Ex-Liberal Democrat Chamali Fernando named as Conservative parliamentary candidate for Cambridge
A barrister and Liberal Democrat defector has been named as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Cambridge.
Chamali Fernando, 35, was adopted by party members to fight the 2015 poll at a special general meeting.
She joined the Tories in 2009, two years after she unsuccessfully sought the Liberal Democrat nomination for the London mayoral poll.
And it’s a case of second time lucky in Cambridge for Ms Fernando, who missed out on the nomination to run for MP as a Conservative last time around.
She was beaten by Nick Hillman, who came second in the 2010 general election.
Ms Fernando, who is of Sri Lankan ancestry, said: I am delighted to be provided the opportunity to champion issues that matter to the people of Cambridge whilst ensuring politics becomes more relevant, welcoming and representative of society.
The plan I will set out to achieve success for households, businesses and organisations of Cambridge is ambitious, bold and different.”
Ms Fernando is a senior policy advisor to the campaign fighting for the creation of an international court for the environment, and as a barrister has dealt with people trafficking and honour killing cases.
She describes herself as having an unyielding will to secure our borders” and supports fast-track deportation of foreign nationals who incite racial hatred or terrorism.
Her other policies include the checking of asylum seekers against international databases to keep terrorists out of the UK and the introduction of surprise Ofsted inspections for schools.
Ms Fernando, who studied A-level politics in Cambridge and has campaigned for the Conservatives locally, said it would be an honour” to serve as the city’s MP.
She added: Few cities in the world have the wealth of knowledge, expertise and dynamism that we are fortunate to hold at our fingertips. There are two great universities which demonstrate our potential – one is a national treasure and the other, a gateway to learning in an ever-changing global economy.”
Local Tory chairman Nick Clarke hailed Ms Fernando as an excellent” candidate.
He said: At the last general election we came second and are now well placed to win.”
Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert is seeking re-election while Labour’s candidate is Daniel Zeichner