Further to my post this morning revealing two of the three candidates in the running to succeed Sir Eric Pickles in Brentwood and Ongar (Conservative majority 21,810), I can now exclusively report the third name, completing the shortlist:

  • Alex Burghart: Currently the lead adviser on social justice in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, Burghart was previously Director of Strategy for the Children’s Commissioner. From 2012 to 2016 he was Director of Policy at the Centre for Social Justice, including working with Fiona Hill on modern slavery, prior to which he served as a policy adviser at the Department for Education, leading on the Department’s work on the Munro Review of social work and child protection. He is a former history tutor at King’s College London, and has written several times for this site. In the 2015 General Election, he stood against Jeremy Corbyn in Islington North.

Burghart joins the two previously reported candidates on the Brentwood shortlist:

  • Sarah Heald. Currently Director of Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations at Pennon Group, the utility firm which owns South West Water, Heald is a former Associate Partner at financial PR firm Finsbury and investment banker at the Bank of Montreal. In 2014 she was longlisted in Havant and in Banbury. Her father is Sir Oliver Heald, MP for North East Hertfordshire.
  • Cllr Gagan Mohindra. An Epping Forest Councillor since 2006, Cllr Mohindra currently holds the Finance Portfolio on the District Council and is contesting the Chigwell and Loughton Broadway ward in the forthcoming Essex County Council elections. He is a self-employed businessman, serves as Chairman of Epping Forest Conservatives, and fought North Tyneside in the 2010 General Election.