Battle joined for Tory safe seat


Political Correspondent

The battle for the country's safest and richest Tory seat got underway in earnest yesterday as would-be candidates revealed they would be challenging former minister Sir Nicholas Scott for the newly-drawn Kensington & Chelsea.

Sir John Wheeler, the junior Northern Ireland minister whose Westminster North constituency is disappearing in boundary changes, confirmed that he had applied, but ministers and former ministers are not alone in entering the fray.

Daniel Moylan, 39, a Kensington & Chelsea councillor, revealed that he was on the candidates' list. He is one of two strong local contenders for the plum Tory stronghold . Another is prominent local Tory Joan Hannam, council leader and a councillor for the last 25 years.

The three are likely to be just the first of a string of senior Tories to put their names forward in the wake of last week's decision by the local association to make Sir Nicholas, currently MP for Chelsea, compete for the newly-merged seat after his recent arrest over an accident involving a toddler.

Other possible candidates include Sir George Young, Secretary of State for Transport, defence minister James Arbuthnot, whose current seats are also disappearing. The final selection process to pick the candidate will take place on 10 November.