Update: Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells

Martin Webber and Julia Neal with a full round-up of election news, plus reactions from several parties

The Conservatives in Tunbridge Wells have chosen a new General Election candidate to replace Greg Clark, who’s stepping down as the town’s MP after 19 years.

The new Conservative parliamentary candidate is Neil Mahapatra.

He’s a former Morgan Stanley financier who once organised the private investment activities of Lord Rothschild.

Neil Mahapatra the son of two doctors, was brought up in the village of Leeds near Maidstone.

The Conservative candidate is now managing partner of an investment firm he started that says it “builds new businesses from the ground up”.  He has recently been fundraising for an electric vehicle rapid charging business.

West Kent Radio asked Neil Mahapatra why he wanted to represent Tunbridge Wells.

We have reaction to the surprise news that Greg Clark had stepped down at the General Election, despite insisting a year ago he would be staying on.

We also have a reaction from Liberal Democrat Mike Martin and from the Labour candidate in Tunbridge Wells, Hugo Pound.

Also standing in Tunbridge Wells will be
Green Party’s John Hurst,
Reform UK’s Toby Stripp
and the independent Hassan Kassan.

Meanwhile, in Tonbridge, the previous Conservative MP, Tom Tugendhat is fighting for the seat once more.

He will be challenged by the Green Party’s Anna Cope.
The Liberal Democrats candidate is John Woollcombe
For Labour is Lewis Bailey
For Social Democratic Party is Ian Grattidge
and for Reform UK is Teresa Hansford

Our reporter Julia Neal spoke to local residents walking around Tonbridge Castle and asked for their reaction to news of the election.

Reporting for West Kent Radio are Martin Webber and Julia Neal.

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