Ballerina in bid for Tory Camden Council seat

Ballerina and finance executive Florence Raja has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Fr

Ballerina and finance executive Florence Raja has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Frognal and Fitzjohn's ward - Credit: Archant

A finance executive and former ballerina has been selected to contest a key Conservative seat at the next Camden Council elections.

Former soloist Florence Raja, 28, who danced with conceptual company Ballet Black based at the Royal Opera House, has won the nomination to stand for Frognal and Fitzjohn’s ward in 2014, alongside sitting councillors Andrew Mennear and Gio Spinella.

Cllr Laura Trott, who was appointed as David Cameron’s special advisor on women in February last year, will not stand for re-election.

Mrs Raja, who moved to West Hampstead last year, spent her childhood in the Soviet Union separated from her parents after her family fled Liberia during the civil war, before they were reunited in the UK.

She went on to work in finance for 10 years at firms such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Goldman Sachs, and Prudential.

The 28-year-old said: “I’ve been active in local politics for years and have worked very closely with community groups, local councils and councillors in the past. I’ve always been a grass roots level lobbyist and I really feel this the next step up standing for election.”

She was selected as an up-and-coming Tory female politician to watch in the Women to Watch awards this year.

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Meanwhile, another contender has thrown her hat into the ring in the bid to be selected as the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate to defend MP Glenda Jackson’s Hampstead and Kilburn seat at the next general election.

Single mum Indra Adnan, who has lived in Kentish Town for 10 years, has led national projects to involve women in public life and was part of the local campaign to extend the 603 bus route from Hampstead to Muswell Hill.

Others competing to be included on the all-women shortlist include Highgate councillor Sally Gimson, Hackney councillor Sophie Linden, Camden cabinet member Cllr Tulip Siddiq, and Lesley Smith, who worked on Tony Blair campaigns and now works for academy operators ARK schools.