Transport Secretary Mark Harper has lost his seat in Parliament tp Cinderford District Councillor Matt Bishop by the narrowest of victories with just 278 votes between the two candidates.

This constituency has only had two MPs since it became the Forest of Dean in 1997 -  Labour’s Diana Organ  and  Mark Harper, the incumbent until this morning.

The final declaration came at around 6.20am after the close initial results saw a bundle recount.

Newly elected MP Matt Bishop lives in Cinderford and was born in Newport, South Wales.

He joined the Police Force aged 18 and served in three forces during his career. A car accident on duty led to injuries that eventually meant he had to make the difficult decision to leave the police force, and to many appointments with the NHS but he remains fiercly proud of his time as a police officer and knows how important it is for local people to have the peace of mind of a strong, functional police force.

Mr Bishop’s wife is from Cinderford and they’ve lived there since 2007, with their two teenage children. Since leaving the Police, he has worked for Children’s Social Care in Gloucestershire, and as a Tenancy Enforcement Caseworker in Social Housing. 

In 2020 he became an Education Welfare Officer at Dene Magna school in Mitcheldean.  His vast experience in the public sector, in areas that often impact the more vulnerable in society, make him hugely aware of difficulties people face and he wants to work to make people see improvements in their everyday lives.

Today sees him face the latest challenge in his professional life as he heads to Westminster to represent the people of the Forest of Dean in Sir Keir Starmer’s new government.