A quick update from Aldershot (Conservative majority 14,901), where I can now reveal the third name on the shortlist which will be presented to the association tonight:
- Chris Brannigan: A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Brannigan led a tank squadron in Iraq, playing a leading role in the Battle of Basra in 2003. After leaving the Army, he ran an art gallery, specialising in Tudor, Stuart and North European Old Masters. In 2012 Brannigan was shortlisted to be the Conservative candidate for the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner candidacy, and made the final in Richmond, Yorkshire, in 2014. Since last September he has served as Director of Government Relations in Number 10 Downing Street, acting as the Prime Minister’s outreach man to business.
Given Aldershot’s military links, it’s notable that Brannigan is the second veteran in a shortlist of three. He is up against:
- Leo Docherty: A veteran of the British Army’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan (about which he wrote a book: Desert of Death), Docherty has been Director of the Conservative Middle East Council since 2010 and is a former South Oxfordshire District Councillor. He contested Caerphilly in 2015, and has written several times for this site.
- Cllr Emma Lane: A New Forest District Councillor, Lane is also the Chairman of New Forest West Conservative Association. She fought Swansea West in 2015, and has worked in finance for most of her career – currently working in the Risk Division of Lloyds.
As I reported on Sunday, the Aldershot association has threatened to revolt by rejecting the shortlist outright. We’ll know by tonight whether they still intend to do so.