As we know Robert Key is going to stand down at the next election. The next Conservative parliamentary candidate is going to be chosen by ‘open primary’.

Who is likely to put themselves forward?

I’ve googled for news on this a couple of times since Mr Key made his announcement, and I’ve found one Conservative distancing himself from the role, and one who has a ‘view to applying for Salisbury’

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Tim Montgomerie – parliamentary candidate for Salisbury?

The first name that came up on Google was that of Tim Montgomerie.

Tim Montgomerie is the founder of the ConservativeHome website ([1]), and he lives in Salisbury. ‘Conservative Home’ is a fairly well known political website, but I didn’t know that Tim Montgomerie was from Salisbury.

Guido Fawkes (another Conservative blogger) reported on the 3rd December that:

Last night saw a bit of Twitter swarming suggesting ConservativeHome founder Tim Montgomerie would be a perfect local candidate for Salisbury. …..

Guido hasn’t spoken with Tim, but would commend him for his strength of character and sense of purpose. We don’t agree on much ideologically, but Guido has the utmost respect for him as an operator and an innovator.[2]

However, in a reply to a comment on his blog suggesting he stand, Montgomerie says:

No sitting on the fence Steven: I do not want to be an MP! Full stop. No qualifications.([3])

Matt Hancock interested in Salisbury

Claire Perry is, or perhaps was (Ms Perry is now PPC for Devizes – I don’t know whether she has consequently resigned her role in Salisbury or not), a chair of Salisbury’s Conservative Association. She writes on Conservative Home that she has taken ‘several’ calls from candidates interested in Salisbury ([4]).

Ms Perry mentions that one of those interested is Matt Hancock.

Matt Hancock is one of George Osbourne’s economic advisers. He is described in The Times as a ‘courtier in the court of King Cameron’ ([5]).

Matt Hancock is from Cheshire, and before working for George Osbourne, he worked at the Bank of England. I don’t know whether or not he has any connection with Salisbury.


  1. Tim Montgomerie – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia []
  2. Elections – Guy Fawkes’ blog []
  3. ConservativeHome’s Seats & Candidates blog: Robert Key MP to retire []
  4. ConservativeHome’s Seats & Candidates blog: Claire Perry demonstrates that she has hit the ground running as Michael Ancram’s successor in Devizes []
  5. Power couple behind the new Tory throne – Times Online []

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