THE Tory hoping to become the next MP for Havant has hit back at critics saying he is not up to the job.
Alan Mak became the Conservative’s parliamentary candidate for the seat at next year’s General Election following a public vote.
It came after sitting Tory MP David Willetts announced he will not stand again.
But Mr Mak, 30, has since come under fire on Tory website Conservative Home for not having local connections.
One wrote: ‘I can’t believe Alan Mak got selected!
‘I know Alan and I can’t see many redeeming qualities in him.
‘Maybe it is because the voters don’t know who he is?’
Another said: ‘It’s not just a sad day for the party, but a sad day for anyone vulnerable and in need of representation. Alan is not your man, he doesn’t care.’
A third said: ‘I’m angry and disappointed with Alan’s selection. None of the options were good.
‘We hoped for a solid local candidate and instead we’ve got this man who knows nothing about our constituency.’
But Mr Mak, who comes from Yorkshire, has shrugged off the criticism.
‘None of the four finalists was local, but the residents who voted for me decisively as their candidate recognised I understood every part of Havant, was listening to local opinion and am passionate about Havant’s future,’ he said.
‘Support for me has been very energising and I will carry on working hard for Havant’s residents.’
Mr Mak added: ‘I’ve been working very hard for the last two months listening to local residents, councillors, business owners and headteachers to understand local issues.’
Tim Lines, chairman of Havant Conservative Association, said 20 people out of the original 96 who declared an interest in the position were local – but ultimately it was a tough contest and the best candidate won.
‘Some of the councillors in the area said afterwards that Mr Mak knew more about the area than they did,’ he said.
‘He saturated the streets for six weeks prior talking to as many people as possible.’