openprimaryCongratulations to Thomas Tugendhat who has been chosen to fight Tonbridge and Malling for the Conservatives at the next election. The sitting MP Sir John Stanley is standing down. Sir John has a majority of 18,178 last time.

Mr (or rather Lt Col) Tugendhat, 40, has served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is he author of The Fog of War, an important report for Policy Exchange which he wrote about for Conservative Home last month. He argues that human rights laws restrict military freedom of action. In obliging the generals to be more risk averse the paradox is that the danger to our armed forces increases.

The decision was made today at an Open Primary that 500 were due to attend. Mark Wallace wrote about all four finalists here.

This selection adds to a trend – noted in the Daily Telegraph this morning – of former army officers finding favour over professional politicians. James Heappey has been chosen as the Conservative candidate for Wells while Afzal Amin is will fight Dudley North for the Conservatives at the next election. Both are target seats.

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