Two weeks ago, we had a look at who’s running and who’s stepping down in the general election. A lot of things can happen in two weeks in the run-up to an election and today we have a further look at a few candidates of interest of the life sciences sector who we might see in Westminster following the election on June 8.

Harborough – Neil O’Brien

Last week, the Conservatives announced that the Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy adviser Neil O’Brien has been selected as the Party’s Harborough candidate. After representing the constituency of Harborough for 25 years, Conservative Sir Edward Garnier has announced that he is standing down. Harborough has been a Conservative stronghold since 1950 and in the 2015 election Garnier won a majority by 19,632 votes. Given the Conservative majority, O’Brien is expected to win the seat. He is running against Labour’s Andrew Thomas, Liberal Democrat Zuffar Haq, and UKIP’s Dr Tech Khong.

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O’Brien on Twitter.

O’Brien has most recently worked as a Special Adviser on Industrial Strategy and the Northern Powerhouse to the PM. Before joining the Policy Unit at Number 10, he was a Special Adviser to George Osborne in the Treasury. O’Brien has also been director of the think-tanks Policy Exchange and Open Europe. He studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University.

Oxford East – Anneliese Dodds

Over in Oxford East, South East Member of European Parliament (MEP) Anneliese Dodds is returning from Brussels as Labour’s new candidate for the constituency. She is replacing long-standing Labour candidate Andrew Smith, who is standing down after 30 years of service. Smith and Labour have represented Oxford East since 1987. Inheriting a majority of more than 15,000 votes, it is expected that Dodds will be Oxford East’s next MP. Dodds is running against Conservative Suzanne Bartington, Liberal Democrat Kirsten Johnson, and the Green’s Larry Sanders.

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Dodds’ website.

Dodds said that if elected she would use her “contacts across Europe to protect trade and scientific links which are so important to the local economy”. Dodds has also submitted written evidence to the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the implications and opportunities Brexit presents to research and innovation, where she stressed the importance of free movement for academics engaged in science and research, and funding schemes like Horizon 2020 and the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF). Before joining politics, Dodds worked as a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Aston University. Like O’Brien, she studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University.

Chelmsford – Vicky Ford

Another MEP looking to join domestic politics is Conservative Vicky Ford. Elected MEP for East of England in 2009, she is the Conservatives new candidate for Chelmsford. Ford is replacing Sir Simon Burns, who has represented the constituency since 1987. As with O’Brien and Dodds, Ford is inheriting a majority of some 18,000 votes, making her the favourite to win over Labour’s Chris Vince.

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Ford with Chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured on her website.

On her website, Ford explains she supports science and research, “which are key to delivering better medical care and improved lifestyles for all our families”. Following the Brexit referendum, Ford met with pharma companies such as AstraZeneca in Brussels to discuss the importance of UK patients’ participation in cross border clinical trials and ensuring undue delays to regulatory approvals are avoided for advanced medicines or medical devices.

Prior to joining politics, Ford worked in finance for JP Morgan where she raised money for large-scale infrastructure projects. She studied Maths and Economics at the University of Cambridge. Her likely departure from the European Parliament has prompted speculation over whether another Brit will replace her as chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, with some reports saying that many MEPs will not back another British MEP for the post in view of Brexit.

As O’Brien, Dodds, and Ford all have links to our sector, it might very well be worth keeping an eye on their constituencies on election day.

You can click here for a full list of MPs who are running and standing down in other constituencies.