James gets through to Mid-Norfolk final

Great news, James Tumbridge has made it through to the final round for the Mid-Norfolk selection following his breathtaking transatlantic return home from a long weekend in Canada. The final decision will be made next Saturday.

He will be standing against health campaigner Vicky Ford, businessman George Freeman and political consultant Laura Sandys.

As you can imagine, James, a barrister, is thrilled and has been inundated with calls from well wishers. It’s an incredible achievement, considering he only had 4 hours sleep and was originally standing against 18 A-listers, which did not include him. All the odds were stacked against James, he still has one major hurdle to overcome. And he is the only local candidate.

James told me:

“The local association left a message on my mobile while I was flying over the Atlantic to Canada. When I arrived, I turned my phone on and there was a message saying I was through. I was at the airport with my wife Laura and we had a discussion and she was really good about it, so I came back.

“I’m so thrilled to have got through to the final round. I have been inundated with calls from well wishers, I really appreciate all the support I have had.”

This weekend clearly demonstrated passion and commitment and highlighted the talent James has.

And don’t worry, James didn’t abandon his wife in Canada, they were meeting up with his in-laws, so Laura remained behind in very good hands.

James is thoroughly decent and genuine and would be a great asset to David Cameron’s team.
It’s been going to be a very loooooooooooong week…

Update: 16 October, local press report on the selection.

Update: 18 October, changes to list.

Update: 20 October, Chris Fisher to interview finalists.


  1. I did hear decent reports on Vicky’s efforts in Northfield, but it remains disappointing nonetheless. 9 of the 12 councillors in Northfield are Tory and 4 of 4 from the May elections (Weoley, Longbridge, Northfield and Kings Norton) – all by reasonable margins. It is in this context that I remain a little disappointed, but as I say she appeared to get the local Tories on board and I wish her well.

  2. SIM.EA, I have no idea where you got your false impression from, it is not true at all, and I am afraid I have no gossip for you.

  3. s.i.m.uea

    What difficulties did Norwich North and South face at the last general election? You have spoken about North but what about South … you clearly don’t like the candidate there so what is the gossip?

  4. Chris, thanks, that’s news to me.

    Mark, hopefully Norwich North and South will have learned from any difficulties it may have experienced in the last general election. James certainly worked round the clock to coordinate his campaign. He wasn’t daunted by Ian Gibson at all, he stood his own ground very well.

  5. Alex, the Tories did not fare so well generally across Norfolk in 2005 – no Tory candidate made significant gains and just look at what happened to A-lister Iain Dale in North Norfolk. James was also dealing with a great deal of in-fighting within the local association, did not have an agent and was up against a sitting MP who is a leading Labour rebel who campaigned on the promise that he would remove Blair from power. Upon consideration, he handled himself deftly and did quite well for a 26 year old. He shows considerable promise – I hope the people of Mid Norfolk recognise that this weekend.

  6. praguetory don’t look at the result without the context: Vicky did well in terms of the West Midlands where results overall were disastrous. She seems like an energetic and positive candidate. Ive not met James, but by all accounts he is a good candidate as well, despite the fact that his result wasn’t too good last time out either! If the accounts of those who were at the selection are to be believed then all the remaining candidates would be a great local MP

  7. Priti Patel and Kit Malthouse (who apparently tied in the last round of voting) will be replacing Laura Sandys in the final.

  8. Praguetory, Thanks, I didn’t know, I’ve been out all day and just caught up with this news. I have no idea what the local association’s plans are. Who knows if anyone else will drop out before the end of the week, but it certainly won’t be James.

  9. Guido reports that Sandys has taken Mid-Thanet. They won’t pull a sub in, will they? Vicky Ford had a go in Birmingham Northfield last time, but the result was more than a little disappointing in my opinion.

  10. s.i.m.uea

    But Ellee not everybody can be represented! Thats why we have representative democracy … just because I am a man doesn’t mean a women can’t represent me. Just because I smoke doesn’t mean a non-smoker cannot see my point of view. Ditto for religion, sexuality, gender, age etc. As I said before, as a Conservative voter I only expect my MP to be a Conservative!

  11. SIM UEA, I agree we should be choosing the best people on their qualities as opposed to ticking boxes, though we want all sections of the community to feel they are well represented. It is going to be a very tough final decision, they are all excellent candidates.

  12. s.i.m.uea

    Parliament does have a lot of lawyer but shouldn’t we choose the best people? This whole thing about having a House of Commons that is representative of the country is a bit odd really. We need good legislators not somebody because they are a women, a smoker or divorced (for example). We’re interested in laws not quotas. That said, I think James wouldn’t be the best choice in this case.

  13. As much as I am sure James is a good guy, the last thing we need in parliament is more lawyers….

  14. James, I’m truly delighted for you, you had to overcome so many obstacles, good luck next weekend.

  15. James Tumbridge


    Now I’m adjusted back to UK time I’ve had the chance to catch up on your blog. I just wanted to thank you for your support. The past week was an exciting and draining time with the changing of the candidate line up. So at the end of it, to receive encouragement means a great deal. Thank you!


  16. He looks a good candidate, Ellee.

  17. Lets hope this sort of commitment is recognised. It certainly goes to highlight the cost of being a candidate – even before you have been selected doesn’t it.


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