By Sophie Donovan, Ally McDowall, Jack Howes & Naomi Curston
December 13 2019, 11.00
Croydon South remains in the hands of the Conservatives, with the re-elected MP blaming Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit for Labour’s loss.
Chris Philp who served as Parliamentary under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice for the last government, held on to his Croydon South seat winning 30,985 votes and a 52.2% share of the votes, with a turnout of 70.7%.
Mr Philp’s vote share was down on his 2017 election win where he won 33,334 votes and a 54.5% share.
Labour’s Olga Fitzroy came second with 18,646 votes, and a 31.3% of the votes, while Peter Underwood, representing the Green Party, and Kathleen Garner, for UKIP, both lost their £500 deposits after failing to win 5% of the vote.
Mr Philp believes Brexit apathy led the public to vote Conservative.
He said: “There’s a desire to end the Brexit uncertainty whether you voted leave or remain, I think people are fed up with the endless debate.
“We need to just move on.”
Reacting to his re-election just after 4am, Philp added: “There’s been a very significant shift nationally this evening with a large, perhaps, unexpectedly large conservative majority.
“I hope we use that majority with humility and with diligence as we face the years ahead and that we can unite the whole country.”
However, he didn’t feel Brexit was the sole reason for nationwide Conservative success and added: “I think the public were pretty unhappy about what the Labour council here is doing on planning, changing the character of our neighbourhood and they’re angry about that as well.
“We need more homes but they should be built on brownfield sites and in town centre locations they shouldn’t be changing the characteristics of urban areas, we certainly shouldn’t be considering building on the green belt which the Labour council is currently contemplating.”
Mr Philp beat Ms Fitzroy by 12,339 votes, who’s vote share dropped by 4.4%.
Conservatives have held this constituency since it’s creation in 1974, William Clark claiming the seat first with 59.1% of the vote.
The re-elected MP was first elected to represent the constituency in 2015, as the predecessor of Richard Ottaway.
Prior to running as a Conservative candidate, Mr Philp was a both an entrepreneur and founder of a charity that specialised in providing opportunities for young people, Next Big Thing. While control of this has been passed on, Mr Philp continues to support the charity’s work.
In terms of his priorities, the NHS is close to the heart of this re-elected MP – his twins were born prematurely at 25 weeks in April 2013, relying initially on intensive care.
Underfunding of the police has also been a key part of his campaigning, lobbying the government to make sure Croydon would receive a fair share of the 20,000 extra police officers planned to take to the streets over the next three years.
This preceded a successful attempt to lobby the Health Secretary for the £25m needed for a new A&E department at Croydon University Hospital (Mayday), with the new A&E department officially opened in May 2019.