The Conservative Party has chosen Louie French as its candidate in Old Bexley and Sidcup, following the death of the late MP James Brokenshire earlier this month.
Sir. French is an eight-year Tory councilor who previously served as deputy chair of the Bexley Council from 2018 to 2021.
A by-election will be contested in the near future after Mr Brokenshire, a former minister, died of lung cancer earlier this month. A date for the by-elections has not yet been announced.
The Conservatives are likely to cling to the seat in south-east London, which has been blue since its inception in 1983. Mr. Brokenshire won 64.5 per cent of the vote in 2019.
Sir. French said it was an “honor” to run as the party’s candidate in the former seat of his “friend and mentor”.
“I hope to continue his excellent work [and] will campaign to ensure that outlying London areas such as Old Bexley and Sidcup are not forgotten or left behind by the Mayor of London and City Hall, ”he said.
“And I want to work to improve access to GPs and healthcare services that build directly on James’ work with Queen Mary’s Hospital so residents can have a personal appointment with the doctor at a time that suits them.”
It comes after former Brexit party chairman Richard Tice announced his candidacy for the seat in an attempt to send a “strong message to Boris Johnson” about the impact of his government’s manifesto-breach decision to raise taxes.
Sir. Tice, who replaced Nigel Farage as leader of the renamed reform party in the wake of Brexit, said a victory for his party would be a “massive wake up call” for the prime minister.
“While it is terrible that this election is taking place at all, I stand to ensure that an election is given to the people of Bexley and Sidcup,” he said. “We now have the highest total taxes in 70 years and the lowest growth forecasts in the medium term in 60 years. That means authoritarian control and record-breaking waiting lists.”
Labor announced that it had chosen Daniel Francis, a Bexley councilor and former leader of the region’s Labor group, as its candidate for the constituency.
Francis said in a message on Twitter that he had lived in the area for 20 years and promised to work “tirelessly” for the community if elected.
It comes after Mr Brokenshire’s death from lung cancer at the age of 53 earlier this month.
The politician served as both Northern Ireland’s secretary and housing and community secretary in former Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet.
The father of three became outspoken in calling on the government to roll out a national screening for lung cancer, and in April 2018 used a debate in parliament to call for a national program to improve poor survival rates.
His death triggered an outflow of gratitude from across the political spectrum, with Mr Johnson describing him as the “sweetest, friendliest and most modest of politicians”.