Hemel Hempstead targeted in Tory takeover list ahead of general election
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Hemel Hempstead has been named in a list of constituencies crucial to Tories targeting seats at the next general election.
The constituency has been named among 32 seats targeted by ‘Thatcherite candidates’ following a recent shake up of constituency boundaries.
The Boundary Commission was tasked with changing constituency boundaries to ensure that seats contain similar numbers of voters, including in Hemel Hempstead where Watling and Ashridge wards have moved to the Harpenden and Berkhamsted constituency.
Bovingdon, Flaunden and Chipperfield wards have been moved to the Hemel Hempstead constituency, from South West Hertfordshire, to bring it up to the required size.
The Kings Langley ward has been moved to Three Rivers – a new constituency to the south of Hemel Hempstead.
Last year, long-standing Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning also announced plans to step down at the general election, expected in 2024.
Sir Mike, who has served the constituency since 2005 - told the Gazette he would continue to fight for his constituents until his last day as an MP. He said it was time to allow a ‘new candidate to come forward’.
The MP has declined to comment on the list.
A source involved in creating the list reportedly told media that selecting Tories who believe in ‘Thatcherite economics and post-Brexit growth’ rather than ‘Conservative Campaign Headquarter drones’ is essential to the future of Toryism.
The exercise comes amid concerns that Tories could be wiped out at the next election.
The latest YouGov polling puts Labour 18 points ahead of the Tories on 43 per cent, which would ultimately bring about Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s resignation.