A DEPUTY Mayor of London has been chosen to succeed Sir George Young as the parliamentary Conservative candidate for North West Hampshire.
Kit Malthouse, the current deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, was chosen by the North West Hampshire Conservative Association as their candidate for the General Election next May.
As reported by the Gazette, current North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young announced he was standing down at the 2015 General Election in December.
Mr Malthouse, who is 47 and grew up in Liverpool, was elected by the association after receiving more than 50 per cent of the vote held at a selection meeting in Andover last night.
The selection meeting was overseen by Times columnist and former Conservative MP for West Derbyshire, Matthew Parris.
Mr Parris, who has been chairing similar selection contests, said: “There were four very strong candidates, each of whom would have made good Members of Parliament but Kit gave a great performance and I think it was his sense of humour that made an impact.”
Sir George Young was one of the first people to congratulate the prospective parliamentary candidate and compared the experience of sitting in on the selection process to being at your own funeral.
Mr Malthouse is married to Canadian national, Juliana Farha, who comes from Ontario and the couple have a twin boy and girl.
He studied politics and economics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and started his political career at Westminster City Council for the Pimlico area of the city after being elected in May 1998.
In March 2007, he was selected as the Conservative candidate for the London Assembly for the ward of London West Central and he was elected to the seat in May 2008 with 53 per cent of the vote.
The 47 year-old has enjoyed a range of roles at the London Assembly including a four year stint as the deputy Mayor for policing and his current role as deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, which he has held since May 2012.
The father-of-two showed a keen interest in local businesses located in the ward, saying: “I have been touring around the area and one of its strengths is its small businesses which seem to be everywhere – every high street and almost every barn seems to have a small business.
“I think people recognised that I speak the same languages of small businesses – I feel their pain.”
Rod Bowker, chairman of the North West Hampshire Association told The Gazette: “We are absolutely delighted at him becoming our candidate.”
Sir George Young retained his seat as North West Hampshire MP at the 2010 General Election with a majority of 18,583. He has been the MP for the area since 1997.