Man who took on the BNP to contest Hampstead and Kilburn for Conservatives

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2013

A Camden councillor who took on Nick Griffin at the 2010 election is hoping to become Hampstead's first Conservative MP – and first Jewish MP - in more than 20 years.

Simon Marcus, 40, who grew up in the area and had his barmitzvah at New London Synagogue, was selected to contest Hampstead and Kilburn for the party in 2015.

He triumphed over two opponents at the vote, held at Dennington Park Road synagogue.

The seat was created in 2010 out of the old Hampstead and Highgate constituency, which was held until 1992 by Conservative MP Geoffrey Finsberg. In a strange coincidence, both Mr Finsberg and Mr Marcus were educated at City of London School.

Mr Marcus, who set up a boxing academy for excluded teenagers in north London, stood against BNP leader Griffin in 2010. Although Barking was held by Margaret Hodge, Mr Marcus succeeded in pushing the far-right party into third place.

"It was a privilege to fight the good fight," he said.

Mar Marcus' Labour opponent – who will replace long-serving MP Glenda Jackson – has not yet been named. But the race is likely to be a tight one; in 2010 Ms Jackson won by just 42 votes.

Last updated: 9:51am, February 11 2013