After a bumper round of nine selections in Conservative-held seats last night, we now enter a weekend of yet more contests. By my count there are at least 13 such selection meetings taking place, starting tonight.
Here’s the run-down of the shortlists we’ve already published, new shortlists I’ve been able to discover, and the remaining seats where no information is available. At this late stage in the process, I should note that shortlists are sometimes prone to change, particularly as some candidates are shuffled in and out as they are unsuccessful or successful elsewhere, and even candidates themselves are increasingly only being notified they have made the cut on the day of the selection meeting.
Friday 8th November:
Orpington (Conservative majority: 19,453) – shortlist here.
South West Hertfordshire (Conservative majority: 19,550) – shortlist here.
Bracknell (Conservative majority: 16,016) – shortlist here).
East Surrey (Conservative majority: 23,914) – shortlist here.
Rutland and Melton (Conservative majority: 23,104) – shortlist here.
Hastings and Rye (Conservative majority: 346) shortlist:
- 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 July he was a finalist in Grantham and Stamford.
- Cllr Sally-Ann Hart. Brought up in the North East of England, Cllr Hart has lived for some years in East Sussex, after starting her career in London. She holds a seat on Rother District Council, where she was first elected in 2015, and for the last three years has served as a member of the council’s cabinet with responsibility for Culture and Tourism. In addition to her council work, she is also a magistrate. Cllr Hart contested North West Durham in the 2017 election, and in July she was a finalist in Canterbury. Her past ConservativeHome articles can be read here.
- An unknown candidate – after the original third finalist withdrew.
Saturday 9th November:
Devizes (Conservative majority: 21,136) – shortlist here.
Mid Sussex (Conservative majority: 19,673) – shortlist here.
Aylesbury (Conservative majority: 14,696) – shortlist unknown.
East Devon (Conservative majority: 8,036) – shortlist unknown.
Penrith and the Border (Conservative majority: 15,910) – shortlist unknown.
Beaconsfield (Conservative majority: 24,543) shortlist:
- Martin Howe QC: One of those nominated in our search for 100 new Peers back in 2010, Howe is a barrister specialising in the fields of intellectual property and EU law. He has worked with Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Justice among others, but has become best known in recent years as a prominent pro-Brexit voice in the sustained legal battles over leaving the EU, in his role as Chairman of Lawyers for Britain.
- Jackson Ng: The current Chairman of Beaconsfield Conservative Association, and co-founder of Conservative Friends of the Chinese, Ng is a barrister who founded his own law firm. He previously worked for Hill & Knowlton Strategies, and served as a political adviser on international relations in the House of Lords. He contested Liverpool Riverside in 2015, and St Helens North in 2017.
- Joy Morrissey: A councillor in Ealing since 2014, Morrissey is the former shadow portfolio holder for health and adult social services. She currently works forthe Centre for Social Justice, and is a former parliamentary assistant to Angie Bray. She was a list candidate in the 2016 London Assembly elections, contested Ealing Central and Acton in 2017, and was shortlisted to be the 2020 London Mayoral candidate.
Sunday 10th November
Sevenoaks (Conservative majority: 21,917) – shortlist here.
Newbury (Conservative majority: 24,380) shortlist:
- Cllr Lynne Doherty: Currently the Leader of West Berkshire District Council, where she represents a Newbury ward, Cllr Doherty has worked in the charity sector for the last decade. Prior to leading the council, she spent four years as Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education. In addition to her local government role, she is Head of Commercial Enterprises for a charity which supports children and young adults with severe autism. Her earlier career was in private sector marketing.
- Laura Farris: A barrister specialising in employment and equality law, Farris sits on the Executive of the Society of Conservative Lawyers and is Deputy Chair of West Berkshire Conservatives. She is a former BBC and Reuters journalist, has worked in politics in the US, and sits on the board of an Academy Trust with schools in London and Berkshire. Farris grew up in the constituency – she is the daughter of the late Michael McNair-Wilson, former MP for Newbury – and lives nearby. In 2017 she contested Leyton and Wanstead.
- An unknown candidate. Originally Claire Coutinho was shortlisted for this contest, but she was selected for East Surrey on Friday and we have yet to hear of a confirmed replacement.
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.