A rolling list of those Tory MPs choosing not to contest their seats again.
The selection of the Olympic gold medallist is interesting not only for his star power, but for his lack of connection to the constituency, and comparative age.
There was a sense that members wanted “a fresh start” after a vote against Jonathan Djanogly, the current MP.
They are a mixture of Conservative-held and target seats.
Against the trend of recent selections, Simister-Thomas was an outsider to the constituency.
Kieran Mullan, the incumbent MP for Crewe and Nantwich, is in the final three.
Having previously stood on several occasions for Labour, Gardner joined the Conservatives in 2018. He has lifelong ties to the new constituency.
Plus: Kristy Adams selected in Sussex Mid, and Nigel Gardner selected in Harpenden and Berkhamsted.
Like other recent candidates, Strafford also made much of his long-standing personal connections to the area. A local source tells me he clearly “knew his stuff”.
Members of the new constituency had an “excellent” short-list of four final candidates. Bucking the general trend, their priority was talent, not local connections.
Politicalparties should proactively identify and nurture individuals with outstanding leadership potential, even if they don’t come from local backgrounds. Great leaders – like Winston Churchill – can effectively represent constituencies beyond their birthplaces.
One local Tory was who present at the selection told ConservativeHome that the “biggest single difference” between the two final candidates was that “he promised to return to the constituency” before the next election.
They are a mixture of Conservative-held seats and targets.
Will local Associations select insiders or councillors? The answer in this latest case is: both.
Downing Street and CCHQ will be perturbed by the continuing run of men being selected in the safer constituencies.