Nus Ghani was chosen to be the Conservative candidate at the next general election at an American-style primary held at an hotel on the outskirts of Uckfield.
She won the race last night, December 5, on the second ballot at the East Sussex National Hotel, beating three other candidates – Edward Argar, Tony Caldeira and Helen Whately.
A candidate had to receive more than 50 per cent of the votes to secure victory. Mr Caldeira dropped out after the first round of voting with Ms Ghani sweeping to victory in the second round.
The Wealden Conservative Association decided to hold an open primary to select its candidate and the meeting attracted around 400 people, some of whom it was announced were supporters of other political parties.
After her selection, Ms Ghani, aged 41, told the audience she was not often lost for words. “I am just humbled and honoured that you have chosen me,” she said.
Current MP, Charles Hendry, who is standing down at the next election, said Wealden was the perfect constituency of which he was always proud.
Before the voting, each candidate spoke separately to the audience before answering questions of a wide range of topics.
They included the NHS, education, defence, immigration, the EU and fracking.
During her speech, Ms Ghani said she would be a strong advocate for local health needs and would fight for Uckfield Community Hospital.
In a 20-year career outside politics, she was employed by the BBC World Service and was posted to a number of world troublespots. In Afghanistan she worked alongside British forces and led a project to get young people and women to speak in the Afghan Parliament.
She told the hustings meeting last night: “I have had the best training for Parliament; I have ducked a Taliban bullet or two.”
In our story previewing the meeting here you will find a link to more information about Ms Ghani.
She is married to David Wheeldon and they have one daughter, Farah.
So the Wealden constituency now has a Wheeldon as a candidate at the next general election.