JUST forty-two votes short of unseating Glenda Jackson in 2010, the Tories want to get started early on giving Hampstead and Kilburn another crack. Beaten candidate Chris Philp indicated in the summer that he would not be standing again and so the Conservatives are turning again to the American-style open primary method of selecting a new face to take on the constituency.
This is where all electors in Hampstead and Kilburn – regardless of their political persuasion – can have a vote on who the candidate should be. Critics would say the reality is that most of the people in the voting audience on the night of the primary tend to be Tory members, undermining the principle of the process. The event will be on January 30 and see three hopefuls take the stage to try and win selection.
There’s no surprise that Hampstead Town councillor Simon Marcus is among them. He will be joined in the contest by Seema Kennedy and Dr Alex Burghart. Whoever wins, it will put pressure on Labour to speed up the process of working out what’s happening with their candidate. Glenda has indicated previously she will not stand again.