CANDIDATES from all the major UK parties have registered to compete in next month’s general election for the prize of representing Tonbridge and Malling in Parliament.
Conservative Tom Tugendhat will be aiming to retain his seat that he won in 2015, where he was elected with 59.4 per cent of the vote. The former military man increased the party’s majority of his predecessor Sir John Stanley, who had represented the constituency for more than 40 years.
In 2015, Mr Tugendhat’s main competition came from UKIP, who this year will be represented by Colin Bullen.
A self-described ‘veteran opponent of the European project’, Mr Bullen will be hoping the recent collapse in UKIP’s vote at the local elections is not repeated on June 8.
Labour, whose candidate finished closely behind UKIP’s two years ago, will be represented by Dylan Jones from Ashford this time around.
The Royal Mail worker’s experience as a postman should stand him in good stead as he campaigns around the borough’s doorsteps.
Meanwhile the Green Party’s April Clark, who recently received 1,028 in the county election earlier this month, is fighting to gain the party its second seat nationwide.
The Liberal Democrats, whose staunchly pro-European stance may fall on unsympathetic ears in the decidedly Brexit supporting constituency, have chosen Keith Miller as their candidate. Hailing from South Croydon, Mr Miller has stood in three previous parliamentary elections in Houghton, Washington East and Stafford.
Borough Councillor hopes to shine in the Midlands
Sophie Shrubsole, who represents West Malling and Leybourne on the Borough Council, has been selected as the Conservative Party candidate for the Birmingham Selly Oak constituency.
The Borough Council’s Cabinet member will be facing an uphill struggle as she tries to overcome Labour’s 8,447-strong majority in the industrial area in southwest Birmingham.