By Connor Steel
HOME SECETARY Suella Braverman has secured a narrow victory in the race to become the Parliamentary MP for the proposed new ‘Fareham & Waterlooville’ constituency; beating the current Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond in a very anticipated Conservative Party members vote held earlier tonight (Wednesday, April 5).
The Fareham MP won by a total of 77 votes to 54 and will stand as the Conservative candidate for the next General Election, which must be held by the latest date of January 2025 according to Parliamentary rules. It comes as a raft of boundary changes look set to take effect across the UK to enable fair vote representation.
One of the proposed changes include removing the constituency of Meon Valley after just twelve years and merging this with Fareham; giving a total representation of approximately 147,000 voters. A ten-week public consultation was held in 2022 and the Boundary Commission will publish recommendation reports by July 1.
Although this victory appeared comfortable for Braverman it still represented a highly tricky challenge for the Fareham MP due to her divisive nature on prominent issues. In recent weeks she has been criticised for the Illegal Migration and Anti-Social Behaviour bills that were both brought to the House of Commons for debate.
In comparison Drummond served a spell as the Portsmouth South MP between 2015 and 2017, but lost out to Labour in victory for Jeremy Corbyn’s party in June 2017. She returned as Meon Valley MP in December 2019, succeeding George Hollingbery, and has had roles in many departments such as in DWP since 2020.
Braverman’s political career was unlikely to end even if she didn’t win Wednesday’s vote according to media reports. It is believed that a second preference would have been the neighbouring Hamble Valley seat where she would have faced colleague Paul Holmes, whilst another option would have been running in Windsor. In this scenario the Home Secretary would replace the outgoing MP Adam Ariyie who is standing down his role.
Confirming the vote result, Mrs Braverman’s constituency branch said: “Congratulations to Suella Braverman on her selection as our candidate for the new Fareham & Waterlooville Constituency. We now look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with her for the benefit of Fareham and also for Waterlooville too.”
They finished: “It is important and an aim of everyone involved that we now bring Fareham and Waterlooville together and ensure we return Suella to Parliament and condemn flip-flop Labour to another election defeat.”
The Meon Valley MP said she was “disappointed” at the result but promised to represent all her constituents until the next General Election. It is not known what her next steps will be after this defeat but Hamble Valley and the Isle of Wight seat could represent a fresh selection opportunity as the vote process continues to run.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2KC5ERD): Suella Braverman attends 10 Downing Street in early-December 2020.