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Exclusive - Conservatives competing to be Newbury's election candidate

Local association narrows list to replace Richard Benyon to three

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

NWN exclusive - Conservative candidates vying to replace Richard Benyon

WEST Berkshire Conservatives have narrowed down their list of candidates to replace Richard Benyon for the upcoming general election to three people. 

The all-female list was revealed to The Newbury Weekly News this week.

It is believed that the party will be announcing its candidate this weekend. 

The list includes West Berkshire Council leader Lynne Doherty, barrister and former journalist Laura Farris and Treasury adviser Claire Coutinho.

Mrs Doherty was elected to West Berkshire Council in 2015 and was executive member for education.

She became council leader after the Conservatives retained control of the council in May and former leader Graham Jones stood down. 

Mrs Farris is the daughter of former Newbury Conservative MP Michael McNair-Wilson, who served from 1974 to 1992. 

She stood as a Parliamentary candidate in Leyton and Wanstead (East London) in the 2017 general election.

Mrs Farris, a former political journalist, has also worked for BBC News and has previously written for the New York Times and Huffington Post.

Miss Coutinho works as a special adviser to chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak.

She has also worked as KPMG lead for education and in financial inclusion at the Centre for Social Justice and in housing.

Former Conservative MP Richard Benyon has now stood down, having served as Newbury’s MP since 2005. 

Newbury Labour Party were expected to announce their parliamentary candidate yesterday (Thursday). 

The Liberal Democrat candidate is the council’s opposition leader Lee Dillon.

Councillor Steve Masters is standing for the Green Party and solicitor David Jabbari is standing for the Brexit Party.   

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Article comments

  • louise

    08/11/2019 - 17:28

    All female shortlists total PC bullshite. Best candidates, regardless of whether they sit down to pee, is primary requirement. We need one not afraid of a potential NO DEAL exit from the EUSSR; that excludes the richest MP in the Commons then!