Revealed: The industry professionals standing in the general election

A diverse mix of public-affairs and comms professionals, ranging from senior figures to those with relatively little experience, hope to become MPs at next month's general election.

The industry candidates standing for election
The industry candidates standing for election

PRWeek has identified 11 comms professionals who are standing as candidates.

Several of them tried, and failed, in the 2017 general election.

Max Wilkinson was an account manager at Camargue when he was selected as the Lib Dem candidate for Stroud. He finished third with 2,053 votes.

Rebecca Lury was senior policy and public affairs manager at Vocalink, a Mastercard company, when she stood for Labour in the Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner constituency. She was beaten by Conservative candidate Nick Hurd, who got 30,555 votes to her 16,575.

Councillor Mark McGeever, from South Lanarkshire Council, fought the East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow seat for the Scottish Conservatives but came third with 13,704 votes.

And in the Peterborough by-election earlier this year public affairs consultant Paul Bristow, the Conservative candidate, finished third with 7,243 votes.

Winning candidate

Of the 38 candidates that PRWeek profiled during the last two general elections, just one has succeeded in their quest to become an MP.

Luke Pollard (below), a former director at Field Consulting, won Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport for Labour in 2017, with a 16.6 per cent swing.

He beat Conservative candidate Oliver Colvile, who had narrowly defeated him in the 2015 general election, by 27,283 votes to 20,476.

Luke Pollard, Labour candidate for Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport

Here are some of those looking to follow in Pollard’s footsteps in just a few weeks’ time:

Rebecca Lury - Labour candidate for St Albans

A partner at Pagefield, some of Lury’s previous roles have included senior account manager, FleishmanHillard; account director, Westbourne Communications; and director, GK Strategy.

Rebecca Lury, Labour candidate for St Albans

Mario Creatura - Conservative candidate for Croydon Central

A former special adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May, specialising in digital communication, Creatura became head of digital comms at Virgin Money last month.

Mario Creatura, Conservative candidate for Croydon Central

Sue Wixley - Lib Dem candidate for Putney

Currently director of marketing and comms at Future Care Capital, a health and social care think tank, Wixley has also held senior comms roles at Hospice UK and New Philanthropy Capital.

Sue Wixley, Lib Dem candidate for Putney

Fay Jones - Conservative candidate for Brecon & Radnorshire

Jones has been head of Grayling Wales since 2017 and prior to that was external affairs manager at the National Farmers’ Union.

Fay Jones, Conservative candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Lewis North - Lib Dem candidate for Meon Valley, Hampshire

Has worked as a government relations adviser at the Environment Agency since June this year. Prior to that, North was a researcher and political advisor for MEP Catherine Bearder.

Lewis North, Lib Dem candidate for Meon Valley

Tina McKay - Labour candidate for Colchester

McKay was communications officer at veterans’ charity the Forces in Mind Trust until earlier this year. She previously worked in the comms team at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Tina McKay, Labour candidate for Colchester

Guy Kiddey - Lib Dem candidate for High Peak, Derbyshire

Kiddey was comms director at Philips, where he was responsible for all internal and external channels as well as public affairs, until earlier this year, when he left to focus on his parliamentary ambitions.

Guy Kiddey, Lib Dem candidate for High Peak

Paul Bristow - Conservative candidate for Peterborough

A former chair of the Public Affairs Board, Bristow is managing director of PB Political Consulting, which he set up in 2010.

Paul Bristow, Conservative candidate for Peterborough

Max Wilkinson - Lib Dem candidate for Cheltenham

Works as a senior account manager at comms agency Camargue, which Wilkinson joined in 2014 after a two-year stint as communications officer at Cheltenham Ladies' College.

Max Wilkinson, Lib Dem candidate for Cheltenham

Mark McGeever - Lib Dem candidate for Rutherglen & Hamilton West

Defected from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems earlier this year, describing Boris Johnson as being "totally unsuitable for high office". Prior to that he was comms manager for the Conservative group on South Lanarkshire Council. Previous roles have included media officer at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and comms officer for Renfrewshire Council.

Mark McGeever, Lib Dem candidate for Rutherglen & Hamilton West

Rhys Taylor – Lib Dem candidate for Cardiff North

Taylor is a senior policy, stakeholder management and public affairs officer for the national homelessness charity, Crisis.

Taylor, who has never stood as a prospective MP before, is a sitting Lib Dem councillor on Cardiff Council.

Rhys Taylor

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