Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives select Alex Deane as election candidate

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Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives select Alex Deane as election candidate

Deane, best known for his appearances as a broadcast commentator, will fight the seat for the Tories, following MP Mike Freer's decision to leave politics

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Alex Deane, second left, after being elected as Finchley and Golders Green Tory candidate
Alex Deane, second left, after being elected as Finchley and Golders Green Tory candidate

Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives have selected business and public affairs consultant Alex Deane as their candidate to fight the seat at the next election, following current MP Mike Freer’s decision to leave politics.

Deane, who is regular broadcast commentator for Sky News, said it was an “honour” to have been picked to fight the seat for the Tories following Monday evening’s selection contest.

The 44 year-old currently works as Head of UK Public Affairs at FTI Consulting, a US based business consultancy firm, but has been an active member of the Tory Party since 1995, having previously served as chief of staff to David Cameron and for Tim Collins  while they were both shadow secretary of state for education in opposition.

A Cambridge graduate, Alex practised as a barrister for several years, the profession still of Sarah Sackman, Labour’s candidate in the north London seat at this year’s election.

In a social media post Finchley and Golders Green Conservatives said:”Proud to have selected Alex Deane tonight with overwhelming support from party members at the General Meeting.”

Freer, the current Justice Minister, had held the north London seat since 2010, but January he announced it was time to “say enough” as he could no longer put his family through the anxiety for his safety.

The MP, who was  said that “by the skin of my teeth I avoided being murdered” by Ali Harbi Ali, who went on to kill the Southend West MP Sir David Amess in 2021.

Freer and his staff have wear stab vests when attending scheduled public events in his constituency after learning that Ali had watched his Finchley office before going on to murder Amess at a constituency surgery on 15 October 2021.

Freer won his seat by about 6,600 votes at the 2019 election, seeing off the then Liberal Democrat challenger Luciana Berger, who has subsequently rejoined Labour.

A later analysis of the large Jewish vote in the constituency suggested it had been evenly split between Freer and Berger, although the former received more support in the areas around Hampstead Garden Suburb, while the later received her support in the Finchley.

Labour challenger Sackman has subsequently called for the introduction of a specific new offence “for threatening or harming a public figure”.

Freer had previously triumphs over Sackman in the 2015 election, with a majority of just over 5000. But she is expected to make an even stronger challenge in a seat that Keir Starmer would be keen to win as a vindication of his pledge to root out antisemitism from the party.

The Liberal Democrats will be hoping to perform well again at this year’s election.

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