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Ex-youth advisor to PM contests Rifkind's Kensington seat

FIRM FRIENDS: Shaun Bailey with PM David Cameron

ONE OF the most high profile black Conservatives has been shortlisted to stand in Kensington at May's General Election.

Businessman Shaun Bailey, a former advisor to the PM on youth and crime, has been nominated following Sir Malcolm Rifkind's decision to leave Parliament amid 'cash for access' allegations.

Bailey, who was born in North Kensington, has long been tipped as one of the party's rising stars but nothing concrete has come of it to date.

In 2010, he unsuccessfully contested the Hammersmith seat but was offered the Cabinet office role.

Three years later, he was moved to a lesser position allegedly frozen out by David Cameron's Old Boy's Network.

Bailey is competing with Charlotte Vere and Victoria Borwick. Local party members are set to decide at a meeting on Friday.

Vere and Bailey both stood in 2010 but were defeated in Brighton Pavilion and Hammersmith, respectively.

Borwick is a deputy mayor of London and an ex-Kensington councillor. She is a member of the London Assembly's police, crime and transport committees.

The seat, which the Conservatives won with an 8,616 majority in 2010, came into play last month after Sir Malcolm said he would step down.

It is believed more than 130 people applied to be the Conservative candidate in the seat, with a longlist of six being narrowed down to three.

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