Richard Foord was first elected as the Liberal Democract MP for Tiverton and Honiton in a June 2022 by-election, gaining the seat from the Conservatives with a majority of 6,144. The by-election was caused following the resignation of the former Conservative MP, Neil Parish, after he was discovered watching pornography in the Commons chamber.
The constituency of Tiverton and Honiton is found in the south east corner of Devon. A largely rural seat it includes the towns of Tiverton, Axminster, Seaton, Honiton, and Cullomtpon. The farmland in this seat is criss- crossed with rivers and includes part of the Blackdown Hills. It is an economically active area where unemployment is half that of the national average. Although the Liberal Democrats used to maintain a base of support in this area, it largely dissipated in the 2010s, with UKIP coming second in the seat in the 2015 General Election.
In 2019 the Conservatives won Tiverton and Honiton with a majority of 24,239. Experiencing a swing against the party of over 30% in June 2022, this was the largest majority ever overturned in a UK parliamentary by-election.
Prior to his election to Parliament, Richard Foord served in the British army. After graduating from Sandhurst he reached the rank of Major. He received three campaign medals for service in Iraq and the Balkans.
After leaving the army,vMr Foord worked for Exeter University. He was later an International Collaboration and Export Control Manager at Oxford University, working in the Research Funding and Contracts Team.
Mr Foord grew up in Somerset and has lived for a number of years in the mid Devon village of Uffculme.
Richard Foord is a keen swimmer and runner. In the past he completed the London marathon. He has volunteered with the scouts. He is married with three children.