Following my posts yesterday revealing the first Conservative candidate selection shortlists and the first candidates selected in Scotland (here and here), today I can reveal a raft of further selections, nominations and shortlists.
Shortlists in Conservative-held seats
These hotly-contested seats will all have shortlists of three – we now have the complete list for Chelmsford, and the name of a second candidate in Tatton:
Chelmsford (Conservative majority 18,250):
- Simon Burton: Having started out as a Parliamentary Assistant and then Constituency Organiser for Jonathan Djanogly MP, Burton has risen swiftly through the ranks of Conservative advisers, serving as a Special Adviser to Patrick McLoughlin at the Department for Transport from 2014-2016, then as SpAd to the Chief Whip since August 2016.
- Vicky Ford MEP: Born and brought up in Northern Ireland, Ford worked in banking before entering politics. She contested Birmingham Northfield in the 2005 General Election, was elected as a South Cambridgeshire District Councillor, and has been an MEP for the East of England since 2009.
- Alicia Kearns: A counter-terrorism PR specialist who, during her time at the Foreign Office, advised over 70 Governments on tackling ISIS, Kearns is Deputy Chair Political of Cambridge City Conservative Association. She now works at Global Influence, a communications agency.
Tatton (Conservative majority 18,241): The association will be selecting their candidate from the shortlist on Wednesday 26th April – one of whom remains to be confirmed:
- Katherine Fletcher: A former safari ranger, Fletcher spent much of her career in business strategy and finance and has been Interim Strategy Lead of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, George Osborne’s new think tank, since January 2017. She fought Ellesmere Port and Neston at the 2015 General Election.
- Cllr Alex Williams: Deputy Leader of Trafford Council, Williams contested Stretford and Urmston in the 2010 General Election and Bury South in 2005. A chartered accountant, he is Director of Restructuring at Ernst and Young. He has written several times for this site.
For reasons explained at the weekend, the Scottish Conservatives have stolen a march, and so seven of the eight candidates to be officially selected are all from North of the Border.
- Birmingham Erdington: Cllr Robert Alden. A target seat (held by Jack Dromey for Labour with a majority of 5,129), Erdington Association swiftly reselected its candidate from 2010 and 2015. Cllr Alden has represented Erdington ward since 2006, and is Leader of the Conservative group on Birmingham City Council. The Prime Minister’s close adviser, Nick Timothy, hails from Erdington and has written of his belief in Erdington Conservatism for this site.
- Livingston: Damian Timson, an RAF veteran, was selected yesterday. He works in project management, and is contesting the East Livingston and East Calder ward in the forthcoming local elections. He is the Chairman of West Lothian Conservative and Unionist Association.
- Linlithgow and and East Falkirk: Charles Kennedy was selected yesterday, having fought the Linlithgow Scottish Parliament constituency last year. A quantity surveyor by profession, he is Treasurer of West Lothian Conservative and Unionist Association, and led West Lothian Better Together in the 2014 referendum.
- Midlothian: Chris Donnelly, a barrister who works in public affairs in the sports sector, fought Linlithgow in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2011 and contested Livingston in the 2015 General Election, was selected yesterday.
- Moray: Douglas Ross MSP, who represents the Highlands and Islands region at Holyrood, stood against Angus Robertson for the Westminster Moray seat in 2010 and 2015 and fought the Moray Scottish parliament seat in 2011 and 2016, gaining an 18 point increase in the Conservative vote there last year.
- Ochil and South Perthshire: Luke Graham, who is director of an accountancy firm, fought the seat in 2015 and was selected again yesterday. He served as Director of Finance for the Stronger In campaign in last year’s referendum.
- Perth and North Perthshire: Ian Duncan MEP, Member of the European Parliament for Scotland since 2014, and who has written several times for this site, was confirmed by the Association membership last night.
- Stirling: Stephen Kerr, who was selected yesterday, previously contested the seat in 2005 and 2015. A graduate of the University of Stirling, he works in international sales.
Reselecting 2015 candidates in key target seats
NB to be allowed to reselect the 2015 candidate uncontested, a seat must be a “key target” according to the selection rules and the candidate must be agreed by the association officers and CCHQ in advance.
Harrow West (Labour majority 2,208): Hannah David, a solicitor, fought this seat in 2015 and is the sole candidate up for selection on Thursday 27th April. David is the National Director of the Conservative Policy Forum, co-founder of the Planning Futures think tank and a former Hertsmere Borough Councillor.
Ilford North (Labour majority 589): Lee Scott, who held the seat from 2005 until being narrowly unseated in 2015, is up for unopposed reselection on Wednesday 26th April. He told his local paper that he hadn’t intended to stand in the next General Election but had been persuaded to put his name forward after receiving “over 200” messages from his former constituents urging him to do so.
Westminster North (Labour majority 1,977): Cllr Lindsey Hall, a former journalist, contested the seat in 2015 and is up for unopposed reselection on Friday 28th April. She has represented Abbey Road ward on Westminster City Council since 2007 and serves as Deputy Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Heritage.
Candidate shortlists in key target seats
Those key target seats which are not proposing their 2015 candidate for a reselection vote unopposed must all select from shortlists of three. We have listed all candidates alphabetically, and provide the selection meeting date where it is known:
Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (Labour majority 2,268). The selection will take place on Thursday 27th April, with a shortlist consisting of:
- Will Goodhand: The director of a market research company, and a law graduate who has previously run his own business, Goodhand contested the seat in 2015.
- Simon Clarke: A former solicitor, who works as a Policy Advisor to Graham Stuart MP, Clarke was nominated by the Middlesbrough South Conservative Association as their Parliamentary spokesman back in January 2017. He fought the neighbouring Middlesbrough constituency in 2015.
- Peter Gibson: A lawyer by training, Gibson grew up in Saltburn, in the east of the constituency. He is Managing Director and founder of Coles Solicitors, a sizeable law firm operating across North Yorkshire.
Wakefield (Labour majority 2,613). The Association will be selecting on Saturday 29th April from a shortlist of:
- Antony Calvert: A communications entrepreneur (he worked as senior director for several property communications firms before launching Calvert Communications in 2015), Calvert contested the seat in 2015 and stood against Ed Balls in Morley and Outwood in 2010. He is a former Wakefield District Councillor.
- Simon Kitchen: Born and brought up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Kitchen contested Newcastle Central in the 2015 General Election. He currently works for the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, after spending the four previous years at the Alzheimer’s Society, where he was Executive Lead for the Dementia Action Alliance.
- Cllr Andrew Lee: A member of North Yorkshire County Council since 2005, Cllr Lee contested Sheffield Central in the 2010 General Election, and was a European candidate for the North East in 2014. He is currently the Chairman of Selby and Ainsty Conservatives.