Published:

This will be our last daily candidate selection update. In the last fortnight we’ve covered well over 100 selection contests, encompassing all the seats where Conservative MPs are standing down and all known target seats, breaking numerous exclusives ahead of the national and local press, and identifying and profiling hundreds of would-be candidates in the process.

After today’s selections, until the close of nominations on 11th May, it seems that all those candidates being selected are likely to be in non-target seats, and will be directly nominated by CCHQ without a contest. For the same reason that we do not cover the reselection of sitting MPs – namely that we believe our readers are most interested in possible new parliamentarians – we won’t be covering these selections in the detail we’ve allotted to previous selections.

Finally, a word of thanks to all our readers who have helped with this coverage. Without your help, given anonymously in the interests of party democracy and transparency, this coverage would not have been possible. You know who you are – thank you.

Candidates selected

  • Harborough (Conservative majority 19,632): Neil O’Brien: The former Director of Policy Exchange and Open Europe, O’Brien is currently the lead adviser on industrial strategy and the Northern Powerhouse in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. From 2012 until the 2016 change of Prime Minister, he was a Special Adviser to George Osborne in the Treasury, where he was credited with improving the then Chancellor’s “retail offer” to working class voters.
  • Hitchin and Harpenden (Conservative majority 20,055): Bim Afolami: A former lawyer, Afolami now works as a senior executive at HSBC. He is a primary school governor, and a support of charities which focus on helping people return to work. He contested Lewisham Deptford in the 2015 General Election, is a former Treasurer of the Bow Group and was Vice President of the Oxford Union. He has previously worked for Howard Flight and for George Osborne.
  • Isle of Wight (Conservative majority 13,703): Bob Seely is an Isle of Wight County Councillor and has worked previously in Conservative Campaign Headquarters. He is a former Army officer, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has extensive counter-terrorism expertise. He is a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Changing Character of War Programme, and is doing a PhD at the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London. He is a former foreign correspondent and current beekeeper, and has written several times for this site.
  • Batley and Spen (2016 by-election uncontested by major parties, 2015 Labour majority 6,057): Dr Ann Myatt: A Consultant Dermatologist in the NHS, Myatt contested Hemsworth in the 2010 General Election, and Westmorland and Lonsdale in 2015.
  • City of Durham (Labour majority 11,439): Dr Richard Lawrie: The Vice-Master and Senior Tutor of University College, Durham, Lawrie gained his PhD in History from Durham University. He is a member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the university.
  • Hammersmith (Labour majority 6,518): Cllr Charlie Dewhirst: A Hammersmith and Fulham Borough councillor, Dewhirst has been reselected after fighting this seat in 2015. He works in public affairs for a major sporting organisation.
  • Slough (Labour majority 7,336): Mark Vivis: A lawyer, who serves as Mayor of Amersham in Buckinghamshire, Vivis contested Chesterfield in the 2015 General Election. He also serves as a school governor.

Selecting today

Redditch (Conservative majority 7,054): Karen Lumley is stepping down as an MP. Shortlist not yet revealed.

Exeter (Labour majority 7,183): Shortlist not yet revealed.

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