Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nadhim Zahawi Selected for Stratford

Last night,  in a 5 hour long session of speeches, interviews and voting,  Stratford-on-Avon Conservative Association voted Nadhim Zahawi as their next candidate to contest the general election.

It was an interesting night with nearly 300 members attending the large scale meeting. Each of the six candidates were given 5 minutes to introduce themsleves and explain why they should be the candidate for Stratford before being interviewed by professional political journalist Matthew Paris for 15 minutes and then answering questions from the floor for 10 minutes.

Each of the candidates were very strong in their own ways and I don't think it is wrong to say that many Association members attended the meeting with every intention of voting for local candidate Phillip Seccombe and sending those outsiders packing.

However on the night we saw true democracy in action. Each of the candidates put across their case in a convincing and engaging way, the most convincing and engaging being Nadhim. On the night Conservative Association members proved that any accusations of racism in the grass roots or a lack of a modernising agenda are totally untrue choosing the best person for the job on the basis of their merit.

Based on comments I've already received to this blog, he may not yet be a popular choice with the electorate but he was certainly a popular choice with the Association, and I have no doubt that if  the electorate take the time to meet him and listen to him then they'll be convinced too.

Speaking to the Herald after he was selected Nadhim said "Obviously I am not local, but my promise to the people of Stratford-on-Avon is that I will make Stratford-on-Avon my home and I will learn very quickly.”

When asked if his selection was a victory for Central Office and its agenda he replied “It is not a victory for Central Office but a victory for the Conservative Party. This is a fiercely independent association that wanted to make sure that they had a strong local candidate, and you saw democracy in action tonight, and that will only be good for the Conservative Party and the country.”

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  1. I put my money on the fact you have picked a future cabinet minister and not a local MP..Lests see if i'm right!

  2. Why can't he be both?

  3. There is a real story here just beginning to unfold - do you have an email on which you can be contacted?

  4. South West Norfolk and Jeffery Archer mark 2 rolled into one..

  5. I can be contacted on . I'm always very happy to get a tip, especially on a local story.

  6. As the great Otis Reading said "Whats going On?"

    Be good to read it here first before it spills out into the Nationals and Guido etc...

  7. Thanks

    I'll do my best. I'm not sure how Guido et al get their local sources, I think most people would rather go to them than a local :-(

    Do let me know how people are feeling locally though and any "developing stories"

  8. Where can I find N Z's background?
    Where was he actually born?
    Where did he spend his childhood?
    Where was he educated?
    Why is this information not more readily available.



    After a lifetime of voting Tory, reluctantly I shall not be doing so this time.

    WHEN am I going to live in a country where MY views are represented?

  9. Most of this information is available on his website

    1) He was born in Iraq and is Kurdish. His family escaped persecution by Saddam Hussein's regime when he was 7, after being tipped off that the military were going to come for his father the next day. His father was schooled and educated in the UK so England was a natural place for them to escape to.

    2) After his family moved to the UK they made their home in Crowborough, rural East Sussex which is where he grew up.

    3) Nadhim went to the Kings College School (KCS), Wimbledon and then studied chemical engineering at University College London (UCL).

    Nadhim is also a Christian. As he is now living in central Stratford he attends services at Holy Trinity when the campaign schedule allows.

    John Maples also wasn't from the local area yet he is seen to have done a pretty good job at representing what local people think. I'm sorry that you feel you can't vote Tory this time but I recommend that you come along to your local public meeting ( and see what he has to say.