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Former Greater Manchester MP Chris Clarkson chosen to replace Nadhim Zahawi as Conservative candidate in Stratford-on-Avon

CHRIS Clarkson is the new parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives in Stratford-on-Avon.

The former MP for Heywood and Middleton in Greater Manchester was chosen from a final three at a meeting tonight (Monday).

Mr Clarkson, 41, won his previous seat from Labour in December 2019 with a majority of 663, but the constituency has since been abolished due to boundary changes.

Chris Clarkson.
Chris Clarkson.

The area was replaced by two new seats, but in a statement last year, Mr Clarkson said: “Following the Boundary Review's recommendation that the current Heywood and Middleton seat be replaced by a new Heywood seat and a new Manchester Blackley seat I have decided not to seek selection for either.”

It is understood that the other two potential candidates to make Stratford Conservative Association’s shortlist to replace Nadhim Zahawi were Declan Lyons and Jane Meehan.

Mr Lyons is a special political adviser to Rishi Sunak, but has also worked with former prime minister Boris Johnson. The Independent reported yesterday (Sunday) that there had been fury at allies of Mr Sunak being ‘parachuted’ into reportedly ‘winnable’ seats and included Mr Lyons’ attempt to become the Stratford candidate.

The Herald understands that Mr Lyons had been heavily favoured in London to take over from Mr Zahawi in Stratford, but the Conservative member vote went with Mr Clarkson.

Ms Meehan was the only ‘local’ candidate. She stood for the Conservatives in last May’s elections for Stratford District Council but lost out to the Lib Dems in Bishopton.

Mr Clarkson was born in West Germany and grew up in Blackburn, Lancashire. He studied law at Dundee University and worked as a corporate development manager and a consultant before entering Parliament.

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