On Friday 8th February the local people of North Northumberland will select the Conservative candidate for the Berwick upon Tweed parliamentary seat. The key point is that it is by way of open primary - which means that any one of the 60,000+ voters can attend the open primary, which will take place at 7pm on February 8, at the Northumberland Hall in Alnwick. There are 3 finalists - all living in the North East: Anne Marie Trevelyan, who stood against Sir Alan Beith in 2010, and reduced his majority significantly, Chris Galley from Otterburn, and Lucille Nicholson from County Durham. I will be attending as a neutral non voting helper, but the fact that it is an open primary allows any local registered voter to attend.
The Journal Profiles all 3 candidates as follows:
1. Mr Galley lives by the Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland where he runs a sheep farm. He has worked for Shell for 29 years and is currently the company’s scheduling manager. Mr Galley plays rugby for Border Park and is also the club chairman. He is also deputy chairman of Hexham Conservative Association.
2. Mrs Nicholson is a farmer and businesswoman. She is currently chairman of North Durham Conservative Association and former chairman of Conservative Business Relations (North East), a body which organises networking and policy events for businesses. Mrs Nicholson has contested general elections twice, in 1997 for the Referendum Party and 2005 for the Tories. She was educated at London University.
3. Mrs Trevelyan, a chartered accountant, lives and works in Northumberland. She is a governor of Berwick Academy and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and campaign director for the Dual The A1 and Broadband4Northumberland campaigns. Mrs Trevelyan fought Sir Alan at the 2010 election and was defeated, but achieved an 8.3% swing in favour of the Tories.
The chairman of the Berwick Conservative Association, said: “Local residents have shown great enthusiasm for the open primary by booking their places early in large numbers. The huge appetite we are seeing for our selection meeting is a welcome sign that many people want to engage with politics and with the local Conservative party.
To register to attend, phone 01665 602106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org