CONSERVATIVE MP Luke Hall, who was re-elected to the Thornbury and Yate seat in last week's election discusses the final result, the coming months in the job and the big issues that face the country.


Now that the dust has settled, what are your thoughts having seen the final result?

Luke Hall: Obviously, we were aiming for an overall majority Parliament. Now we haven’t achieved that but have still come out as the largest party, with the largest number of seats and the largest number of votes. Also it is actually the second highest number of votes we have ever achieved as a party.

So, while it is very disappointing we haven’t got a majority, we will go on and form a minority government and deliver as much of our manifesto as we can.

Ultimately, what the country wants us to get on with is delivering a good deal on Brexit, getting a good deal for British businesses and British jobs and that we can stabilise the government now and move forward.


So what are your thoughts about the fact that you have gone from a majority government to a minority government? What does that result show and was the snap election a mistake?

Luke Hall: Clearly we wanted a majority government, as did the Labour Party and every other party, but we did not achieve it.

I don’t think the decision to call an election was a mistake because clearly having a majority would strengthened Theresa May’s hand in Brexit negotiations and the Conservative Party were very strong at the start of the election period.

I think the reality wasn’t put forward, some policies clearly didn’t prove popular with the electorate and people spoke at the ballot box, but locally we achieved a huge swing towards the Conservatives so there were parts of the country where we did very well.

Clearly I and Theresa May wanted an overall majority and with that we would have been able to deliver all of our manifesto, but we find ourselves in the position of a minority government.

We will now have to consider which parts of the manifesto there will be support for in Parliament, which parts we can actually deliver, because there may be legislation in there which cannot be brought forward now.


So you will be quizzing the Prime Minister as part of the 1922 Committee this afternoon, what kind of things will you be asking her?

Luke Hall: There are a couple of things in my mind.

The first thing I will be saying to her rather than asking is that I don’t think the country wants another general election now, I think people now just want the government to get on with the job, and so I want her to remain in place, I want her to provide a stable government for the country.

The thing that I will be asking for her guarantee on is that policies are brought forward, for instance the pledge to raise the tax banding so that those on minimum wage don’t have to pay extra taxes, and that any of the policies that drive social mobility aren’t going to be dropped because of controversy they could cause in Parliament.

It is a case that prioritising legistation that will be important for the country and that will help people in South Gloucestershire


You touched there on wanting the Prime Minister to stay in place. What are your thoughts on the discussion of a potential leadership challenge?

Luke Hall: I don’t think it is helpful, we just need to get on with what the country has asked us to do. We didn’t win a majority government but we did win the election and now I think we should just deliver on those promises.

They may not all now be possible without a majority government, but I think people are now fed up of elections, they want us to get on with the job and that means Theresa May staying in place.

She is the leader who took us into the election, who did win us the election, so I think we need to just move on. I don’t think a leadership election would be helpful.

I am confident that for now she is the best person to lead the party.


Now you have agreed to a deal with the DUP, how do you feel this could change the Brexit negotiations?

Luke Hall: This will not be a coalition arrangement, it is an arrangement where the DUP will support our economic and security policies, which we are quite closely aligned on.

We hope of course that every other party will support our policies as we move through the parliament.

In terms of how it will affect the Brexit negotiations, I think the main thing we need to consider is that actually united government, the Conservative Party itself, backing Theresa May, will give us the best chance of getting a good result.

If we look like a divided party, then we will have less clout in Europe. So the bigger influence will come from the Conservative Party pulling itself together and back Theresa May 100 per cent.


Going back to Friday morning, how are you feeling now you are back in office and what is the plan going forward?

Luke Hall: It was a real privilege to be re-elected as the MP for my home constituency. It’s the biggest honour you could ask for and I have been really humbled by the vastly increased majority.

But also know that people don’t want me to sit around congratulating myself. They want me to get out and deliver on the things I campaigned on – improve health services in places like Thornbury, ensuring we connect everywhere with superfast broadband, improved infrastructure with junction 18A, and fighting against development where it is inappropriately planned.

So, while it is an incredible feeling to have been endorsed again by people locally, people just want me to get on with the job and that is what I intend to do.