Cornwall could be 'crucial' for Tories in General Election says Education Secretary

Sam Blackledge reports on the Education Secretary's visit to Cornwall

The Education Secretary has told ITV West Country Cornwall and the wider South West could be 'crucial' in deciding the result of the General Election.

Opening a new STEM and Health Skills Centre in Bodmin on Friday 19 April, Gillian Keegan MP praised the county's MPs for the work they are doing.

Gillian Keegan and North Cornwall MP Scott Mann opened the centre. Credit: ITV News

Asked whether she knows the date of the election yet, Ms Keegan said: "I don't, but it's good to see the economy start to recover because we've been through a lot as a country.

"We now need to hopefully recover. We are starting to grow, and places like this are going to power our growth.

"You look at the potential in this area, with space, with lithium, with all of the other things that you're doing, advanced manufacturing and engineering.

"It's a real hub and hopefully that story will be something that locally people will recognise."

Gillian Keegan praised the work of Cornwall's MPs. Credit: ITV News

The college has benefited from £14 million worth of investment from the Government.

As it stands, 15 out of Devon and Cornwall's 17 MPs are Conservative. We asked Ms Keegan how important it is that the Tories hold on to those seats if they are to stay in power.

She said: "Well, it's always crucial because you've got a lot of Conservative MPs who have been here since probably about 2010 or 2015. Just look at the difference they've made. None of these things were here before.

"They're now here changing lives, providing opportunity and making sure businesses can thrive here."

Perran Moon says Labour has long-term plans to reform education. Credit: ITV News

Perran Moon, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle, welcomed the completion of the new centre but said his party has other plans for the future of education.

He said: "We are looking to reform the funding process and look at much more long-term funding settlements, so ten-year funding settlements.

"Bodies such as UK Research and Innovation can make sure that they have got long-term developments, developing long term relationships with the private sector in certain projects."