I spent today at the Parliamentary selection for Gillingham and Rainham. Over the past few weeks its been a pleasure to meet some wonderful people in Medway and see how they are working together for their towns.
As one of the finalists I can say that this selection was incredibly fair, good humoured and well run. I was asked many times what I thought about local candidates. In my view, the best candidate for a seat remains a local candidate but only if they are also an excellent candidate. It is also possible by hard work and integrating into a local community to become local - after all that is what most of us outside politics do when we move house!
Outside the meeting room we heard the laughs and cheers during Rehman Chishti's questions. He has great empathy with, and confidence from, local people.
Reh stood in the last general election as a Labour candidate against Francis Maude, chairman of the Conservative Party. He has since joined the Conservative Party. He stood under the Tory flag and won in this years local elections. He is an excellent local candidate and was today chosen to stand for Gillingham and Rainham, a key target seat, and his home from birth. He will stand and he will win.