Hampstead and Kilburn seat ‘top target’ for Conservatives

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 February 2013

On the road to Hampstead: Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Simon Marcus, with party chairman Grant Shapps. Pictue: Polly Hancock

On the road to Hampstead: Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Simon Marcus, with party chairman Grant Shapps. Pictue: Polly Hancock


The Tories have thrown down the gauntlet in what looks set to be one of the closest-run fights of the 2015 general election – the battle for Hampstead and Kilburn.

Conservative party co-chairman Grant Shapps confirmed yesterday that the seat, held by Labour’s Glenda Jackson since 1992, is their top target as he officially launched candidate Simon Marcus’s election campaign.

Ms Jackson – who has already announced she will not contest the seat again – beat her Conservative rival by just 42 votes in the 2010 election, making it the closest run battle in England.

This time, the Tories are determined to win the seat and have outlined a campaign based on “results”.

Mr Marcus – chosen as the candidate last month – was joined by MP Mr Shapps as he launched his campaign more than two years before the polls are set to open and before Labour has even selected a candidate to run against him.

Indeed, it was a measure of the importance the Tories are placing on the seat that Mr Shapps –one of the most influential people within the Tory hierarchy – was accompanying Mr Marcus, who was elected to Camden Council in a by-election just last year.

Mr Shapps told the Ham&High: “This is one of our 40 target seats – one of the ones we absolutely want to win and also the one with the smallest majority to overturn. So yes, I would say, in which case, it is [our top seat].”

Hampstead-born Mr Marcus, 40, said he was not cowed by the pressure, however. “I welcome it,” he said, admitting that he was “quietly confident”.

This is despite the unpopularity of fellow-Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s decision to close Hampstead and West Hampstead’s police stations and Belsize Park Fire Station – leaving some fearing the area will be left without public services.

Mr Marcus said: “I think what people want is to see someone in that situation who is getting a result, and, as you know, what I’m trying to do in this difficult situation is get a result.

“People do not want empty promises and big ideals.

“What I’m fighting for is to replace those police stations with a base, and what I am trying to campaign for is to get free schools into this area so that people don’t have to pay for education.

“What I am campaigning for is a vibrant high street.

“I think if people see the results, they will vote for you. It is as simple as that.”

He also has the complete backing of his party.

Mr Shapps, who said: “If I had to text book who you would want to fight for the community, it would be someone who lives in the area and, not only that, was born in the area.

“Simon is a really nice guy, and people immediately respond to him positively.

‘‘He has a total focus on the community first.”


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

The cost of evacuating and rehousing Chalcots residents will run into several millions, but it will come out of the council’s reserves and will not impact on frontline services, Camden has promised.


The Highgate School summer fair is kicking into gear on Saturday and the organisers reckon it is going to be the best one yet.


Providing youngsters with the summer of a lifetime is the motivation for a St John’s Wood school which has been putting on camps for more than a quarter of a century.


A serial burglar has been jailed for breaking into homes and attacking a man with a chair.


Swiss Cottage School has become one of a handful of schools to be given an “outstanding” Ofsted rating for the sixth time in a row.

Yesterday, 11:55

More than 1,000 fire doors were missing from the Camden tower blocks evacuated on Friday, the goverment has revealed.

Mon, 17:10

Jerry Springer argued Donald Trump is destroying the American dream – as he spoke movingly about how his parents were saved from the Nazis and brought over to England from Germany.

Mon, 12:32

Hundreds came out with the sun for the South End Green Festival on Sunday, with music, food, drinks, a craft stall, a children’s fair, and a highly competitive dog’s show.


Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now