The Conservatives’ candidate to fight the General Election in Horsham this May has pledged to fight a second runway at Gatwick ‘tooth and nail’.
Jeremy Quin, a company adviser from Buckinghamshire was selected by members of the Horsham Conservative Association from a shortlist of three at a meeting at the Drill Hall on Thursday March 12.
He has pledged to fight a second runway at Gatwick ‘tooth and nail’, said he was very aware of the intense pressure in terms of housing the South East was facing, and promised to be a strong advocate of a new acute hospital.
Mr Quin recently served a three-year term as chairman of the Buckingham Constituency Conservative Association, read Modern History at Oxford University and is a past president of the Oxford Union.
He said: “It’s a huge honour to have this extraordinary opportunity to be able to serve the people of this constituency as a Conservative party candidate.
“There’s a lot of work to be done for the campaign which is coming up very soon. I will be campaigning hard around the whole constituency and I look forward to meeting as many constituents as possible over the weeks to come.”
Horsham MP Francis Maude announced in January he would not be restanding after 18 years, and the final shortlist to replace him included Mr Quin, Sibby Buckle, a community pharmacist, and Rachel Joyce, who has worked in the NHS as a frontline doctor and director.
Mr Quin was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, which until the selection remained his home. He is familiar with Horsham through his wife Joanna, whose parents live in Monks Gate, and the couple are moving into the constituency alongside fighting the campaign.
Both Mr Quin and his wife attended Oxford, and on leaving in 1990 he became a company adviser in the City working for NatWest Securities where he has remained, it now being part of Deutsche Bank.
He described the high point of his professional career as working at the Treasury from 2008 for nearly two years to help address the global financial crisis, and while he has always been active in politics, it was seeing first-hand the depth of the challenge the country faced to get out of crisis that convinced him to seek selection as a parliamentary candidate.
The son of a country vicar and primary school teacher Mr Quin has a strong commitment to community work, especially in education. He is a school governor of a village primary school and, with Joanna, helped found a Free School for children with autism.
He is also an ambassador for Debate Mate, a charity that gets secondary school children competitively debating to improve their confidence, and focuses on underprivileged schools.
In Aylesbury he has been a volunteer at their winter night shelter since it started in 2010, and has been closely involved in his local Credit Union, recently as a director, to help provide services to those who might not to able to borrow from banks, and who might resort to loan sharks.
Mr Quin said: “I have seen politics and economics play out on the national stage – but seeing how welfare reform and financial inclusion affects people on the ground has had a great influence on my political views.”
Having been brought up and with his home an hour from London he is very aware of the intense pressure on the South East, and he is chairman of The Countryside Alliance Foundation, a charity whose purpose is to educate and inform about the countryside - especially in schools.
He added: “The English countryside is one of the glories of the world. It is the heritage of everyone who lives here – be they living in the heart of the Sussex countryside or the middle of London.
“If we are going to protect the countryside for future generations we need those who live in major towns to be as keen as we are to defend it.”
At Thursday’s selection meeting he pledged to fight the proposal for a second runway at Gatwick ‘tooth and nail’ because of its impact on the local area and its infrastructure.
He also argued for the need for improved health facilities and pledged to be a strong advocate for a new acute hospital, with more than half of admissions to East Surrey Hospital coming from the area on top of an increasing population.
He explained he was acutely aware of residents’ concerns on housing expansion and said that whatever local plan is finally confirmed by the inspector, he would stress the importance of ensuring the area benefits from the very best supporting infrastructure especially in health and school facilities.
Horsham Conservative Association chairman Brad Watson added: “We are delighted to welcome Jeremy Quin as our prospective parliamentary candidate and the association members have made an excellent choice to take us forward.
“Jeremy Quin will make a brilliant Member of Parliament and we are all looking forward to working towards our goal of securing the Horsham seat for the next parliament.”
The County Times asked visitors to the town centre what they thought of the selection. Several people said they would have preferred someone more local, and while feelings were mixed on Mr Maude and his record as Horsham MP, the majority were waiting to see how Mr Quin fared on the campaign trail before coming to a judgement.
The other candidates are UKIP’s Roger Arthur, Labour’s Martyn Davis, Darrin Green for the Green Party, James Smith of Something New for Horsham, and independent Jim Rae. The Lib Dems have yet to select a candidate.