- Newark is a constituency in Nottinghamshire. It is the largest in the county. It stretches from the south of Nottingham to the north of Worksop.
- It is currently represented by Rt Hon Robert Jenrick, MP for the Conservative Party. Jenrick won the seat in 2014 in a by-election when Patrick Mercer stepped down. He is the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
- The constituency has been Conservative since 2001. The Conservatives have a majority of 18,149.
- Over 60% voted LEAVE in the EU Referendum.
- In the last General Election in 2017, the Conservative party won 34,393 votes (62.7%, 5.6% more than 2015). Labour were the second strongest party winning 16,344 votes (29.7%, 8% more than 2015).
- Newark is the second safest seat in the county, behind Nottingham East.
- The Labour Party held Newark from 1950 until 1979 when Richard Alexander from the Conservative party won the seat.
- Since 1979, the Conservatives have won every election bar one.
- From 1997 to 2001, Labour won the seat back. It was lost again in to the Conservative party represented by Patrick Mercer until 2014. Jenrick has held the seat since.
- In 2010, Newark lost Retford to the Bassetlaw constituency. It did however gain land from Bingham which was part of the Rushcliffe constituency.
ROBERT EDWARD JENRICK, CONSERVATIVE
Robert Jenrick has been the elected Conservative MP for Newark since June 2014. He was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 24 July 2019. Before this, Jenrick was Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury from 9 January 2018 to 24 July 2019. Born in Wolverhampton he is thirty-seven years old, making him the first ‘millenial’ to serve in the Cabinet. The ex-solicitor went to university in Cambridge and The University of Pennsylvania, and is married with three children.
On Twitter he says that under the Conservatives new homes will be ‘designed to a high quality; eco-friendly; in keeping with local vernacular; rooted in communities; with tree lined streets’. As Housing Secretary, he claims to have launched ‘the most ambitious heritage campaign in 40 years.’ He uses the hashtag #BackBoris, saying a vote for the Conservatives will go towards various issues. These include ‘getting Brexit done’, ‘growth and investment’, ‘better hospitals and more GPs’, ‘safer streets’, and ‘world-class schools’.
He spoke in favour of remaining in the European Union before the 2016 referendum, but he has since voted to leave consistently. He wrote in January 2019 that he was ‘willing to contemplate exit without a deal’.
Regarding environmental issues, Jenrick tweeted ‘we are fully supporting victims of flooding at this difficult time. Actions include: £500 hardship payment for every flooded household…[and] extra 100 UK Armed Forces personnel deployed’. Although according to website theyworkforyou.com, Jenrick voted nine times against measures to prevent climate change between 2015 and 2019.
JAMES BAGGALEY, LABOUR
James Baggaley is the Labour Party Candidate for the Newark constituency. In the Parish and Town Council Election that took place on the 2nd of May 2019, James was elected to represent the Castle Ward as well as the Conservative Jenni Oliver. He won 23% of the overall vote, which was the majority in this case.
James has pledged to make real change and stand up for the people of Newark. He spoken out against the development of houses on the Chestnut Avenue/Cedar Avenue Playing fields, which were was rejected on the 5th of December 2019.
James Twitter bio reads: Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Newark, Running for #RealChange, Policy&Impact in research. He has expressed support for LGBTQ rights in his Twitter bio, and at a recent husting he supported the idea of buffer zones at abortion clinics.
James’ areas of interest include protecting the NHS, which he has supported on his Facebook page, police and education, and tackling climate change. He believes that investments need to be made to the NHS, police and education, and has backed the Green New Deal that aims to avert climate disaster and make the economy stronger. In a recent husting, James supported the development of HS2 and investment in public transport.
In November he said ‘I am from Newark and will fight for Newark…I am standing to be your MP because when I speak to people across the constituency, I hear the same thing the system is broken, and it isn’t working for us.’
JAMES HENDERSON, GREEN PARTY
Jay Lewis Henderson is the Green Party Candidate for the Newark constituency. In the Parish and Town Council Election that took place on the 2nd of May 2019, Jay was one of five elected candidates, alongside green candidate Esther Ruth Cropper and was elected to represent the Beacon Ward. He won 11% of the vote.
On the 18th of September, Jay spoke in favour of Newark Town Council to declare a Climate Change Emergency and forming a working group to find ways for the community to cope with the impacts of climate change. At a recent husting Jay also spoke in favour of buffer zones at abortion clinics and the Green New Deal.
Jay’s social media pages are fairly inactive, but his Twitter bio says ‘Let’s tackle climate change and low social mobility.’ On his official Green Party profile Jay says he believes in ‘Green innovation’ and wants to bring business, education and employment opportunities to achieve it, though he does not specify what these will entail.
Jay has also shared a post criticising Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson for not turning up to the Channel 4 News Climate debate. He believes climate change will affect Newark, particularly flooding, and will consider climate change in everything he does.
Jay’s official profile also says ‘I believe in sensible, evidence-based and proactive government policy, and I intend to lead by example. I have lived here my entire life and I envision for this area a future of well-being, happiness, fulfilment and safety.’
DAVID WATTS, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
Liberal Democrat candidate David Watts has been a Broxtowe Borough Councillor between 1999 and 2015, and again since 2019. His main message is ‘stop Brexit and Save the World.’ According to the Newark Liberal Democrats Website, recent opinion polls by Survation and YouGov both place the Lib Dems in second place, behind the Conservatives. Watts was born in Yorkshire, growing up there and in Malawi, Africa. He is a solicitor for a Nottingham-based firm, and lives with his wife and two children.
On his website, https://davidwatts.mycouncillor.org.uk/, Watts says that the Lib Dems are committed to ‘bringing forward the ban on new diesel and petrol cars to 2025 and 2030 respectively and help fast track the uptake of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.’ For housing, he retweeted a tweet about the Housing Crisis, claiming that ‘@LibDems plan would build more houses, help first time buyers and protect those in rented accommodation’.
He retweeted that the Lib Dems offer a brighter future, transforming the NHS and social care: Labour ‘are ignoring the fact that Brexit is the biggest threat to the #NHS’. Regarding youth crime and violence, he also retweeted that the Lib Dems want to ‘more than double’ spending on youth services in Derbyshire to £26 million. This would tackle rising levels of crime, and would be part of a ring-fenced £500 million for Local Authorities to spend on youth services. On Facebook, Watts shared an official Liberal Democrat video, which said they would invest £11 billion in transforming mental health services.