To see all of our reports on shortlists, nominations and selections from the past few days, click here. Thanks to the help of many of our readers, ConservativeHome has been first for selection news, ahead of the national press. If you have any information to share on who is up for selection and where, please click here – all our sources are strictly anonymous.
Tuesday May 2 update:
The following candidates were selected yesterday evening for marginal seats.
- North Norfolk (LibDem majority 4043): James Wild.
- Penistone and Stocksbridge (Labour majority 6723): Nicola Wilson (pictured right).
Bank Holiday update:
- Wolverhampton South-West (Labour majority 401): Paul Uppal. He was the MP between 2010 and 2015. The incumbent, Rob Marris, is standing down. Uppal was selected on Friday evening.
First, here is a brief summary of those candidates selected yesterday for seats that could reasonably be described as marginal:
- Bury South (Labour majority 4922): Robert Largan.
- East Renfrewshire (SNP majority 3718 over Labour): Paul Masterton.
- Newport West (Labour majority 3510): Angela Jones-Evans.
- York Central (Labour majority 6716): Ed Young.
East Renfrewshire has been listed as a target Tory seat in some media reports despite the Party coming over 10,000 votes behind the SNP in 2015. If it is so, the logic presumably is a) that Labour, whose candidate last time round was Jim Murphy, the former Cabinet Minister and Scottish Labour leader, has seen its vote collapse in Scotland, and b) that it is a former Conservative seat.
Second, there is more trouble in Bridgend, to add to that previously reported on this site. ConservativeHome has received a report overnight which says that –
“Bridgend Conservatives have voted to reject the two candidates which the Conservative Party tried to impose upon them by passing a motion which asks the party to field a local candidate in this election, not a Party nominee from outside the area.
In the face of threats from the Party about putting the Association into supportive measures if they didn’t comply or having one of the candidates imposed upon them anyway if they didn’t put it to the vote of local party members, the local party voted to ask the Party Chairman to think again and ensure that their preferred choice of local candidate stands in this General Election – a triumph for democracy over dictatorship.
The Party will now have to impose one of the candidates on us, or preferably think again and choose the local candidate that we want and is best placed to win on June 8th.”
We also had a previous report in Newport West of objections to candidates put forward by the Party centrally, but the seat yesterday selected Angela Jones-Evans (see above and photo right).
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Shortlists in Conservative-held seats
Saffron Walden (Conservative majority 24,991): We reported yesterday that Katherine Bennett has withdrawn from the shortlist for this seat. Today, I can exclusive reveal the name of the third candidate who has joined the shortlist in her place:
- Laura Farris: A barrister specialising in employment and equality law, Farris (pictured, right) is Vice-Chair of Tooting Conservatives and sits on the panel of Counsel for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. A former BBC and Reuters journalist, she has also worked in politics in the US. Farris is the daughter of the late Michael McNair-Wilson, former MP for Newbury, and the niece of Patrick McNair-Wilson, former MP for the New Forest. She contested the Richmond Park selection a few days ago.
The other two candidates who will contest the Saffron Walden selection on Tuesday are:
- Kemi Badenoch AM. The Deputy Leader of the Conservative group on the London Assembly, Badenoch was elected to the Assembly on the London-wide list last year having previously become an Assembly Member after Victoria Borwick moved to become an MP. A former director at the Spectator, she has also worked as an associate director at Coutts & co. With degrees in both Engineering and Law, Badenoch has been a governor of two inner city schools. In 2010, she stood (under her maiden name, Kemi Adegoke) in Dulwich and West Norwood against Tessa Jowell, and earlier this week was unsuccessful in the Hampstead and Kilburn selection.
- Stephen Parkinson: Though born on Tyneside, the Prime Minister’s Political Secretary was brought up in East Anglia, going on to studying at Cambridge. Parkinson contested Newcastle North for the Conservatives in 2010, played a major role in the No2AV campaign in 2011 and went on to advise Theresa May in the Home Office. In 2015, he left that role to run ground operations for the successful Vote Leave campaign, and was brought into Downing Street after the change of Prime Minister last summer.
Bolton North East (Labour majority 4,377): Abi Kay: A member of a local farming family, Kay has been the Chief Reporter on the Farmers’ Guardian since last September. She previously worked as a policy adviser to the NFU, and as a parliamentary assistant. Back in 2006, ConservativeHome reported on the difficulties she had experienced in trying to become a Conservative Party member.
Cardiff South and Penarth (Labour majority 7,453): Bill Rees. Brought up on his family dairy farm in West Wales, Rees contested Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney at the 2015 General Election. With an academic background in economics, he works in senior management in a major energy company.
Chelmsford (Conservative majority 18,250): 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.
City of Chester (Labour majority 93): Will Gallagher: Chester born and raised, Gallagher returned to the city after university to help to run his family business. He contested Alyn and Deeside in 2010, and from 2012-15 he served as a Special Adviser to Chris Grayling at the Minister of Justice. A former Operations Director of the National Citizen Service, he is now Director of the East West Railway.
Clacton (UKIP majority 3,437): Cllr Giles Watling, the Conservative candidate in the 2014 by-election and 2015 General Election was reselected unopposed yesterday. An actor – best known for playing the vicar in Bread – he is also a councillor on Tendring District Council. With UKIP in trouble and Douglas Carswell reportedly intending to vote for him, this could be Watling’s time.
Coventry North West (Labour majority 4,509): Resham Kotecha: A strategy adviser by profession, Kotecha is Head of Engagement for Women2Win, and fought the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency in the 2015 General Election. She serves as the Deputy Chair of Northwood Conservatives, and won a competitive selection last night.
Coventry South (Labour majority 3,188): Cllr Michelle Lowe: Deputy Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, where she has been a councillor for a decade, she holds the housing portfolio in the cabinet. In the 2015 General Election, Lowe stood for the Conservatives in Coventry North East. She has written for this site.
Ellesmere Port and Neston (Labour majority 6,275): Cllr Nigel Jones: A fellow Cheshire West and Chester District councillor, Jones works as Parliamentary Assistant to Graham Evans. In the wider community, he is also Trustee of a local Neston charity.
Great Grimsby (Labour majority 4,540): Jo Gideon. A later addition to the shortlist here. A businesswoman also active with a number of charities, she has lived in Kent since 2002. She stood in Scunthorpe at the General Election, has been a councillor in Thanet and was shortlisted for Conservative candidate for Kent Police and Crime Commissioner in 2015.
Newcastle-Under-Lyme (Labour majority 650): Owen Meredith: Currently Deputy Chairman of the Tory Reform Group, Meredith fought Caerphilly in the 2011 Welsh Assembly election. He is Director of External Affairs at the Professional Publishers Association, and has written several times for this site.
Oldham East and Saddleworth (Labour majority 6,002): Kashif Ali: Born and brought up in Oldham, Ali contested the 2010 General Election and 2011 by-election in this seat. A barrister in Manchester, he is also a former Deputy Chairman of Manchester Conservative Federation and trustee of a charity supporting homeless people with mental health issues.
Tynemouth (Labour majority 8,240): Cllr Nick Varley: A councillor on Chiltern District Council, Varley was Head of Ground Campaign for Vote Leave in the EU referendum. Brought up in County Durham, he recently consulted with Change Britain, the pro-Brexit campaign group and currently works for Stonehaven, a corporate strategy firm.
Wakefield (Labour majority 2,613). 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.
West Lancashire (Labour majority 8,360): Cllr Sam Currie: A West Lancashire Borough councillor, Currie served in the Royal Navy before becoming an estate agent. He was elected to the council in 2016.
Wirral West (Labour majority 417): Tony Caldeira: A textile entrepreneur, who went to school in St Helens, Caldeira is better known as the current candidate for the post of Liverpool Mayor – he also contested the election for the same role in 2012. In 2013, he was a finalist in the Wealden Open Primary, and won the competitive selection in Wirral West last night.
Selections in Wales
Over the last week or so we’ve reported on several constituencies in which there have been disputes about selections – particularly in cases where the association very clearly requests that a particular candidate be shortlisted, but CCHQ refuse to offer that person as an option for selection.
In Wales, it seems things are getting rather more serious – in a number of cases, candidates supported by local associations were initially approved or referred for an Assessment Board by CCHQ, only to later be removed from shortlists. And in some cases, associations are expected to select from a shortlist of one – an approach that was meant to only be used for reselecting 2015 candidates with the agreement of the local party
Selections planned today
Today, Tuesday May 2, the following seat are due to select: Saffron Walden, Northampton South, Walsall North, Walsall South, Norwich South and Wirral South.
There may well be other forthcoming selections of which we are not yet aware – if you have details of your local selection, please do contact us.