Windsor’s new Conservative parliamentary candidate has said he doesn’t see himself as coming from a typical Tory background.

Characterising himself as an aspirational, working-class Conservative, Jack Rankin previously sat on the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead’s Council.

Earlier this month the 31-year-old won the contest to succeed long-standing Windsor MP Adam Afriyie as the Tory Party’s candidate for the seat.

Coming from a working-class background in the northwest, this will be his third attempt at a run for parliament.

The first came when he contested his home seat of Ashton-under-Lyne in 2017 against Labour’s Angela Rayner – who subsequently became the party’s deputy leader. Rankin said: “Angela Rayner’s and my politics are very different, and her style is very different to mine, but I do respect her.

“It was very important to me that people from my kind of background had the opportunity to see someone from that background have the opportunity to vote Conservative.”

A Labour safe seat, Rankin would go on to lose in Ashton, although the share of the Tory vote increased by nearly 10 per cent.

He said: “My Conservative Party is one of the ladder of opportunity and aspiration.

“I have an idea that with hard work and industry, you can improve your life. But I think that for a lot of young people, when the economy is struggling to grow as it is, it’s difficult to articulate that narrative of opportunity to them. And I think my party needs to wake up to that fact.”

Rankin later contested the seat of Warwick and Leamington in 2019, coming within two per cent of the vote of unseating Labour’s Matt Western.

While not coming from an especially political family, the candidate said his values come from watching his parents work hard and strive to give him and his brother better opportunities than they had.

“My parents are small businesses people from working-class backgrounds,” he said.

“They left school with few qualifications. My first memories are of them going to night school on alternative evenings to get the qualifications they needed to set up their business.

“I know how hard they worked to give my brother and me opportunities that we couldn’t dream of. My politics flows from that simple truth that anybody who works hard and values education can improve their life.”

Rankin studied maths and physics at Warwick University, before moving to Berkshire and getting elected to the Royal Borough Council in his twenties.

If elected as MP at the next general election, he would succeed Adam Afriyie, who has represented the seat since 2005.

While Windsor has long been a Conservative safe seat, it is widely expected to be a key target for the Liberal Democrats following their victory in this year’s council elections.

National opinion polling also currently suggests the Tory Party is likely to lose the general election, with the Labour Party consistently scoring a 20-point lead in many polls.

However, Rankin remains confident about his prospects in Windsor.

He said: “At the local elections, the people of Windsor told my party we need to listen. I think we see that in the national polls as well.”

Rankin added: “It’s a fantastic honour to be selected. But the hard work starts now, so I’m looking forward to getting out on the doorsteps.”