THE Conservative Party is looking for a new candidate for Eddisbury after the MP for the past 15 years took up a top United Nations post in New York.

With less than two months until the General Election on May 7, the Eddisbury Conservative Association is urgently looking to replace Stephen O'Brien, who will replace Labour minister Baroness Amos as the Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in May.

Mr O'Brien has been the MP for Eddisbury, which includes Malpas, since July 1999 and was an international development minister from 2010 to 2012.

Chairman of the Eddisbury Conservative Association, David Cade, said that the Association has had a meeting with Conservative Central HQ, and the lead member for candidates has been to the constituency to discuss the sort of candidate they want to replace Mr O’Brien.

He said a sifting committee comprising five Association members and two observers is travelling to London today (Wednesday) when they will be presented with six CVs from potential candidates based on the criteria specified.

“We will have an hour to go through the CVs and will then decide on three people to come to a hustings in the constituency a week today,” he said. “They will give presentations and answer questions on an individual basis. The membership – 550 strong – will be invited and will vote.”

Mr Cade added: “Stephen has been a fine MP and we are delighted for him that he has got this very senior position on merit. He is amply qualified to take the post and we thank him for his contributions over the past 16 years, which have been considerable.”

Mr O’Brien, 57, whose new international position puts him in charge of humanitarian affairs and emergency relief, said: “It has been the most enormous privilege to serve as the Member of Parliament for all the people of Eddisbury over the last 16 years. 

“I shall always be grateful for the support and engagement across a wide variety of issues over that time throughout the constituency.

“In particular I want to pay tribute to the members and activists of the Eddisbury Conservative Association for their support. Together, we have been able to push forward the range of opportunities which have made a real positive difference to my constituents.

“I wish my successor as the Conservative candidate for Eddisbury, every good wish for a successful campaign in the upcoming General Election and in returning the Eddisbury seat for the Conservatives.”