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Conservatives select Helen Grant MP to stand for new Maidstone and Malling seat at next general election

Helen Grant has been selected as the prospective parliamentary Conservative candidate for the seat of Maidstone and Malling.

Conservative Party members backed her at a selection meeting last night.

The Maidstone and Weald MP said she was "thrilled and honoured" to have been adopted as candidate for what is effectively a new seat after a boundary review that retains the bulk of her existing constituency.

She was elected MP for Maidstone and The Weald in 2010 and succeeded Ann Widdecombe, who was first elected in 1987. Since then, she has held a variety of posts in government, including a spell as sports minister for two years between 2013-15.

Under Prime Minister Theresa May, she served as the Conservative Party’s vice chair for communities for two years from 2018 to 2020.

She opposed Brexit in the referendum of 2016 and secured a majority of 21,272 when we last went to the polls in 2019.

According to forecasts by consultancy Electoral Calculus, the constituency changes - which sees it losing some of its rural villages such as Headcorn, Marden and Yalding - would not significantly affect her chances of securing the seat at the next poll.

Helen Grant will stand in the new seat when the next general election is called
Helen Grant will stand in the new seat when the next general election is called

Her nomination ends speculation that she might have contested the newly created Weald of Kent seat. The Ashford MP Damian Green had his application to be the candidate for that seat rejected and now intends to apply for the ‘new’ Ashford constituency.

It is not yet known when the selection process will get under way for the Weald of Kent seat.

The next general election must take place no later than January 2025 - although is expected to take place in the autumn of 2024.

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