Ben Obese-Jecty has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Huntingdon. Comprising 61.7 per cent of the current Huntingdon seat and 24.1 per cent of Cambridgeshire North West, the seat is currently represented by Jonathan Djanogly, who announced earlier this year that he would stand down at the next election, following a vote from local members.
Obese-Jecty – a frequent ConservativeHome contributor – is the Association Chairman for Hornsey and Wood Green Conservative Association and stood for Hackney North and Stoke Newington at the last general election. Having grown up in Surrey, Obese-Jecty trained at Sandhurst before serving in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now works in the financial sector.
Alongside Obese-Jecty in the final short-list were Simon Burton, a former Chairman of Huntingdon’s Conservative Association and a former special advisor, Anna Robinson, a long-standing party activist who now works in the social housing sector, and Neil Hudson, the current MP for Penrith and the Border. Burton and Obese-Jecty made the final two.
According to local sources, it was a “very competitive field”, and locals were “not too bothered” about pre-existing connections to the constituency. The selection itself was “very well run” and one individual present told ConservativeHome the process was “super friendly” as members sought a “good fit for the constituency”. In attendance was John Major, the former MP (amongst other things).
However, there was a sense that members wanted “a fresh start” after what had happened with Djanogly, and after previous “demoralising” disputes over Brexit. Being a “very impressive” candidate from outside of the constituency, it has been suggested to ConservativeHome that Obese-Jecty was seen as the better person to provide that.
Despite seven of Cambridgeshire’s eight constituencies currently being Conservative, the council is made up of an “anti-Tory coalition”, and there exists a “real split” between towns and more rural areas. Nevertheless, Electoral Calculus currently gives Obese-Jecty a 58 per cent chance of winning. ConservativeHome wishes him all the best – and hopes to have him writing for us again soon.
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