Nick Herbert launches election campaign on South Downs

Nick Herbert has launched his campaign for the General Election on 6 May by recording a video message from the top of the South Downs.

The Shadow Environment Secretary, who won the Arundel & South Downs seat for the Conservatives in 2005, said the "unique" and "extraordinary" landscape of the South Downs must be "protected and cherished".

Mr Herbert praised the "strong communities" of West Sussex where he said people "work together" and "look after each other".  He said it was one of the things that made the area special.

Mr Herbert paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people who fought successfully to save A&E and maternity services at their local hospitals: St Richards at Chichester, Worthing & Southlands, and the Princess Royal at Haywards Heath.

He said it showed how much people in West Sussex cared about their local services and were prepared to stand up and defend them.

Mr Herbert said he felt "lucky" to have served the area for the last five years and hoped to have the opportunity to be the local MP for another term.



Notes for Editors

1. To view Nick's video message, visit

2. A full transcript of the video message follows:

"Well, Parliament's now been dissolved and for the next three and a half weeks anyway I'm no longer an MP. I'm a candidate. And I wanted to launch my campaign by coming up here to the top of the South Downs and to say something about this part of the world which I feel is so special.

"First, this unique, extraordinary landscape of the South Downs which we're all privileged to live in or beside and which I think must be protected and cherished as the wider West Sussex countryside and our green fields and spaces need to be protected.

"But there's something else also about West Sussex, this part of the world, that I think is special and that's our communities. Strong communities where people work together, people look after each other.

"And we came together in those communities in defence of our local hospitals which people value so much - St Richards at Chichester, Worthing and Southlands, the Princess Royal at Haywards Heath. And we fought and we saved our A&E department and our maternity services. And that was a sign, I think, of West Sussex and the value we put in public services and the way in which people do come together to protect their community.

"I have felt lucky to be the representative of this part of the world for the last five years. It's going to be a long three and a half weeks. I hope to meet as many of you as I can during that time. Do please e-mail me, have a look at more of the articles and things that I have been saying on my website.

"And I very much hope to have the opportunity of being the MP for Arundel and South Downs in this fantastic part of West Sussex for the next five years."

3. Boundary changes mean that the Arundel and South Downs constituency now includes Petworth and the villages of Graffham, Fittleworth, East Lavington, Wisborough Green, Kirdford and Cowfold.

Christopher N Howarth