Could York Outer MP Julian Sturdy pull off a shock result and survive?

Whilst the polls are predicting a Labour win by Luke Charters, the Conservative MP of 14 years says based on what people tell him on the doorstep, it is “not as bad” as the polls and media would have it.

The 53-year-old farmer first won in York Outer in 2010 with a 3,688 majority, compared to the 9,985 majority he won in 2019.

“It’s not like 2019. It’s going to be close. It feels like the first time I stood in 2010,” he told the Press.


People are raising a range of issues, such as bus services, green bin charges and potholes, especially potholes. Immigration, the NHS and transport are the national issues coming up.

Whilst Julian has been criticised by Labour and other groups over not speaking in the House as many other MPs, he says parliament is not about just speaking.

He cites his membership of select committees, parliamentary groups and conversations with ministers.

This has helped deliver funding for the dualling of the York Outer Ring Road, Haxby Station, a new A&E centre at York and a diagnostic centre at Askham Bar. The latter of which came from lobbying the minister after talking with local GPs who were pushing for it.

Similarly, saving Strensall Barracks also came from talking directly with the Ministry of Defence and the defence minister. By contrast, Inphal barracks in Fulford is to close in 2030.

Julian also reports success with him achieving a change in the law through a private members bill concerning tethered horsed horses.

Parliamentary records also show him to be around the 40th most rebellious MP, with Julian recently opposing the government on the contaminated blood scandal and backing Hull Labour MP Diana Johnson for faster compensation payments after meeting with affected constituents.

(Image: pic supplied)

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Julian supported the first lockdown “as no-one knew what we were facing”, but he opposed the others saying there was evidence showing they did not work and the vaccines were starting to offer protection.

The lockdowns, which Labour wanted more of, have caused “problems in the NHS, with mental health, the cost of living crisis, etc,” he continued.

Julian will oppose the government “When I feel it’s right, making principled decisions.”

However, he warns governments with large majorities are less accountable as MPs have less say.

Looking back, Julian says he has used his farming background to specialise in agricultural, environmental and animal welfare issues.

He was chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on anti-microbial resistance, which looks at ‘superbugs’ and the risks caused by anti-biotics no longer working. This was an issue he became involved with due to constituents raising it.

Should the constituents no longer want him, it will be back to the farm, situated between York and Wetherby. But will it happen?

Julian added: “There’s frustration with all parties, disengagement. It’s why its so important speaking to people. People are frustrated by the government but at the same time, there is no connection with Keir Starmer. Nigel Farage may be cutting through in Clacton, but not in York Outer.”

The other candidates for York Outer are: Darren Burrows (Ind), Luke Charters (Labour), John Crispin-Baily (Reform UK), David Eadington (Yorkshire Party),  Keith Hayden (Independent), Andrew Hollyer (Liberal Democrat), Michael Kearney (Green) and Halaenas Mayne (Independent).