Gemma Townsend was selected last night to fight Lewisham Deptford at the next general election. Gemma is one of the deputy chairmen of Lewisham Deptford Conservative Association and she currently works for Kit Malthouse at City Hall.
The other finalists were Nicola Bates, Darren Caplan and Suzanne Poole.
The area has only had a Conservative MP for four of the last one hundred years (Denis Hanley, 1931-35) and the Labour MP for the seat since 1987 has been Joan Ruddock, now a junior minister at the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Joan Ruddock goes into the next election defending a notional majority of 13,012 (based on the Rallings and Thrasher calculations) over the Liberal Democarats with the third-placed Conservatives starting from a base of 12.7% of the vote.
Update: These comments just in from Gemma and the association chairman -
Becky Stevens, chairman of Lewisham Deptford Conservatives, says:
"We are delighted to have such a strong local candidate to take on Joan Ruddock at the next General Election. Ruddock is inextricably linked with the failings of this Labour Government and the effects their policies have had on the local people of Lewisham Deptford. Gemma has the knowledge, the experience and the drive to make a real difference here and I know the whole association is looking forward to working with her."
Gemma Townsend says:
"I'm thrilled to have been selected to represent Lewisham Deptford and I'm looking forward to moving back to the area. Having lived in Deptford in the past and having been involved with the association over the last three years I know and care about the issues that affect local people. I'm now working at City Hall on the policing and crime agenda across London, but I'll also be drawing on experiences I gained working for a South London Council and as a Londoner to make sure I deliver an exciting campaign that engages new voters and retains our core Tory vote in Lewisham."