'I'm used to a fight', says senior Tory Rebecca Pow facing close battle with Lib Dems

Watch as senior Tory Rebecca Pow tells ITV News she's "up for the fight" ahead of the general election.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow has said she is 'up for the challenge' of fighting for her Somerset seat as she faces a close fight with the Liberal Democrats.

According to the opinion polls, the Tory minister is in danger of losing the new seat of Taunton and Wellington.

But remaining defiant, she told ITV News she is "used to a fight" and is asking voters to judge her on her record of 'local achievements'.

The Conservative candidate has been an MP for nine years and serves as a government minister in the Environment and Culture departments.

"I have delivered, I would say, more than any other MP we have ever had, but it is because I understand the people, because I care and because I have been a very strong voice for them in government", she said.

She highlighted millions of pounds of investment in Musgrove Park hospital, the upgrade to Taunton railway station, the restoration of the Wellington Monument, road network and town centre improvements and the proposed Wellington railway station as projects she has helped support during her tenure.

Liberal Democrat candidate Gideon Amos.

"People here are all using things that I have helped get", she said. "Think about that."

"If you want somebody who cares, who is really going to take it to Westminster, you know, that's me.

"And I will be part of a party that has a plan. We have a bold plan to do the things people want, improve the economy, put more money in their pockets by cutting taxes, not raising them, which is what the Labour Party would do, and then tackling immigration."

"Anybody that votes for anybody else here will get the Labour Party. It doesn't matter who they think they are going to vote for, whether it is Liberal Democrats, Reform or whoever, they will get the Labour Party and they will get the opposite of what I think they probably want."

The fight for the Taunton seat in Parliament has traditionally been a contest between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

But boundary changes for the new Taunton and Wellington constituency mean some larger rural villages, where the Conservatives have had support in the past, like Wiveliscome, Milverton and Bishops Lydeard, have been moved into neighbouring seats.

Liberal Democrat candidate Gideon Amos, who has stood for election here twice before and increased his party's share of the vote both times, says he is being buoyed up every day by more messages of support.

He said: "A vote for the Liberal Democrats here in Taunton and Wellington is a vote to keep Labour in check, as much as it is to keep the Conservatives in check.

Full list of Taunton and Wellington candidates

"We need that balance in Parliament, that stability that only the Liberal Democrats can bring, and have that influence on Government and make sure Labour or the Conservatives don't go to extremes. That's the role we can play with a strong team in Parliament."

"Here in Taunton, the Conservatives promised a new hospital would be getting underway by now, of course that was never going to happen and we actually have a maternity unit at Musgrove Park where they use buckets in the corridors to catch the rain coming through the roof, so there are those really important local priorities that I am fighting to get fixed, as part of the wider national priority the Liberal Democrats are giving to the NHS and care, which is top of our priority list."

A full list of candidates for the Taunton and Wellington constituency:

  • Gideon Amos, Liberal Democrats

  • Charles Hansard, Reform UK

  • Rebecca Pow, Conservatives

  • Rochelle Russell, Communist Party

  • Ryan Trower, Green Party

  • Brends Weston, Labour

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