SIX hopefuls will be fighting it out to become Middlewich MP Lady Winterton’s successor at the end of November.
The Conservative Party revealed its shortlist of parliamentary candidates for the Congleton constituency on Friday.
Now voters will make the final choice on who will fill Lady Winterton’s shoes at the open primary meeting at Congleton Town Hall on November 28 The successful candidate will then go on to compete in the General Election, next year.
Before the announcement, Conservative Party members spent hours sifting through the CVs of more than 150 hopefuls.
Association chairman Peter Kolker said: “We spent many happy hours looking through them and the six we picked out seemed to be the most appropriate for Congleton.”
The shortlisted candidates include Simon Baynes, Fiona Bruce, Janet Clowes, Matthew Hancock, Eveleigh Moore Dutton and Merryn Myatt.
Simon Baynes, who runs a bookshop business in Shrewsbury, helped the Conservatives in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election last year and campaigned in the local elections in Chester.
Fiona Bruce is a solicitor living in Northwich. She won the Small Business Bureau’s Businesswoman of the Year Award and was voted SHE Magazine’s Most Inspiring Businesswoman.
Janet Clowes has lived in Nantwich for 24 years and has been a Conservative Party member for 18 years.
She is currently deputy chairman of the Crewe and Nantwich Conservative Association.
Matthew Hancock runs a small farm outside Malpas. He worked for the Bank of England for five years and became an expert in the fight against inflation.
Eveleigh Moore Dutton has 10 years’ experience as a Conservative councillor and in 2005 she was the parliamentary candidate for Crewe and Nantwich.
She worked in finance for 25 years and was a director of a small civil engineering business.
Merryn Myatt has a background in campaign journalism and presented a number of TV shows including ITV’s Consumer File and BBC’s Northwest Tonight.
She also set up an international communications training company in Cheshire.
Lady Winterton, 68, announced in May that she would stand down as MP after more than 26 years at the next General Election.
Conservative leader David Cameron described the couple’s decision as a ‘huge loss’ to the House of Commons.
She and her husband Sir Nicholas, MP for Macclesfield, said they could not maintain the hectic pace of politics and wanted to spend more time with their family, including eight grandchildren.
“It will be the end of an era,” added Dr Kolker.
“Hopefully we’ll have a new MP, we’ll certainly have a new candidate. It’ll then be a matter of introducing them to the whole of the constituency.”
Anyone on the Congleton constituency electoral roll can vote at the meeting by registering with the association by November 26.
Dr Kolker said: “We believe that anyone living in this constituency should have a say in choosing the man or woman to be the Conservative candidate at the next General Election.”
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