Rising star lobbyist picked by Tories for plum seat

Written by David Singleton on 5 May 2017 in News

Owen Meredith stands a good chance of defenestrating Labour

The top lobbyist at the Professional Publishers Association is on track to enter the House of Commons next month.

Owen Meredith has been selected as the Tory candidate in Newcastle-under-Lyme, a market town in Staffordshire which has a tiny Labour majority of just 650.

The constituency has returned a Labour MP since 1922, with Paul Farrelly having held the seat since 2001. But the Tories are hopeful of stealing it on June 8 with bookies making Theresa May’s party 1/5 odds on favourites in the seat.

Meredith is director of external affairs at the Professional Publishers Association, having previously been head of public affairs. Aged just 31, he graduated from Keele University in 2008 and went on to work at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

His selection comes as a handful of other public affairs operators have also been selected as Conservative candidates in more challenging Labour-held seats.

One lobbying agency boss told PAN: “This is quite a coup for Owen….I rate him very highly.”

Meredith said in a statement: “It is a huge honour to be selected as the Conservative candidate for Newcastle-under-Lyme. This town has given me so much, and I am humbled to be able to give something back to our community as your parliamentary candidate. I want to be a strong voice for everyone on this constituency and I am grateful to local party members for choosing me.

“Newcastle is where I went to university, got my first job and bought my first home. I love this town and I will be a passionate local champion for Newcastle and North Staffordshire if elected to represent you in Westminster.

“I will work tirelessly to boost business and investment in Newcastle to create more high-skilled, high-paid jobs; to improve our local NHS and social care; and to deliver much needed investment in local transport infrastructure.

“I back the prime minister’s plan for a country that works for everyone, and will work closely with Theresa May to achieve the best Brexit deal which will allow companies based locally like Sumitomo, FedEx and Leoni to flourish.”

Loyally picking up on Theresa May’s favourite soundbites, he added: “Only the Prime Minister offers the secure and stable leadership needed at crucial time in our country’s history. Jeremy Corbyn inside Downing Street would just bring chaos that puts jobs and livelihoods in Newcastle at risk.”

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