Conservatives close to naming new Yorkshire MEP

THE Conservatives are believed to be close to naming a replacement for Yorkshire MEP Timothy Kirkhope.

Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate

It is understood Leeds councillor John Procter and Sheffield businesswoman Carolyn Abbott are in the frame to take Lord Kirkhope’s seat in Brussels.

Lord Kirkhope is expected to stand down from his role as an MEP when he takes his Lords seat after he was nominated for a peerage by outgoing prime minister David Cameron.

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European elections are fought on a regional list system where parties earn seats depending on their share of the vote in the region.

In the event of a sitting MEP later resigning, the replacement is usually the next person on the party’s list of candidates at the last European election.

Former Olympic rower Alex Story was second on the Conservative list at the 2014 European elections but it is understood he is unlikely to get the nod.

Coun Procter and Mrs Abbott were third and fourth on the Conservatives’ 2014 list.

The Conservatives won one of the six Yorkshire seats at the last European elections and later added a second when Amjad Bashir defected from the UK Independence Party.

Ukip and Labour each hold two Yorkshire and Humber seats.