Robert Jenrick
Robert Jenrick

Mr Robert Jenrick will contest the Newark constituency for the third successive time, having triumphed in the 2014 by-election and 2015 General Election.

The Conservative candidate believes calling an early election was right because opponents were trying to frustrate the Brexit process.

He said: “It is very clear to me that the overwhelming majority of people accept the result.

“In a free society nobody has to change their views to fit in with the majority, but we do have to act in the national interest.

“In Parliament, I have seen Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs come together day in, day out to try to frustrate Brexit, to convince people that the sky will fall in when we leave.

“I did lobby Theresa May for an early election. We have a slender majority and there are lots of MPs hell-bent on frustrating the process, and acting not in the national interest.”

Mr Jenrick said since being elected he had made education his number one priority.

“We managed to pressure the Government to create an entirely new school: the Newark Free School,” he said, referring to the project led by the Torch Academy Gateway Trust (TAGT) which is now the Nova Education Trust.

“That is a game-changing investment in education. It will be a non-selective but grammar school-style education,” Mr Jenrick said.

He said there had been improvements at Newark Academy after its takeover by the trust, and funding had been secured for new buildings for the Orchard School.

On the subject of grammar schools, Mr Jenrick said: “I am in favour.

“It concerns me that 400 pupils have to travel to Lincolnshire (to attend grammar schools) and that naturally precludes those on lower incomes.”

On the issue of funding, he said “more money was going into education than ever before” and that he would be lobbying to ensure the best results for local schools.

Mr Jenrick said he was concerned about the issue of safety on the A1 and had spoken to Mr Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, about launching a full review into the sliproads on junctions at Newark.

Funding had also been secured for work that would dual the A46 around the town.

He said: “Designers and experts will be on the ground this year.”

On health, Mr Jenrick said he had three priorities.

“Firstly, to continue to support Newark Hospital and ensure it has as many services as it can there,” he said.

“Secondly, working to improve ambulance services. At the moment, ambulance services are letting us down.

“Thirdly, it is important to me that we get the services in place to support elderly people and the right services for dementia carers.”

Mr Jenrick said more money was being put into the NHS than ever before, but demand was increasing.

“The Government is trying to ensure that the NHS is working as efficiently as possible,” he said.

“I want to work with Nottinghamshire County Council to ensure that we get important social care right.

“There are pressures and I am not deaf to these but there is a balance to be struck.

“We need a strong economy and that is why a Conservative government should be returned. A Jeremy Corbyn government would crash the economy and would have no money to fund our public services.”