Congratulations to Nusrat Ghani who has been chosen as the Conservative candidate for Wealden from the shortlist of four. While Ghani is her maiden name perhaps she may chose to use her married name of Wheeldon in the election campaign which would facilitate the slogan: “Wheeldon for Wealden.”
Mrs Wheeldon has worked the BBC World Service, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and Age Concern. She was educated in state schools in Birmingham and then at Cadbury Sith Form College and the University of Central England. She joined the Conservative Party in 2009, in response to David Cameron’s call for a wider range of people to offer themselves as candidates.
In 2010 she stood in Birmingham Ladywood. This was a particular challenge as the previously chosen candidate had to stand down for family reasons – leaving Mrs Wheeldon with only a hundred days before the election. She managed a creditable result seeing the Conservative vote share increased by 3.5 percentage points. Wealden should be rather easier territory. The sitting Conservative MP, Charles Hendry, had a majority of 17,179 last time.
Mrs Wheeldon’s father Abdhul Ghani served as a school master in Kashmir in the 1960s.
“I am the daughter of immigrants and the first woman in my family to go to college and university,’ she says. ‘Coming from such a background taught me the importance of education, aspiration and the work ethic to deliver the opportunity and social mobility to succeed.”
A recent piece in The Times(£) suggested that women Tory candidates “were being forced onto the endangered list.” That charge has become a little harder to sustain.