The Conservative Party in the East Midlands has picked its five candidates for the European Parliamentary Elections in May 2014. It follows a party ballot of Conservative Party members to rank candidates for the region - which comprises Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.
The current Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Emma McClarkin, will be number one on the party’s list for the East Midlands region.
Electors in European elections choose a political party, rather than individuals, to vote for. MEPs are then elected from different parties based on the proportion of the vote received by that party across the region.
In the East Midlands, five MEPs will be elected with Emma McClarkin being joined by four other Conservative candidates - Andrew Lewer, Rupert Matthews, Stephen Castens and Brendan Clarke-Smith - to contest the elections
- Andrew was leader of Derbyshire County Council, 2009-2013. He continues to lead the Conservative Group on the council and is also Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Association.
- Rupert is an author and publisher, and was previously a Conservative candidate for the East Midlands region in the 2009 European Parliamentary elections.
- Stephen is an East Midlands businessman who has previously worked in Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.
- Brendan is a secondary school teacher by profession, teaching RE and History. He was a Nottingham City Councillor 2003-2011, and a former Conservative Group Leader on the council.
Stephen Mold, Regional Chairman of East Midlands’ Conservatives said:
“Emma McClarkin has done a fantastic job since being elected in 2009 putting the interests of both Britain and East Midlands at the forefront of the European Parliament.
“We want to continue our campaigning for the East Midlands in Brussels with the re-election of Emma and the election of Andrew, Rupert, Stephen and Brendan, who are all first-rate candidates.
“This is a very important election for the Conservative Party and I hope voters will remember our promise to give them a real free choice on EU membership.”
The five candidates will have plenty to campaign on after Prime Minster David Cameron became the first mainstream political leader to offer voters a referendum on EU membership.
He has pledged that if the Conservatives are returned to government in 2015 a new negotiated settlement with Europe will be put to the public vote within two years - www.letbritaindecide.com.
Grant Shapps MP, Conservative Party Chairman, added:
“For 13 years Labour handed power to Brussels. Conservatives are now delivering a better deal for Britain in Europe, protecting our interests and helping the UK compete in the global race.
“Conservatives are the only party to have back a referendum in Parliament to give the British people a say on our EU membership.
“Our great candidates in the East Midlands show we have the people, policies and leadership to deliver a reformed EU. All Labour offer Britain is more spending, more borrowing and more debt.”