Alex Clarkson, an actor and theatrical agent, has been selected as the Conservative party candidate for Stevenage at the next general election.

Members of Stevenage Conservative Association voted to select Mr Clarkson as their candidate at a hustings held on Monday, July 17.

He was born in the constituency, lives in Datchworth, and currently works as a talent agent at Associated International Management, based at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.

Mr Clarkson has also worked as an actor in theatre, film and television. He uses his middle name - Bradley - as his stage name, and has appeared in shows such as EastendersHollyoaks, and Postman Pat.

He will hope to retain Stevenage for the Conservatives at the next general election, where he will be fighting for votes against Labour's Kevin Bonavia.

Speaking after his selection as candidate, Mr Clarkson said: “In 1958 my family moved to Bedwell to start a new life in a New Town.

The Comet: Alex Clarkson (left) will seek to replace Stephen McPartland (right) as the MP for Stevenage.Alex Clarkson (left) will seek to replace Stephen McPartland (right) as the MP for Stevenage. (Image: Stevenage Conservative Association / Stephen McPartland MP)

"My first job was at Argos in the Roaring Meg. I learnt to swim, sail, drive and even ice skate in Stevenage.

"My theatre debut was at the Gordon Craig. My parents ran a shop in Knebworth, and I have lived on the same road all my life in Datchworth.

"I am thrilled to have been selected this evening, having campaigned for over 20 years for the Conservative party.

"I promise the people of Stevenage that if you put your faith in me at the next election, I will work tirelessly to rejuvenate our town and villages, as well as create more opportunities for local residents. 

"I believe that we need a strong local voice in parliament, one that understands our town’s and villages’ unique communities along with the issues that matter to you and your family.

"I believe that I am that strong voice, and I hope to meet with, and speak to, as many of you as I can in the months ahead.

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"I am proud of Stevenage, its past and its present. I can’t wait to champion its future.” 

Mr Clarkson had been one of three people on the shortlist to become the next Conservative candidate. The two who missed out were Russell Perrin, former leader of Harlow District Council, and Alice Hopkin, a special adviser to foreign secretary James Cleverly.

Mr Clarkson achieved elected office elsewhere in Hertfordshire earlier this year, when he was elected as a councillor for Borehamwood Hillside on Hertsmere Borough Council.

He was educated at Haileybury independent school in Hertfordshire, before going on to read government and history at the LSE and then training for his acting career at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London.

In addition to his television credits, Mr Clarkson has acted in a number of West End and off-West End shows - as well as productions at Stevenage's Gordon Craig Theatre, including Guys and Dolls and West Side Story.

The Conservatives have held Stevenage since 2010, when Stephen McPartland replaced Labour's Barbara Follett as the constituency MP.

Mr McPartland announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down at the next general election.

At the most recent general election, in 2019, Mr McPartland won with 25,328 votes, while Labour's candidate, Jill Borcherds, came second with 16,766 votes. Lisa Nash of the Liberal Democrats came third with 4,132 votes. 

Recent polls suggest that Labour would be likely to win a general election if one were held now. 

Electoral Calculus’s ‘poll of polls’ for July suggests that Labour would receive 45.8 per cent of votes nationally, against 26.1 per cent for the Conservatives. 

It gives Labour's Kevin Bonavia a 90 per cent chance of winning in Stevenage. 

The next general election must be held no later than January 2025. 

Stevenage is described as a bellwether constituency by politics afficionados because – since its creation in 1983 – it has always been won by the party with the most MPs.