Cheltenham MP Conservative candidate 'honoured' at selection
THE barrister chosen as the Conservative MP candidate for Cheltenham has spoken about his links to the town he wants to represent.
Alex Chalk, 36, was selected earlier this week and he has now described it as "an enormous honour".
Mr Chalk lives in London, where he has built his legal career and currently sits as a councillor on Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
He was brought up in Cheltenham with his "family home" in Foxcote.
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And if he is successful in deposing current Cheltenham MP, Liberal Democrat Martin Horwood, he expects to live full time in Gloucestershire.
He said: "My grandmother has lived in my family home since the Second World War and it is just outside Charlton Kings,
"Cheltenham is my home town, through my teenage years to when I went to university.
"I have been living in London to build my career, so I feel like I am coming home.
"I go home whenever I can, certainly during weekends."
Mr Chalk is clear about what he believes are the main issues voters in Cheltenham care about.
"It seems to me that prosperity, ensuring that our businesses are successful, that they are employing as many people as possible," he said.
"So I want to try and promote our local businesses as much as possible.
"I want to do everything I can to do with the environment and protecting our green belt.
"Law and order is also an important issue, making sure the town centre is safe.
"It is really about wanting to be on the side of hard working families."
Cheltenham has been identified by the Conservative Party as a key target seat nationally and Mr Chalk is one of the first candidates to be selected in the south west.
Mr Chalk, who will begin canvassing this weekend, is married and has a 10-month-old daughter.
He was educated at a boarding school away from Cheltenham before going to Oxford University where he studied Modern History.
Mr Chalk works in criminal law, prosecuting and defending.
The next general election is due to be called in 2015.