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.
We’re reaching the last few days of the process of selecting Conservative candidates, and while the pace of selections is slowing there are still some underway – not least in Conservative-held seats. The Isle of Wight, Redditch, Hitchin and Harpenden and Harborough associations are all still to choose who they will put forward to follow Conservative MPs who are standing down.
This morning, we exclusively reveal the shortlist in Harborough, the seat which is being vacated by Sir Edward Garnier (pictured, right), as well as bringing you a new shortlist for a key target seat, and news of another tranche of newly-selected candidates.
Shortlist for Harborough (Conservative majority 19,632)
Those who will contest the selection on Friday, 5th May are:
- Tim Clark: Currently the Principal of Skinners’ Academy in Hackney, Clark was previously Headmaster of Spalding High School in Lincolnshire, a grammar school – he has written about education policy for ConservativeHome. In 2005 he stood against David Blunkett in Sheffield Brightside, and in 2014 he was a finalist in the Boston and Skegness selection.
- Cllr Helen Harrison: A District Councillor in East Northamptonshire, Harrison runs her own physiotherapy business, having previously spent much of her career in the NHS. She fought Ashfield in the 2015 General Election, serves as Chairman of the Corby and East Northants Conservative Association and is Director of the pro-Brexit campaign group Grassroots Out.
- Neil O’Brien: The former Director of Policy Exchange and Open Europe, O’Brien is currently the lead adviser on industrial strategy and the Northern Powerhouse in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. From 2012 until the 2016 change of Prime Minister, he was a Special Adviser to George Osborne in the Treasury, where he was credited with improving the then Chancellor’s “retail offer” to working class voters.
Shortlist for Leeds North East (Labour majority 7,250)
A target seat, albeit one with a sizeable majority to overcome, the Leeds North East selection will take place tonight, Thursday 4th May. The three shortlisted candidates are:
- Laetitia Glossop: A Partner in financial services recruitment firm Hammond Partners (no relation to the Chancellor), Glossop previously founded and ran her own recruitment agency. She contested North Durham in the 2015 General Election, and has previously written for this site.
- Cllr Matthew Robinson: A Leeds City Councillor since 2010, Robinson works for Ambition School Leadership, an education charity promoting expertise among senior teachers and developing schools in challenging contexts. He is a governor of two primary schools, and worked as a campaigns assistant for the Scottish Conservatives in the run-up to the 2010 General Election.
- Cllr Ryan Stephenson: Also a Leeds City Councillor (since last year), Stephenson has been Chief of Staff to Elmet and Rothwell MP Alex Shelbrooke since 2010. He served as chairman of Shelbrooke’s election campaign in 2010, and is Vice-Chairman of the Education Advisory Board at a primary school. Stephenson contested Leeds East in the 2015 General Election and was on the Yorkshire and the Humber Conservative list in the 2014 European Election.
Birmingham Selly Oak (Labour majority 8,447): Cllr Sophie Shrubsole: A Tonbridge and Malling Borough councillor, where she serves as Cabinet Member for Housing, Shrubsole is Director of Operations at the Westminster Business Council and runs her own company offering First World War battlefield tours. She is a graduate of the University of Birmingham.
Don Valley (Labour majority 8,885): Aaron Bell: A trading development manager for Bet365, and a senior business analyst at a financial technology firm which he helped to launch, Bell serves as the Treasurer of East Staffordshire Conservative Association. He won the 2009 series of The Krypton Factor.
Scunthorpe (Labour majority 3,134): Cllr Holly Mumby-Croft: A North Lincolnshire councillor and town councillor in Broughton, just over the constituency border in Brigg and Goole, she also serves as a school governor. Mumby-Croft has in the past campaigned against local wind farm development plans, and earlier this year used council scrutiny powers to expose failings on the part of the local health trust.
Stalybridge and Hyde (Labour majority 6,686): Cllr Tom Dowse: A Stockport councillor, Dowse is currently studying Ancient History at the University of Manchester. He is a former Parliamentary assistant and serves as a governor of a pupil referral unit in Manchester.
Tooting (Labour majority 6,357 in the 2016 by-election, 2,842 in 2015): Dan Watkins: Having fought here in 2015 and then in the 2016 by-election after Sadiq Khan’s election as London Mayor, this will be Watkins’ third crack at the constituency. An entrepreneur, who runs his own legal technology business, he has written several times for this site. He was selected unopposed last night, as expected, but I gather that enthusiastic campaigning for him in the seat began last week.
Wolverhampton North East (Labour majority 5,495): Sarah Macken: The Head of UK Public Affairs for the defence arm of Airbus, Macken has written occasionally for this site. She fought Brent East for the Pro-Life Alliance in 2001, and stood in East Ham for the Conservatives in 2005. In the run-up to the 2015 General Election, she was longlisted in Havant, and was a finalist in selections in Faversham and Mid Kent, Louth and Horncastle and Braintree.
Despite the local elections, I’m aware of two target constituencies meeting tonight to select their candidates. They are:
Leeds North East (Labour majority 7,250): Shortlist and candidate biographies above.
Luton South (Labour majority 5,711): Shortlist yet to be revealed.