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Thursday, 14 November 2013

The near misses, omissions or plain oversight, Croydon South Conservative Association didn't think so, for they have selected Chris Philp as their preferred candidate to stand at the next general election in 2015. Whilst many Conservative members praised and offered words of encouragement, even the heavy weights from Lord Ashcroft, Baroness Anne Jenkins, and local activists such as Claire Hindley present at the selections, let us focus on the few women that slipped away. Injustice as it seems, the voting members had a tough call.
Ruth Porter

No one is screaming out for women shortlists so far, which is great as I don't see the need. The women, 75% of which were the final four, are evidence that they have strong candidate capabilities, qualities and leadership experience with substantial careers behind them, business focussed and driven with the Conservative party from the core.

These Conservative women are a league of their own, upstanding, campaigning and dynamic, so I was surprised there were hidden talents on the Conservative women long list. First Ruth Porter: the former Communications Director of Institute of Economic Affairs, has global experience from New Zealand. Covering public policy debates, she has a background at the University of Warwick, educated in politics and philosophy. I was fortunate to meet and listen to her debating on economy, austerity, global impact and pensioners, from the floor at Conference to the Conservative Women2Win events. However, whilst playing the media to her advantage, she faded out of the slippery short list finalists. In reality, her credentials will take over any marginal a challenge with ease.
Nusrat Ghani

Then there was Nusrat Ghani, Director at International New Media Agency: part of the new generation of Conservative women. Diverse and unique, with global BBC media experience, she self-led international development projects. With post-graduate qualifications under her belt, she can run circles around the male candidates. Her candid personality is the difference. She is a British Pakistani shaping policies whilst working in Afghanistan. These are a few of her many selling points. Ghani took on the challenge of gaining one of the un-winnable seats for the Conservative party in the Ladywood constituency, within 100 days of the male candidate departing. With all these aspects in mind, how did she miss the top four? I stood with Ghani during the Birmingham 2010 election period, observing her whilst she was campaigning at supermarket stands, engaging with the public with a smile.


I'm an optimist and convinced that Suella Fernandes, who did make the top four, and Charlotte Vere, Porter and Ghani will succeed. Their resilience and determination are their strengths, and any Conservative Association would be imprudent not to scoop them. Learn from Croydon South and take the competition, for you will be having a great candidate with charm, personal approach, and all in a time where we are looking to engage as a party for women voters and the floaters alike. Experts in the field of economics and financial budgets, they all have the potential to be a new Thatcher in waiting.

1 comment:

  1. The first priority for an association should be to select the best local candidate. Only if there isn't a credible one should they seek further afield.

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