Priti Patel has just been selected as Conservative Candidate for Witham. This seat has a notional majority of more than 7,000 and 250 people attended the selection meeting tonight. Her opponents were Charles Elphicke, James Brokenshire MP and Geoffrey van Orden MEP. Elphicke went out in the first ballot. Brokenshire and van Orden tied for second place n the second ballot so there was a runoff. But the good thing for Pritti Patel was that she was ahead on every single round of voting.
Perhaps this will finally put to rest the myth that Conservative selection committees in safe Tory seats won't select women or ethnic minority candidates. Four of the 18 shortlisted candidates for this seat (of which I was one) were from ethnic minorities. Five were women. I kept being told that Essex Man and Essex Woman would not choose a woman let alone an ethnic minority. How wrong those people were. The very best of luck to Priti Patel.