The candidate selection for Meriden (Conservative majority: 19,198) will take place tomorrow, as the association seeks a successor to Caroline Spelman, who has represented the constituency for 22 years.
The three candidates in the final are:
Saqib Bhatti. A chartered accountant by profession, Bhatti is a director of Younis Bhatti Ltd and serves as President of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. During the EU referendum he was Co-Secretary General of Muslims for Britain, a campaign group working with Vote Leave. He is a director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, and of the Broad Street Business Improvement District. He was a finalist in Broxtowe.
Cllr Charlotte Hodivala. Elected to Birmingham City Council in May 2018, Hodivala contested Birmingham Perry Barr in the 2017 and 2015 General Elections. Hodivala works as a sales manager in the pharmaceuticals sector, and earlier this year founded Mindsafe, a social media platform aimed at supporting patients with dementia. She is also a former mayor of Sutton Coldfield, and has written for ConservativeHome about the success of localism in the town. She was a finalist in Warwick and Leamington.
Nick Timothy. Born and raised in Birmingham, Timothy was a Special Adviser to Theresa May as Home Secretary from 2010-2015, before becoming Director of the New Schools Network, a charity which aids the setting up of free schools. He returned to Westminster in 2016 to serve as May’s Joint Chief of Staff in Downing Street, and resigned following the 2017 General Election. Currently a Daily Telegraph columnist, he is a former columnist for ConservativeHome, and sits on the organising committee for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.