Robert is the Shropshire Party candidate for the North Shropshire constituency in the 2019 General Election taking place on December 12.
I grew up in Baschurch in North Shropshire, and still live here today. I work for a local farmer and my children attend local primary and secondary schools. It would be the greatest honour of my life to represent my community, neighbours and people right across our constituency in parliament.
I believe in democratic local empowerment. In putting local communities and their needs and interests first. Because the local community is where we all live, first and foremost. Yet local concerns and needs are all too often trampled on by bureaucratic councils and government, and by the interests of national political parties focused on power in Westminster and London, rather than communities and counties.
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We got an incredible 1,141 votes in the North Shropshire constituency in Thursday’s General Election last week. Given the challenging circumstances, including the lack of time to plan and prepare for a snap election, the vastness of the constituency or the limited resources available to us, to have gained 2% of the vote is a…
Shropshire Party Parliamentary Candidate for North Shropshire, Robert Jones, today affirmed his commitment to tackling climate change by signing a ‘Climate Action Pledge’ promoted by Friends of the Earth. Robert commented: “Today I signed the ‘Friends of the Earth Climate Action Pledge’. I did so after being contacted by a number of residents and voters…
The Shropshire Party is standing its first ever candidate in the North Shropshire constituency against the incumbent Conservative former environment secretary, Owen Paterson. Robert Jones is a lifelong resident who previously stood for election to Shropshire Council in the Ruyton and Baschurch ward in 2017. Robert Jones, Shropshire Party candidate in North Shropshire Robert commented:…
The current MP for North Shropshire is Owen Paterson. He has represented the constituency for a number of years but recently he has been accused of lobbying for private firms and by using a registered company to receive donations has avoided having to declare the identity of those donors as he would have to under any other circumstances. These kinds of activities should be stopped. MPs earn sufficient salary and should be dedicated primarily to working for their constituents, rather than using their position at parliament to for their own economic interests. I will work in parliament to change the law and close loopholes that allow these and other activities which are against the public interest.
A major issue in this election is Brexit. Boris Johnson promised to take the UK out of the EU on the 31st of October but has failed. Although he has negotiated a new Brexit deal, he only did this after parliament effectively forced him and ‘no deal’ was taken off the table. Whether his deal is better or worse, it should be debated in and ultimately approved or rejected by parliament. It could then be submitted subject to a referendum in order to proceed in the same democratic spirit in which Brexit began.
Owen Paterson has played a central role in delaying Brexit, by repeatedly voting against Theresa May’s deal, and against any other reasonable compromise which could have achieved Brexit sooner. He has repeatedly and consistently argued for leaving the EU without a deal. We now know that this would be extremely destructive to North Shropshire’s rural and agricultural economy, with Boris’s government proposing zero-rate tariffs on many agricultural goods which would expose consumers to cheaper, inferior imports which could endanger public health whilst putting farmers and suppliers in the UK out of business. Owen Paterson’s ideological commitment to trading with the EU and the world under WTO rules only is extremely dangerous to the economy, jobs and prosperity locally.
I believe that in leaving the EU we should preserve Britain’s vital access to the common market, protecting jobs and the economy whilst also seeking new economic opportunities around the world; and without harming the UK’s internal union or peace on the island of Ireland. This is a reasonable, sensible Brexit. A logical compromise between fanatics and hardliners on either extreme of the debate.
I want to give a voice to local needs and communities. Many of the most important public services we use every day are delivered not by central government in London, but by local councils. But local government today is weakened and emaciated by centralised power-politics. In parliament, I would stand up for the needs of communities, towns and villages in our constituency and across Shropshire. I will campaign for devolution that can give local government the powers to tackle important local issues in housing, health, transport and the economy.
Protecting our NHS
Shropshire NHS is under threat. Boris Johnson promised to spend £350m a week on the NHS, now he promises to build new hospitals. But in reality frontline NHS services are being cut. In Shropshire, the closure of Telford’s A&E will put increased pressure on Shrewsbury’s A&E and threatens the ability of our local NHS to operate effectively to meet local needs. I will campaign to keep both A&Es open, or for a compromise that can improve access to emergency treatment evenly and fairly for the whole county.
Democracy and Reform
Brexit has exposed the weaknesses and flaws of the UK’s politics and constitution which were designed for an entirely different age. We need reform to put an end to the electoral scam of ‘safe seats’ which give MPs like Owen Paterson a job for life. It is vital that we have an electoral system where every single vote counts, regardless of which constituency you live in!