With an election bound to happen at some point, candidate selections continue apace. Most famously, Buckingham selected its first Conservative candidate in many years yesterday – with local voters (and the rest of us, let’s be honest) looking forward to the constituency getting a normal MP once more, after the Speaker belatedly departs. But there have also been recent selections in key seats in Wales and the North West of England. Here is the round-up:


Greg Smith (right) runs his own marketing and campaigns business. He is a former Deputy Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, then served as the council’s Leader of the Opposition and Tory group leader from 2014 to 2018. Smith has written for ConservativeHome about his local government experience. He volunteers on the Trust Board of Riverside Studios, a West London arts and television venue. In 2017, he contested Hayes and Harlington, against John McDonnell.

Newport West (Labour by-election majority: 1,951)

Cllr Matthew Evans is a former leader of Newport Council and current leader of the Conservative Opposition. He was the Conservative candidate for the seat in the by-election there earlier this year, contested Assembly elections there three times, and is also a former Mayor of Newport. He founded and ran a successful catering business in the area for many years.

Brecon and Radnorshire (Liberal Democrat by-election majority: 1,425)

Fay Jones works in public affairs, and currently runs the Welsh operation for the consultancy Grayling. She previously worked for the National Farmers Union, and before that spent four years as a Senior Research and Project Officer in the Household of the Prince of Wales. She was on the Conservative list of MEP candidates in Wales at the 2019 EU election.

Workington (Labour majority: 3,935)

Cllr Mark Jenkinson is a self-employed contractor in the nuclear engineering supply chain, and serves as Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council. Unusually, he was the UKIP candidate in Workington in 2015, before rejoining the Conservative Party in 2016, after the EU referendum – a decision he wrote about for this site. He served as Chairman of Workington Conservative Association last year.

City of Chester (Labour majority: 9,176)

Samantha George Having spent much of her career in accountancy, George also served for 16 years as a councillor in Merton, including four years as Deputy Leader. She was a finalist in the Broxtowe selection last month.

Warrington North (Labour majority: 9,582)

Wendy Maisey has lived in Warrington for 30 years, and is the founder and owner of an IT company in the financial services sector, creating 40 jobs in the local area. She is the Founder Patron of Warrington Youth Club, and cites as a formative experience campaigning in her native Liverpool when her father stood for the Conservatives against Derek Hatton’s Militant-controlled Labour Party. She was on the Conservative list of MEP candidates in the North West at the 2019 EU election.