NORTH West Hampshire Conservatives have chosen a 47-year-old London Assembly member to be their candidate at the next general election.

Kit Malthouse, who is Deputy Mayor of London responsible for business and enterprise, will take over from long serving MP Sir George Young bt, and will hope to inherit his 18,500 majority.

Mr Malthouse was elected in the first round of voting of members after securing more than 50 per cent of the party members’ votes in a four-cornered contest held at John Hanson School this evening.

The selection meeting was overseen by Times columnist and former MP Matthew Parris.

Mr Parris, who has chaired a dozen similar selection contests, said: “There were four very strong candidates, each of whom would have made good members of parliament but Kit gave a great performance and I think it was his sense of humour that made an impact.”

The new prospective candidate has a business background.

He said: “I have been touring around the area and one of its strengths is it small businesses which seem to be everywhere – every high street and almost every barn seems to have a small businesses.

“I think people recognised that I speak the same languages of small business – I feel their pain.”

One of the first to congratulate the new candidate was Sir George Young.

He said: "Listening to the tributes to me from the four candidates was a bit like being at one's own funeral.

My heartiest congratulations to Kit on winning the nomination.

"His speech and his answers to questions were well-informed, relaxed and confident, sprinkled with humour."

The new PPC is married to a Canadian national, Juliana, who comes from Ontario, and they have a twin boy and girl.

Mr Malthouse grew up in Liverpool and is a graduate of Newcastle University.

He supports Liverpool FC.