Jeremy Hunt visited Dartmouth today as part of his campaign to become the country’s next Prime Minister.

The foreign secretary made a speech to party members and the public at Coronation Park before taking questions from the audience.

Among the issues raised were the town’s closed community hospital, his leadership rival Boris Johnson and climate change.

Councillor Ged Yardy, from Dartmouth’s healthcare and welfare group, asked if Mr Hunt could help arrange a delegation to meet the current health secretary.

“Dartmouth is isolated geographically,” Cllr Yardy said. “It takes six-hours in a round trip by public transport to get from Dartmouth to Torbay Hospital and back.

“Since the closure of the community hospital, Dartmouth has lost vital services.

“Residents are truly suffering, and last night at the public meeting, we had three or four heartbreaking examples of patients who couldn’t access services."

Mr Hunt said he would put it to health secretary Matt Hancock in Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

Speaking afterwards, he added: “I will look into the issue.

“I know that they want to improve healthcare for people in Dartmouth, and I know that the local villages are affected by what happens.”

On his leadership rival, Mr Hunt was asked if Mr Johnson would have a place in his cabinet.

“I would offer him a job and hope he accepts it,” he said.

He added that he believed the party needed to unite whatever the outcome.

On climate change, Mr Hunt said more must be done to ensure the “future of the planet”.

“However beautiful a lovely town like Dartmouth is on a day like this there is a world outside of it we need to protect,” he said.

Mr Hunt had spent the morning going head-to-head with his rival at a hustings event in Exeter.

The pair are travelling around the country to meet with party members in the hope of winning their support.

Explaining his decision to visit Dartmouth, Mr Hunt said he was influenced by “sentimental reasons”.

“I used to live in that college up there,” he said.

“My dad was captain of the college, so I had two happy years of my childhood here.”

He told locals he once lived in the town, but still considered himself a “grockle”.

Party members will vote on their preferred candidate next month, with the winner announced on July 22.

Read more in next week’s paper.