it all seems to be getting a bit 1995 on the Tory benches. No discipline and petty, avoidable yet damaging minor scandals like this one, most likely because the media are seeking them out more having sensed the government is on the skids.

  12. “My 90-year-old granddad used to request “n*gger brown” as the colour of trousers he wanted his daughter to get him.”

    As far back as my personal memory goes (late 70s early 80s), that would have been a highly offensive thing to say. Perhaps not a few decades earlier. Certainly my grandma (still going at 94) would never have dreamt of saying such a thing during the time I’ve known her, even though Derbyshire mining folk are just as politically incorrect as Scousers.

    I do think there’s a clear and obvious difference between the unquestionable offence of the n-word and arguing whether gollywogs are racist and whether they can still be discussed/collected.

  13. I don’t know if anyone remembers the name of Rick Santoram’s ranch that killed his Presidential nomination bid in 2012

  14. I have to agree with H Hemmelig.

    The n-word has been considered highly offensive for about the past 40-45 years. And I have never met a single black person who wants to ‘re-claim’ it in the way that ‘queer’ is used by some gay people.

  15. *Perry sorry. Both were contesting the nomination but I got the wrong Rick

  16. The Times even made mention that Tory Mp’s fear the seat could be lost if she resigned from the Commons. Personally I think the likelihood of her quitting mid term is very unlikely and on current polls the seat would still held easily. She might retire at the next election through.

  17. Resigning her seat (voluntarily or forced) would be an overreaction though she might be able to use the treat of standing down to force the party to give her the whip back after a month or two on the naughty step.

    This does go to show how vulnerable the government’s non-majority is to petty incidents as well as the grim reaper.

  18. Local party are standing by Ms Morris

  19. “And I have never met a single black person who wants to ‘re-claim’ it in the way that ‘queer’ is used by some gay people.”

    Do you listen to rap music? have you heard of nwa?

    But I agree that she was insane to use language like that in a public forum.

  20. Can’t say I have heard of nwa but I have heard of ofwgktangd

  21. The word has also been used in private by Muhammad Ali, whispering to Joe Frazier after the Thrilla in Manila, approvingly to Frazier. However, that doesn’t mean we should use it as white people.
    The word “yid” is offensive to Jews and has been throughout our living memory. However, it’s actually the Yiddish for a Jew, and when used between Jews is not considered offensive at all. That doesn’t make it all right for non-Jews to use it though. Apparently Hitler wanted it used as the middle name for all German Jews but he “compromised” and it was the name Israel which Jews were forced to use instead. That doesn’t get forgotten quickly, and neither does the use of the N word in parts of the USA, not just in the days of slavery but much closer to the present day, or sadly actually in the present day.

  22. ‘The word “yid” is offensive to Jews and has been throughout our living memory.’

    Can ask Barnaby whether as a Jew you find it offensive, when Tottenham fans – the majority of whom are clearly not Jewish – refer to themselves as ‘Yidos’

    I have some Jewish friends who feel uneasy about it I found it peculiar that David Baddiel – a football fan himself – would go as far as to complain about it – especially given the club that he supports used to sing songs about killing Jews in gas chambers

  23. It is problematic yes, even though mostly they mean no harm. There are other forms of anti-Semitism which I find more troubling than Spurs fans using that word.

  24. ‘It is problematic yes, even though mostly they mean no harm. There are other forms of anti-Semitism which I find more troubling than Spurs fans using that word.’

    They mean very much as a compliment but I’m glad you don’t share Baddiel’s view, which I found almost hypocritical given the circumstances I mentioned in y previous post

  25. @ Peter Crawford

    “Do you listen to rap music? have you heard of nwa?”

    Yes to the second question, but not the first.

    But NWA ceased recording in 1991, and that alone shows what a weak argument it is. to claim that the word in question is being ‘reclaimed’ by Black people.

  26. James E – you obviously haven’t met many young black people then (who regularly do so).

    Barnaby – you must he aware though that some Jews (proudly) refer to Spurs’ firm as ‘Yid Army.’

    HH – n*gger was used regularly in Liverpool as recently as the late 1980s, so I’d agree with you re offensive, but certainly not accepted as such in these parts 45 years ago.

  27. I have met many black people who don’t ‘do so’.

  28. I agree – but you in fact said you hadn’t met a single one who does, which is what myself & Peter C found astounding.

  29. ‘But NWA ceased recording in 1991, and that alone shows what a weak argument it is. to claim that the word in question is being ‘reclaimed’ by Black people.’

    As somebody who only listened to hip hop/rap between 1989-2004, I can assure you NWA are far from alone with their liberal use of the word we are all talking about

    For the last 30-odd years it’s been a term Black people use to describe themselves and other blacks in some of the grittier parts of urban America

    Whilst I abhor the word, to suggest its not commonly used used amongst Blacks themselves – is quite naive

    In fact it’s a good shout to be the most commonly used word ever if someone was to put together a compilation of every American hip hop recording ever made

  30. @ Lancs Observer

    This is the most tendentious nit-picking on your part, but I fell I have to respond.

    Firstly, your comment that “you obviously haven’t met many young black people” is quite wrong. My comment of 8:48 is in response to that in particular.

    I can confirm that despite having spent a large part of my adult life living and working in London, I have never come across a black person using that word – although I’ve heard of its use in rap.

    I’d hope that if you really want to continue with this discussion you can at least avoid ‘getting personal’ as you have done towards me (and others) several times in recent months.

  31. Tim is quite right- it’s a very widely used term in black rap music. Even the delightful Jennifer Lopez used the term in one of her poorly sung hits from the early 2000’s…so the major offence seems to be caused when white people, rather than Latino etc, use it.

    This woman is remarkably dim witted as I said in my original
    Post but I think more extreme action would be over the top.

  32. I discovered recently that as an Arsenal fan Spurs fans dont like it when it no longer becomes self appropriated

  33. Lancs Observer, yes I do, but I find it a little troubling. In the grand scheme of troubling things, however, it isn’t a leading item.

  34. Conservative Cllr Douglas Hellier-Laing has been jailed for 3 years after having been convicted of GBH, after attacking his wife with a wooden mallet.

    The Cabinet Member on Teignbridge District Council admitted hitting her in the head three times.

    This area certainly attracts ‘characters.’ There was the MP’s former agent Neil Wilson who was ‘let go’ after his controversial tweets (including stating in 2012 that most UKIP voters wouldn’t be here in 10 years’ time). In the resulting town council by-election they lost his seat to the LibDems.

    The MP of course lost the Whip after even more controversial remarks. Although my favourite image of her was the Mrs Doyle-style crazy, loud speech she gave during PMQs whilst swinging her arm in a sling!

  35. Mrs Doyle is very sensible, she just makes too many sandwiches & falls for men who father hairy babies.

  36. Chudleigh Ward By-election, 15.02.18:

    LD 575
    Cons 564
    Lab 22

    LibDem Gain (unsurprising given the Tory Cllr being jailed but is the fourth LD gain from Cons in by-elections in Teignbridge)

  37. Dawlish C & NE Ward By-election:

    LD 1,287
    Cons 535

    LD Gain.

  38. Anee-Maire Morris hints she might vote for the Brexit Party in European elections if they held. Surely if she does so publicly she would lose the Tory whip?

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