Former Greater Manchester MP selected as Stratford's Conservative parliamentary candidate - The Stratford Observer

Former Greater Manchester MP selected as Stratford's Conservative parliamentary candidate

Stratford Editorial 6th Jun, 2024   0

THE NEWLY selected Conservative parliamentary candidate for Stratford-on-Avon says he can’t believe he is representing the home town of Shakespeare.

Chris Clarkson, former MP for Greater Manchester, has been selected by members of Stratford Conservative Association to represent the party locally at the upcoming General Election.

The selection meeting was conducted by an independent chair and via a secret ballot.

The 41-year-old was MP for Heywood and Middleton in Greater Manchester but the constituency has since been abolished due to boundary changes. He won his previous seat from Labour in December 2019 with a majority of 663.

Mr Clarkson was born in West Germany and grew up in Blackburn, Lancashire. He studied law at Dundee University and worked as a corporate development manager and a consultant before entering Parliament.

Mr Clarkson was chosen from a final three. The other two candidates to replace former Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi were Declan Lyons and Jane Meehan.

Mr Lyons is a special political adviser to Rishi Sunak and had been heavily favoured in London to take over from Mr Zahawi in Stratford, but the Conservative member vote went with Mr Clarkson.

Ms Meehan was the only‘local’candidate. She stood for the Conservatives in last May’s elections for Stratford District Council but lost out to the Lib Dems in Bishopton.

Mr Clarkson said:“It is an honour to be representing this constituency, one that is so steeped in history and our national culture. At school we all learn and study Shakespeare and I never imagined I would one day be representing his home. I look forward to the next few weeks and being part of this constituency.”

Chairman of the association Richard Walters added: “I am delighted that we have a high quality candidate who cares about the Stratford on Avon constituency as much as we do and we look forward to getting Chris elected on July 4.”

Stratford Conservative Association has also thanked Mr Zahawi for his 14 years as the MP for the Stratford constituency.

A statement on the association’s website reads: “He always had busy MP surgeries and would work diligently in Parliament for all the residents of the constituency.

“We wish him well with his future endeavours and he will always be a part of Stratford on Avon’s great history.”

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