Brighton Kemptown Conservatives have formally readopted Simon Kirby as their candidate in the general election in just under seven weeks’ time.
Mr Kirby, a Treasury minister in Theresa May’s government, won the seat from Labour in 2010 and held it in 2015 with more votes but a reduced majority of 690.
His selection was confirmed by his local party this morning (Saturday 22 April) at a meeting at Telscombe Civic Centre.
Mr Kirby said: “I am delighted that Kemp Town Association have officially readopted me as their parliamentary candidate.
“It is a great privilege and I am honoured and humbled that they voted unanimously for me to stand again for the Conservative Party in Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven in the general election on (Thursday) 8 June.
“I will continue to do my best to support our Prime Minister Theresa May and be a loud voice locally and in Parliament for local residents.
“We need this election now to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.”
Councillor Mary Mears, who chairs the constituency association, said that she was delighted that Mr Kirby had been unanimously readopted.
She criticised comments by some of his political opponents, saying that although he was a government minister he carried out a great deal of constituency work including case work.
Much of it involved private matters of a confidential nature, she said, some of them complex and time-consuming.
She said that Mr Kirby was active across the constituency, part of which was in Brighton and parts of which – east Saltdean, Telscombe and Peacehaven – were in the Lewes council district.
Yesterday, for example, he attended a business breakfast and said: “I was pleased to be able to return to the Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Club again to speak to members about a variety of national and local issues including the proposed development in Peacehaven as well as concerns regarding infrastructure and congestion on the A259.”
Mr Kirby said that he generally preferred to lobby behind the scenes on issues like the modernisation of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
He felt that quietly building support was often a more effective way of securing vital ministerial backing than trying to embarrass colleagues whose help he wanted.
One of his party colleagues said that Mr Kirby stayed in touch with a huge number of people locally, including contacts dating from his time as a Brighton councillor and pub business owner in the 1990s.