The Conservative Party in the North West has picked its eight candidates for the European Election in May 2014. Its follows a party ballot of Conservative Party members to rank candidates for the region - which comprises Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. Jacqueline Foster MEP topped the ballot.
Electors in the European Election choose a political party, rather individuals, to vote for. MEPs are then elected from different parties based on the proportion of the vote received by that party across the region. In the North West, eight MEPs will be elected.
Jacqueline Foster MEP (ranked first) and Sajjad Karim MEP (ranked second) will be joined by six other Conservative candidates on the list:
(3) Kevin Beaty has a farm in Cumbria with 300 Jersey cows and a green waste composting business. He is also an Eden councillor.
(4) Deborah Dunleavy is a director of Peel Policy Forum and has worked as a director in the NHS helping to improve patient safety.
(5) Joe Barker is a lawyer and has been a member of the Conservative Party since the age of 15.
(6) Daniel Hamilton’s family live in Manchester and he is a partner in one of Europe’s largest regulatory and government relations firm.
(7) Chris Whiteside is Chairman of the Cumbria Area Conservatives and has been a district councillor, group leader and portfolio holder in the county.
(8) James Walsh is from Bolton and since 2009 has been a senior policy adviser on the EU and International Affairs for the National Association of Pension Funds.
The eight candidates will have plenty to campaign on after Prime Minster David Cameron became the first mainstream political leader to offer voters a referendum on EU membership. He has pledged if the Conservatives are returned to government in 2015 that a new negotiated settlement with Europe will be put to the public vote within two years.
For more about the case for a referendum, go to www.letbritaindecide.com
Following the Declaration of the result of the ballot, at the Party's North West Campaign Centre in Salford, Jacqueline said: "I am delighted to be Number One on the list of Conservative candidates for the Elections in May 2014.
"A huge thank you to all who supported me. We have a great team and will be working hard to achieve a good result at the Election next year.
"Conservatives are now delivering a better deal for Britain in Europe, protecting our interests and helping the UK compete in the global race and we are the only party to have back a referendum in Parliament to give the British people a say on our EU membership.
“Our great candidates in the North West show we have the people, policies and leadership to deliver a reformed EU. All Labour offers Britain is more spending, more borrowing and more debt.”