New Tory General Election candidate announced to replace Milton Keynes MP Mark Lancaster
An Aylesbury Vale councillor will be running for Tory MP in Milton Keynes in the general election.
Ben Everitt has been chosen to stand in MK North to replace sitting MP Mark Lancaster.
Mark announced his intention to quit as an MP earlier this week, citing abuse and even death threats he has received during the "angry" Brexit-dominated political climate - read full story here.Ben, who voted to leave the EU, comes from a rural farming background and is currently a councillor for the Great Brickhill and Newton Longville ward. He is head of strategy for Institute of Chartered Accountants in MK.
He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be selected as Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes North. MK has a bright future and I'm honoured to have the opportunity to play a part in it.
"Having campaigned in seats across the length and breadth of Milton Keynes North, I know the area well, I know the association and I know the issues. I can hit the ground running."
Married to Emma, Ben has three children aged eight, six and three.
He said his priorities for education, welfare and social policy will always be "to give people a hand up, rather than a hand out."
On the Brexit front, Ben says: "I’m no stranger to dealing with the EU, having been seconded to the FCO in 2005 to support the UK’s Presidency of the EU Council.
"In addition, when I left government and joined the private sector with Deloitte, one of my key clients was the European Investment Bank, run by the EU. I definitely knew what I was voting for when I voted to leave."
He added: "We need to leave with a deal that works for MK, for local farmers, for the City of London and for all our local employers...We need to make sure our farmers and wider agricultural economy have a ‘soft landing’ as we finally exit the EU.
"This means re-calibrating and replacing subsidies to recognise the role farmers play in feeding the nation and husbanding the countryside."
Ben says one of his priorities will be to protect MK from unrealistic growth.
"We desperately need a more sensible approach to growth in MK. We need to protect our grid roads, underpasses and rural communities."
He also vows to back local businesses.
"I work in finance in MK. I know MK is a great place to live, work and invest. I will champion our City to make sure that the best businesses come to and stay in MK. Our local economy is a brilliant success story."
Ben is a former Conservative Association Chairman.