We are wary of providing candidate information on the basis of a single source, but ours is a very good one in this instance. And all candidates were named to ConservativeHome as possibles earlier in the week.
- Clare Foges is an occasional Times columnist – she has also contributed to this site – and a former speechwriter to David Cameron. She was once profiled by the Daily Mail as a “raven-haired poet (and former ice cream seller)”.
- Mark Fox is Chief Executive of the Business Services Association and a former lobby correspondent, and contested Great Yarmouth in 2005.
- Bob Seely is an Isle of Wight County Councillor and has worked previously in Conservative Campaign Headquarters.
CCHQ and Downing Street have been taken to task elsewhere, sometimes rightly, for simply imposing a list of candidates on seats with no connection to it.
It cannot be said to have done so in this case. Foges apparently has a connection to the island and has spoken to the Association several times; Fox has been a governor of two local schools, and has a home on the Isle of Wight; Seely is a councillor, as above, and the Seelys are a well-known family on the island.
The selection will take place later this week.
P.S: A tip of the hat to On The Wight, which named Fox and Seely as possible replacements for Andrew Turner in January 2015 – before the last election.
P.P.S: The Isle of Wight County Press also has the story, which went up at roughly the same time as ConHome’s tweet went out. We didn’t see its story and have no reason to think that it saw our tweet.