PETER Cuthbertson has been selected as the Conservative’s candidate for their top target seat of Darlington in May’s election.

The former failed Parliamentary candidate will again fight Labour’s incumbent Jenny Chapman for the key constituency in the June 8 election.

Mr Cuthbertson, who is currently a serving councillor in Westminster, was raised in Darlington, and as the Tory candidate in the 2015 General Election narrowed the Labour majority to just over 3,000.

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Darlington has been named as a key target seat for the Conservatives in June.

An internal memo from the chair of South Durham Conservatives, seen by The Northern Echo, said: “We (Darlington) are one of the top preferred constituencies in the country and expected to win.”

The 34-year-old battled for the candidacy against local library campaigner Paul Rowell, and “high flying” Conservative Louis Mosley, who is understood to be the grandson of notorious fascist Sir Oswald Mosley and nephew of former Formula One boss Max Mosley.

Stockton councillor and former Conservative candidate for Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Vickers, was expected to compete for the nomination, but withdrew at the last minute.

Mr Cuthbertson received over 50 per cent of the vote.

Businessman Graham Robb, who attended the meeting, said: “It was a packed meeting, with hundreds of members of the party there. There were three candidates and Peter gave a cracking speech, determined and robust. He is a local man, coming back fighting for his home town.

“The fact that so many Conservatives came and were willing to back him is great.”

Mr Cuthbertson studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Essex while working part-time for the Taxpayers Alliance.

He then spent time in Washington DC learning about the American conservative movement, while working for the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom there.

His biography also describes how he has had four reports published by the Taypayers Alliance on “public sector non-jobs” and “university non-courses”.