Kent

Conservatives choose Kelly Tolhurst as Rochester and Strood candidate

Kelly Tolhurst Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kelly Tolhurst says she has lived in the area her whole life

The Conservative Party has chosen Kelly Tolhurst as its candidate for the Rochester and Strood by-election.

She was selected following an open postal primary in which she won 50.44% of the vote, beating the other potential candidate, Anna Firth.

The by-election was triggered by the defection of sitting MP Mark Reckless from the Tories to UKIP.

Ms Tolhurst said: "I'm not a career politician and would never want to represent anywhere else in Parliament."

'Six-point plan'

The Conservative Party said the total number of returned ballots was 5,688.

Ms Tolhurst is a councillor for the Rochester West ward on Medway Council and runs a marine surveyors business.

She said she was "honoured" to be selected to contest the 20 November by-election, saying she had lived in the area her whole life.

"My six-point plan to improve our area includes action, not just talk, on immigration, getting Medway Hospital out of special measures and fighting to stop the development at Lodge Hill," she said.

"I will be a strong local voice, standing up for Rochester and Strood - my home."

The full list of candidates announced so far can be found here.

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