I am delighted to report that my very good friend Sajid Javid has been selected for Bromsgrove.
We've been friends since I was Exeter University with him, David Burrowes MP and Robert Halfon (1988 to 1991). Saj and I ran the Exeter Enterprise Forum together - a campaign group that attempted to promote capitalism to students. We produced leaflets for the 1990 Party Conference opposing Britain's ERM membership!
Sajid, Robert and David all wanted to be MPs when we ran the University Conservative Association and it now looks like all three will soon be Tory MPs. Robert is our excellent candidate in Harlow.
If Sajid can defend Julie Kirkbride's 10,080 majority he will be the Conservative Party's first MP from a Muslim background.
More than that he is a big believer in the work of the Centre for Social Justice and a first class economic thinker from his very successful years in emerging market finance.
Sajid is a star and today is not only a big day for him and his beautiful wife, Laura, but a very good day for the Conservative Party.
> Read his ConHome Platform pieces.
8.15pm: Sajid won 70% of the vote in a final round against Charles Barwell. I hear that Charles had a strong local following but that Tina Stowell was particularly impressive on the day.8.30pm Statement from Sajid Javid:
"It is a tremendous honour to have been selected to represent the Conservative party in Bromsgrove. I would like to pay tribute to the other candidates, the Association's efficient management of the selection process and Julie Kirkbride's outstanding record of public service here. I will be working hard to represent everyone across the constituency in the weeks and months ahead."