Another batch of shortlists for candidate selections in Conservative-held seats, selecting tomorrow and Saturday:

Orpington (Conservative majority: 19,453)

Selection date: Friday 8th November

Gareth Bacon AM: Currently the leader of the Conservative group on the London Assembly, Bacon has been an Assembly Member since 2008 – first as a list candidate and more recently as the Assembly Member for Bexley and Bromley. He is also a councillor in Bexley, a role in which he has served since 1998. He chaired the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority for the final two years of Boris Johnson’s mayoralty. Bacon’s articles for ConservativeHome can be found here.

Linden Kemkaran: During almost two decades at the BBC, Kemkaran worked as a producer, reporter, planner and presenter for BBC News, particularly on defence and security. In recent years she has continued to work in the media through her own production company, including freelance journalism and media training, she does communications for the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, and presents a book club for BBC Radio Kent. She has also written for The Spectator.

Amandeep Singh Bhogal A former FCO diplomat, born in India and raised in Bexley, after leaving the Foreign Office Bhogal retrained as a foundry engineer. He contested the Northern Ireland constituency of Upper Bann in 2015, and was a list candidate in the 2012 and 2016 London Assembly elections Bhogal is also Director of Strategy for Conservative Friends of India. His articles on ConservativeHome can be found here.


Bracknell (Conservative majority: 16,016)

Selection date: Friday 8th November

Juliette Ash: Ash worked for the Centre for Social Justice for several years, developing the think tank’s external relations, before founding a learning and development consultancy which advises FTSE100 companies. She has been an Army reservist for over 20 years, in which capacity she represented the UK on a panel advising NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and is a Board member of Conservative Friends of the Armed Forces. Ash contested Cynon Valley in the 2010 General Election, Pontypridd in 2017, and was then a candidate on the South East list in the 2019 EU elections.

Christopher Salmon. A former British Army officer in the Rifles, Salmon served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq. He contested Llanelli in the 2010 General Election, before being elected as the first Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner in 2012, a post he held until 2016. Since 2018 he has worked as a policy adviser to the Secretary of State at DEFRA. His articles on ConservativeHome can be found here.

James Sunderland. A career British Army officer, among other roles Colonel Sunderland formerly commanded 27 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, and worked with the Army Engagement Team, as well as being Co-Director of the Armed Forces Rally Team. He is very active in promoting and campaigning for the Armed Forces Covenant, about which he has written for ConservativeHome.


South West Hertfordshire (Conservative majority: 19,550)

Selection date: Friday 8th November

Sara Argent: Currently Head of Public Affairs for pharmaceutical firm Roche, Argent previously worked as Boris Johnson’s Head of Operations during his first mayoral term in London. After leaving City Hall in 2012, she became Assistant Director of Communications for News UK, and was then appointed Director of Zac Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign in 2016.

Cllr Gagan Mohindra. An Epping Forest Councillor since 2006, and an Essex County Councillor, Cllr Mohindra currently serves as Cabinet member for Finance, Property and Housing on the County Council. He is also Chairman of Essex Conservatives, and sits on the Board of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group. He fought North Tyneside in the 2010 General Election.

Cllr Reena Ranger. The founder and chair of Women Empowered, a social initiative engaging and encouraging women to make the most of their skills (for which she received an OBE this summer), Ranger is a Three Rivers District Councillor. She works in the family firm founded by her father, the Conservative donor and peer Rami Ranger. She contested Birmingham Hall Green in 2017, and was shortlisted in Hertford and Stortford a fortnight ago.


Mid Sussex (Conservative majority: 19,673)

Selection date: Saturday 9th November

Virginia Crosbie: A maths teacher by profession, Crosbie is Director of Women2Win, Deputy Chair of Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham Conservative Association, and serves as the Conservative Policy Forum’s Champion for Social Mobility. Having studied microbiology at university, she worked in pharmaceutical development before retraining as a teacher. She contested Rhondda in the 2017 General Election, and has written for ConservativeHome.

Mims Davies: Very unusually, Davies was an MP at the start of this election – representing Eastleigh (Conservative majority: 14,179) from 2015-2019. She stood down from her former constituency last week on the grounds that “it has been become increasingly difficult to juggle the responsibilities have I first and foremost as a mother and, secondly, as an MP”, given that her children are based in Sussex. Having served as Minister for Sport since last year, in July 2019 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment. Before entering politics she worked in local radio, and in road safety communications.

Cllr Henry Newman: A past columnist for ConservativeHome, and former Director of the think tank Open Europe, Newman is currently Senior Brexit Adviser to Michael Gove at the Cabinet Office, having also advised Gove at the Ministry of Justice. He worked for Vote Leave during the EU referendum, and contested North Tyneside in the 2017 General Election. He is also a councillor in Camden, and before working in Westminster taught politics and history at various universities.


As ever, our coverage relies on a large number of people who choose to share insights and tips about the process in the interests of transparency and internal party democracy. Thank you to all those who have contributed so far – if you know the date of a selection meeting, the composition of a shortlist, or the name of a successful candidate, please let us know here. We always respect our sources’ right to anonymity.