Sour Grapes For Corby Tories Potential Candidate Not Posh Enough

Talking of Corby, Guido is picking up growing disquiet among local Tories – and not just because they are expecting a kicking in November. Corby Conservative council leader David Sims went rogue last week, slamming both Louise Mensch and the Tory campaign in his constituency:

“I will give her my full support but it’s going to be difficult. We can expect a protest against Louise, as we have to admit that she wasn’t seen as a great MP. There will also be a protest against the Government and, while the other parties have been campaigning, we have been twiddling our thumbs.”

It turns out Sims has more than enough reason to be angry. Guido hears that he was specifically asked to put himself forward for the prospective candidate shortlist by CCHQ as someone who was in-touch, well-respected and local, only for party bigwigs to tell him in no uncertain terms that he was no longer welcome. A source on the ground whispers to Guido that Sims was told that the Tory hierarchy wanted someone who could ‘identify with the Tory faithful from East Northamptonshire’. In other words the former bin-man was not posh enough…

Wind of Change in Corby

Writing in today’s Speccie James Delingpole has confirmed that he will run in Corby after all. Not for UKIP as previously touted, but as an anti-wind farm candidate:

“The stench from the wind industry and its many leech-like hangers-on is overpowering and it’s a disgrace that so few people are speaking up for the thousands of victims affected by it. But I am. I hereby announce my intention to stand in the Corby by-election as the anti-wind farm candidate. Not in my back yard. And not in yours either!”

5% to keep your deposit…

UPDATE:

CCHQ Rain Stops Play Strauss Missed Corby Deadline

CCHQ are briefing this morning that sadly Andrew Strauss has missed his chance to stand in the Corby by-election as the selection meeting is apparently this afternoon. They did not pour water on the idea of a 2015 bid though, as other news outlets have noticed:

“He’s been hugely successful as England captain and he’d be equally so if he goes into politics.”

Silence from the man himself, who could have shut speculation dawn very easily yesterday afternoon…

Bookies Slash Odds on Tory Corby Win With Strauss

Ladbrokes are offering 50/1 that Strauss steps up to the crease and is made the Tory candidate for Corby, with the former England captain 16/1 to beat Andy Sawford and win the seat. A Ladbrokes spokesman said: “If the Tories send Strauss into bat in Corby their odds of securing the seat will tumble“. Only KP running for the LibDems could stop him…

UPDATE: The punters are piling their cash on Strauss for Corby and he is now 25/1 to be the Tory candidate.

UPDATE II: Odds have been slashed again – now 16/1.

Corby Tories Back Strauss in Local Media

The local press in Corby like the idea of Andrew Strauss knocking Labour’s Andy Sawford for six, as does one local Conservative councillor they have quoted:

‘Corby borough councillor Rob McKellar said: “I couldn’t rule out voting for Andrew Strauss as a Conservative candidate if the rumours were to be true. I would like our next MP to be somebody who lives in the constituency and who has Corby and East Northamptonshire at heart.

But that is not to say a high-profile candidate couldn’t achieve this, while raising the profile of the area at the same time.”’

Howzat?

Andrew Strauss Could Stump Labour in Corby

Many have been wondering why England captain Andrew Strauss has quit international cricket. While it’s probably has more to do with his bad couple of years at the crease and major dramas in the dressing room, it’s well known that Andrew is a Tory and rumoured that he has an interest in moving into politics. He raised £25,000 for the party at a 2011 fundraiser…

With the Tories struggling to find a candidate for the Corby by-election, perhaps it’s time for Strauss to serve again.

Selection meeting is this Friday, could he rise from the Corby ashes?

UPDATE: Strauss has retired not only from international cricket, but from Middlesex too. Coincidently Corby the tourism website says “the area has a long cricketing tradition.”

UPDATE II: Others are circling:

Labour’s Corby Candidate Conservative Conference Confusion

After getting caught short on the French riviera, Labour’s Corby candidate Andy Sawford will take a barely-earned break from the campaign trail next month. To speak at the Conservative Party conference.

Sawford will have a day’s respite from Tom Watson when he gives a speech to his lobbyist pals in his capacity as chief executive of well-funded think tank LGIU:

Don’t Menshn the by-election…

By-Election Watch: Lobbyist Reunion in Corby

Labour’s Corby campaign might have posed problems for Tom Watson and his team over the last few weeks, but there were smiles all round yesterday as two former public sector lobbyists enjoyed a reunion in the sun. The highlight was Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton posing with party candidate Andy Sawford as she opened Labour’s new campaign bunker. Cosy.

Yorkshire mafia footsoldier Winterton is a former employee of Connect Public Affairs, a lobbying firm with close links to the Labour Party. Connect currently employs ex-Unite trade unionist Tom Denney, Yvette Cooper’s former adviser Caroline Gordon, David Blunkett’s ex-researcher Emily Wallace and Gill Morris, described as “the best connected Labour lobbyist in the business“. Another former employee of this merry band of lefty lobbyists? One Andy Sawford…

Labour Corby Campaign Cock-Up

Last week Guido revealed that Labour campaign chief Tom Watson had been busy massing the troops in Corby as party bosses seek to avoid a repeat of their Bradford nightmare. Watson might have dragged half of Labour HQ’s staff with him to Louise Mensch’s old constituency but their plan to hit the ground running has got off to a slow start.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Piri Piri Mili

Guido has already reported the efforts to which the Labour Party are going in order to hit the ground running in the Corby by-election. There is only so far the back-room operation can take things though.

Out on the stump events, and indeed pictures say it all…

Guido’s favourite anecdote so far is the report that Ed asked a group of teenage girls: “what can politicians do for you?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Bradford Routing Haunts Labour – Watson Amassing Troops in Corby

The joke doing the rounds this morning in Labour circles is:

“Rupert Murdoch has three months to take out the trash. If he wanted to kill someone he could probably get away with it. Tom is now so obsessed with Corby he thinks it’s Ed’s Crewe.”

Labour sources tell Guido that they are determined not to see a repeat of their Bradford by-election shambles.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Watson Tells Labour Spinners to Brief That They Will Lose Corby

As Ed spends the afternoon in Corby – the front-line of Tory/Labour fighting in the next three months – Guido hears that Tom Watson is already playing the long game. The party campaign director has told Labour Political Advisers to stress that the party expects to lose the by-election in every conversation they have with the lobby.[…]

+ READ MORE +

CCHQ Begin Corby Candidate Contest Badly

Wannabe Tories on the party’s approved candidates list were left unimpressed last night when this hit their inboxes:

From: Chairman of Candidates
Date: 6 August 2012 17:58
Subject: Corby and East Northamptonshire
To: Candidates

The Party now has a pending Parliamentary by-election in Corby and East Northamptonshire and we are asking every candidate on the Approved List to rise to the challenge.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mensch Quits

“Louise Mensch MP will announce this morning that she has tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister, and will stand down as the Member of Parliament for Corby and East Northamptonshire. In her resignation letter, Mrs Mensch thanked the Prime Minister for all his support, but said that she had “been struggling for some time to find the best outcome for my family life, and have decided, in order to keep us together, to move to New York.””

A Tory/Labour marginal by-election?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Ballot Day for Bonkers Bryn Phillips

Today is the City of London by-election in the Farringdon Within ward. Yesterday the candidates met face to face for a hustings, and needless to say, with a convicted rioter and Occupy hippy on the ballot, things got a little spicy.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Farage Eyes Eastleigh

Nigel Farage is up to something. He’s very publicly challenged Cameron to a debate, delivering a personal note to No.10 this morning:

“I propose a public debate between us where we can put our respective cases forward. My challenge to you is an open and honest one and I hope you will afford me, and the people of this country, a proper say on the matter.”

True to form, the UKIP leader took some ladies with him for the ride.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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