London businessman Chris Philp has been selected by the Conservatives as their candidate for Croydon South in the next general election.
The current Conservative MP for the constituency, Richard Ottaway, announced in October 2012 that he would be standing down at the next general election.
Croydon Conservatives said in a statement on their website: “Party members were impressed by his grasp of local issues and he was selected in the face of significant competition from the three women also put through by the constituency’s Executive Council on Saturday.”
Croydon South is an ultra-safe Tory seat, the Conservatives have been victorious in every general election since the constituency was created in 1974.
The 37-year-old Philp was previously Conservative councillor for Gospel Oak, Camden, from 2006 to 2010. He then stood as Conservative candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn in the 2010 general election, but lost to Labour’s Glenda Jackson.
Philp, who is originally from Kent and says he was inspired by Margaret Thatcher, created his first company, a distribution agency at the age of 24, a business that he sold for £80m four years later.
The multi-millionaire was also named London’s Emerging Entrepreneur by Ernst & Young and the Times in 2003.
He now runs two companies including a property development business in the Balkans, which he set up in the aftermath of the Yugoslavian civil war . Philp also founded the charity Next Big Thing in 2009, a Dragons Den style competition for 16–18 year olds that provides £1,000 for the winners to set up their own businesses.
Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said “I am absolutely delighted by Chris’ selection as the candidate for Croydon South and I am looking forward to working with him to press Croydon’s case with Government both before and after the General Election.”
Philp has also said that he won’t claim for either of his houses on expenses if he wins the election, unlike the current MP Richard Ottoway who was implicated in the 2009 expenses scandal. Ottoway was the only Croydon MP who claimed for a second home, he had both a £467,100 property located nine miles from his constituency and a house minutes from Parliament.