Peter Ainsworth passes the baton to Sam Gyimah

It is almost exactly twenty years ago since East Surrey Conservatives last selected a new candidate to fight the General Election. He was under thirty-five, had worked in the City and had never fought a Parliamentary seat before. Some regarded him as too young; some thought he was inexperienced; everybody said that he had a hard act to follow. Looking back, it was a brave choice. I am deeply grateful for the confidence which you placed in me then. And I am delighted that you have now placed your confidence in Sam Gyimah. Having got to know Sam since his selection, I see a brilliant, charming, accomplished man who is destined to go far and who is already showing a compassionate interest in local problems. The Association has made another brave choice and I am convinced that Sam is the right choice for East Surrey. As a new candidate with a short time before Gordon Brown must call a General Election, Sam will need all your support. I am confident that he deserves it; I am confident that he will receive it; and I am confident too that, if elected, he will repay it by becoming an outstanding Member of Parliament.