Tory councillor will contest by-election for James Brokenshire’s Old Bexley and Sidcup seat after death of former minister from lung cancer

  • Louie French, Tory councillor will contest the Old Bexley/Sidcup byelection
  • The vacancy occurred after the death of ex-Cabinet member James Brokenshire
  • On October 7, the former Conservative housing secretary, died from lung cancer.

As the Conservatives seek to keep the seat after the death James Brokenshire, a Tory councillor is running in the Old Bexley/Sidcup byelection.

The Conservatives confirmed that Louie French, an eight-year-old councillor who served as deputy leader at Bexley council between 2018 and 2021, was selected by members of the area to contest the seat.

After the death of the former Cabinet Minister from lung cancer earlier this month and the date to be confirmed, a byelection will be held. 

Mr French said that James Brokenshire was a friend of mine and a mentor to me. It’s an honour to be chosen as the Conservative candidate in Old Bexley, Sidcup. I want to continue his excellent work.

Toey councillor Louie French will contest the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election for the Conservatives following the death of James Brokenshire

Toey councillor Louie French will contest the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election for the Conservatives following the death of James Brokenshire

‘I will campaign to ensure the mayor of London, City Hall, and other London areas like Old Bexley are not forgotten about or left behind.

“And I will work hard to improve access to GPs, healthcare services, building directly upon James’ work at Queen Mary’s Hospital, so residents are able to get a face to face GP appointment at a convenient time for them.

Mr Brokenshire (pictured in 2018), the Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, previously served as Northern Ireland secretary and security minister. He died of lung cancer on October 7

Mr Brokenshire (pictured in 2018), Conservative MP for Old Bexley, and Sidcup was previously Northern Ireland secretary. He also served as security minister. On October 7, he died from lung cancer.

In his last tweet on August 31, Mr Brokenshire shared a picture of himself on a walk with his 'amazing' wife Cathy, and said that his lung cancer had 'progressed'

Mr Brokenshire’s last tweet, August 31, shared a photo of himself walking with his ‘amazing wife Cathy’ and stated that his lung cancer had progressed.

Labour and the Reform Party both declared their candidates.

French is the favorite to be the constituency’s next MPP, having held the constituency since 1983. 

Oliver Dowden, Party chairman, offered his congratulations. He said: “Louie will build upon James’ exceptional record of being a strong voice tirelessly standing for the peoples of Bexley.”

Mr Brokenshire, pictured with his wife Cathy, stepped down as Northern Ireland secretary in January 2018 on his 50th birthday after his cancer diagnosis

Pictured with his wife Cathy, Mr Brokenshire resigned as secretary for Northern Ireland in January 2018, his 50th birthday. He had been diagnosed with cancer.

It comes as Richard Tice, former chairman of the Brexit Party, announced his candidacy to send Boris Johnson an ’empowering message’ about the effects of his Government’s policies following the Conservative administration’s tax burden increase to the highest level since 1950s.

The leader of the Reform Party, formerly known as Brexit Party, said he would be running on a ticket with low taxes and promised to campaign for a referendum regarding the goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The former MEP described the seat as “traditionally Conservative” and said that voters did not expect the Prime Minster to deliver Con-Socialism. This is a highly taxed and highly regulated nanny government.

The coffin of Mr Brokenshire is carried from St John The Evangelist church in Bexley, south-east London, after his funeral on October 21

After Mr Brokenshire’s funeral on October 21st, the coffin of Brokenshire is taken from St John The Evangelist Church in Bexley.

Labour has already declared it will contest the seat along with Daniel Francis (a Bexley councillor, former leader of Bexley’s Labour group on council), who is standing for the party.

In a Twitter message, Mr Francis said that he had lived in the region for 20 years, and that if elected, he would work ‘tirelessly for the community.

Since its creation, the Tories have held the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency in various guises since 1950s. It was previously the seat of Ted Heath, former prime minister.

Mr Brokenshire, an ex-local government secretary, won the seat in south-east London with a majority almost 19,000 at 2019’s general election.