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Grantham and Stamford Tories choose general election candidate

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Stamford’s likely next MP has finally been selected by constituency Conservatives.

Gareth Davies is a 35-year-old newly-wed asset manager from Yorkshire.

On Wednesday night, he beat off three other finalists in the candidate selection, before returning to his honeymoon, with new wife Laura.

Philip Sagar, Laura and Gareth Davies and Martin Trollope-Bellew (14609164)
Philip Sagar, Laura and Gareth Davies and Martin Trollope-Bellew (14609164)

Mr Davies was said by party officials to be “head and shoulders above the rest” with him gaining the support of more than half the members present in the first round.

The prospective MP supports a ‘no deal’ Brexit if need be, and in the hustings said this had to be delivered on October 31, and the country can “only come back together once we leave the EU.”

Members also heard his support for an upgraded A1, which he pledged to campaign for.

Mr Davies is state-school educated, and a self-made businessman, who grew up in Leeds and rural North Yorkshire.

He is an expert in pensions, with an emphasis on ethical investment, using capital to promote social good and for investment to tackle climate change.

The candidate has stood twice for Parliament before, in Leeds Central and Doncaster, gaining good swings in his favour.

He has also been appointed to the Conservative’s Economic Policy Task Force, has attended Harvard University’s JFK School of Government and has advised the administration of former US president Barack Obama.

Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association vice president Philip Sagar vice-president called Mr Davies “a bright lad” saying what swung it for him, was his good ideas to make the Tories appeal to young voters.

“He will be able to connect with people and debate with the opposition. He answered questions in detail. He’s head and shoulders above the rest.”

“I’m content that in Gareth we have somebody who will represent the constituency honestly, efficiently and effectively. He will make his home in the constituency and be part of the community. At last, we will have a voice in parliament from somebody who will engage repeatedly with the people of Grantham and Stamford.”

Association chairman Martin Trollope-Bellew confirmed members had made a ‘good decision’ in the selection.

“It’s a helluva belated Wedding present, isn’t it?”

“He’s enthusiastic, he’s definitely backing our new leader. He would back a ‘no deal’ Brexit. I look forward to him settling in the constituency. I have high hopes.”

“He’s clearly committed because he came back for the selection on Saturday and he came back last night.”

Mr Davies was unavailable for comment today as he was flying back to his honeymoon from East Midlands Airport. But after his selection, he tweeted: “Humbled and excited to become the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Grantham and Stamford tonight. Thank you to all who voted for me.”

In the final four, Mr Davies defeated Tim Clark, a former Spalding headmaster, now living in London, Ben Everitt, a Grantham-born ‘strategist’ now living in Buckinghamshire, and Julie Marson, a wife and mum from Essex.

At the last election in 2017, the now Independent MP Nick Boles won the seat with a 20,000-plus majority, when he was previously a Conservative. However, some recent opinion polls showed the seat as a win for the Brexit party, until the 'Boris bounce' in the polls for the Conservatives, has the seat back to being a likely win for the Tories again.

Harrish Bisnauthsing is standing as Lib Dem candidate for Grantham, Stamford and Bourne, and Jessica Swift is standing as Brexit Party candidate.

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