Finding a way through – the implications of the General Election

Whilst the dust settles on the UK hung Parliament, we hope progress will shortly resume on the industry strategy. We are confident at the HTA that the strategy work will continue irrespective of party colours, because it is for the good of all British industry post-Brexit. Our ‘bid’ for a sector deal for ornamental horticulture and the garden industry went in just before the election, and although it was warmly received by Defra, the train abruptly hit the buffers when the election was called.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our industry to gain the recognition it has long craved. And we hope it will lead to funding and help for some of the key issues we face, for example, careers promotion, strategic research and improving the supply chain. The emphasis will be on long-term collaborations between Government and industry sectors. We think we have a strong chance of success because we are well prepared. We have been collaborating as an industry for the last few years through the activity of the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group.

In case you’ve missed the shock news of the election, here is a summary of the most recent events.

The general election has resulted in the Conservative Party remaining the largest party in Westminster with 318 seats. This means that they have lost their parliamentary majority in The Commons and is being widely reported as a failure given their strong standing in the polls throughout the election campaign.

The Labour Party won 262 seats which is a gain of 29 and is seen a victory for them and Jeremy Corbyn.

The SNP won 35 seats which is a loss of 21, this was in part caused by a strong showing by the Scottish Conservative Party which remains Scotland’s official opposition.

The Liberal Democrats won 12 seats, up 4 on 2015. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won 10 seats, up 2 and gives them a very important role to play in forming a new administration alongside the Conservatives.

UKIP saw its vote share fall by 10.8% and won no seats. Paul Nuttall has confirmed he is standing down as UKIP party leader with immediate effect.

Biggest shocks

Nick Clegg, Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson all lost their seats while Lib Dem veteran Vince Cable returns to the House of Commons.

Nine Conservative ministers in the last parliament lost their seats.

After an extremely tight contest in Hastings, Home Secretary Amber Rudd held on to her seat.

What next?

After the worse than expected results for the Conservatives it was speculated that Theresa May would have to stand down as party leader and Prime Minister, however, after seeking the approval of Her Majesty the Queen it is now clear that the Conservatives will form a government with the support of the DUP, and Theresa May, for now, will remain in post.  

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