19:58 Tuesday 26 November 2013

Four candidates shortlisted to succeed Sir Jim Paice

Written byJORDAN DAY

Sir Jim Paice Sir Jim Paice

A barrister and an astrophysicist are among the four candidates in the running to become the next Tory parliamentary candidate for South East Cambridgeshire.

Former Farming and Food Minister Sir Jim Paice, 64, who has been the constituency’s MP for almost 28 years, announced earlier this year that he was going to retire from politics at the next election.

A shortlist of four candidates has now been selected by the South East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association and Sir Jim’s successor will be decided by his constituents at an open primary.

The meeting is being held at Ely College, in Downham Road, on Saturday, December 7.

The four candidates are:

Heidi Allen: A councillor in St Alban’s, Herts, Cllr Allen is managing director of a manufacturing business. Born in Yorkshire, she studied astrophysics at University College London before going on to work as an operations manager in organisations including Royal Mail, Esso and Churchill Insurance.

Charlotte Vere: Currently executive director of the Girls’ Schools Association, Ms Vere has worked in the private sector for 25 years. She was the Conservative candidate in Brighton Pavilion, where she increased the Tory vote but saw Caroline Lucas turn the constituency Green. She was finance director of the victorious No2AV campaign in the 2011 referendum, and has campaigned for Conservative policies to be better targeted at women voters. She recently made the final four in Croydon South.

Paul Bristow: The Conservative Future national chairman from 2003-05, Mr Bristow stood in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in 2010. There, he increased the Conservative vote share by 3.8 percentage points, cutting an 8,000 vote majority to 1,677. He is also a former Hammersmith and Fulham councillor.

Lucy Frazer: A barrister, Ms Frazer specialises in commercial law. She is an activist in Hampstead and Kilburn Conservatives, an ultra-marginal seat in which campaigning is all, where she is deputy chairman of the association. Like Vere, she made the final four in Croydon South.

The primary takes place from 10.30am and pre-registration is required.

For tickets, call (01638) 578424 or email your name, address and telephone number to secca.openprimary@hotmail.co.uk.

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