ConHome congratulations to James Berry, who has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Kingston & Surbiton. His biography, like those of many PPCs this time around, is stuffed with examples of social engagement. He’s a barrister who specialises in healthcare and police issues; he’s a school governor; his parents were in the teaching trade.
But he’s sure going to face a tough contest. The sitting MP is none other than Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. He’s been in place since 1997. And he still enjoys a majority of 7,560, even though the Conservatives’ previous candidate, Helen Whately, increased her party’s vote share by 3.5 percentage points to finish second in 2010.
Whatever the outcome, though, the battle in Kingston & Surbiton will be worth keeping an eye on. Not only is there the question of how hard the Tories will run against their Coalition partners, but there’s also Davey’s commitment to green policies and wind turbines and all that. Will that become a campaigning issue for local Tories, or will they commit to greenery themselves?
In any case, here’s what James Berry has said in response to his selection:
“I am honoured and delighted to have been chosen as the Conservative Party’s PPC for Kingston and Surbiton from a strong field. Kingston and Surbiton is a fantastic area. I will be starting straight away, getting out and meeting people across the constituency to understand what matters to them. I am looking forward to working with local Conservatives, supporting our excellent candidates for the 2014 Kingston Council elections and taking the fight to the Liberal Democrats in 2015.”