Candidates selected for the two target seats of Cheltenham and St Austell & Newquay
By Peter Hoskin
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Two more Tory candidates have been selected for 2015. They are Alex Chalk and Stephen Double — and, although they deserve congratulating, of course, as individuals, there are some striking parallels between the pair.
Both will be contesting target seats that are currently held by Lib Dems. In Mr Chalk’s case, it’s the seat of Cheltenham, which has been shaded yellow since 1992, and where Martin Horwood has a majority of 4,920. In Mr Double’s, it’s St Austell and Newquay, a seat created for the last election, when Stephen Gilbert won a 1,312 vote majority.
And, as with many of the candidates announced so far, both have a history of local-level activism. Mr Chalk, a criminal barrister who was brought up in the Cheltenham constituency, is a councillor London's Hammersmith and Fulham Conncil. Mr Double is Deputy Mayor of St Austell town council, as well as a school governor, a trustee of a local community trust and a volunteer with Volunteer Cornwall.
Anyway, here’s what they have to say in response to their selections. Mr Clark describes his priorities as:
“...to promote the local economy, jobs and growth; tackle the legacy of Labour’s debt, secure a strong future for the NHS and improve local education particularly in Maths and the sciences.”
And Mr Double has said:
“I am incredibly honoured and delighted to have been selected as the next Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party for St Austell and Newquay. I am very grateful to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way and especially to all those who came out on a wild Cornish evening to attend the selection husting. This area has been my home for my whole life and it is a place I love and care about deeply. I now look forward to working with and for local people in the campaign for the next General Election. I have had a Liberal as my MP since I was 8 years old. It is time to change that!”