Elected to represent the Ludlow constituency in 2005, the Right Honourable Philip Dunne MP is to step down at the next election.

In the last few years Dunne has proved himself one of the best chairs of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which has been challenging the government and privatised industries on their environment record and their progress towards zero carbon. In its groundbreaking report on sewage outflows into rivers and seas, EAC recommended ending sewage outflows by 2030. But Dunne subsequently voted against a 2030 deadline and has instead supported the government’s weak target of 2050.

There will be mixed views on his success as a constituency MP. Despite his earlier role as a councillor on South Shropshire District Council, in recent times he has become more distant from his constituency.

Normally cautious in his speech, at times Dunne slipped. No one will forget his insensitive comment when he told Kuldip Sahota (now Lord Sahota) he was “talking out of his turban”. Or his being sacked as Health Minister for telling MPs that when there were no beds available in A&E, patients could sit on chairs. Health was a ministerial role he never seemed happy with. He told a Ludlow meeting, when you get the call it’s a “binary decision” – yes or no. He was more at home with his earlier role as minister for defence procurement. Earlier, as a government whip he was all but invisible.

With a general election due next year, attention turns to Philip Dunne’s successor. Any hopefuls have yet to announce they are in the race to be selected. There is likely to be a lot of competition because Ludlow is regarded as a safe seat for the Tories. But as we learnt in North Shropshire and elsewhere, safe Tory seats aren’t safe any more and the often made claim that rural voters are Conservative is no more than a myth. Lib Dem Helen Morgan has proved to be an excellent MP and a strong campaigner on local issues.

The Ludlow seat was held by Liberal Democrat Matthew Green from 2001 to 2005. The national mood is against the Conservatives with their hapless style of government, their infighting and their inability to elect a stable leader. The Conservatives need a period in opposition to sort themselves out. We need a period of rest from the Conservatives. Preferably a very long one.

The Lib Dems are currently selecting their candidate for the new South Shropshire constituency (which replaces the Ludlow constituency at the next election). Why not join us in getting a Lib Dem MP elected for Ludlow.

It is time for change.

4 thought on “Philip Dunne to step down as MP at next election”
  1. I feel he has been more ineffective as our MP in recent years and a change is necessary, he may well have lost his seat anyway.
    Being chair of EAC and then voting with government on delaying sewage outflows is weak ad Andy says.

  2. I hear that Robert Jenrick is being lined up as the replacement.

    His family home, purchased for £1.1m in , is Eye Manor, between Leominster and Ludlow. He also owns two £2m+ homes in London.
    As a current immigration minister, his stance should fit in nicely with Dunne’s, who informed me at the time the Windrush scandal broke, that Shropshire need not worry too much about it as there aren’t many immigrants here!

  3. Mrs Jenrick owns a £1.1m house in Broad Street, Ludlow. Well, he was Minister for housing!

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