Confusion as Tories Delay Farage Target Seat Selection

Mystery and misinformation surrounds the selection of a Tory candidate for the Kentish seaside seat of South Thanet. Laura Sandys, one of the many female MPs standing down after just one term, announced her intention to quit last year. She did it early on in order to give her successor a chance to properly ‘bed in’ as a candidate. CCHQ however waited until late last month to open up the selection process. Last week that selection was abruptly halted, and those that had applied were told this was due to circumstances beyond the control of the association:

“Please note that due to circumstances beyond our control, there has been a delay in the Selection process.”

Interviews and tests planned for the weekend were suspended.

When Guido put this to CCHQ on Friday afternoon, the story was flatly denied by a press officer who claims to have checked with the candidates department and was confident that the selection process was continuing normally. A miss-speak, at best.

When this morning Guido suggested that they might like to “revise” their thoughts on the issue, in light of the email, a Conservative spokesman said:

“This is a matter for the local association.”

Yet the local association say it is due to circumstances beyond their control. What could it be about the prospect of Nigel Farage standing in the seat that so spooks the Tories?

Flapping Tories Threaten Candidates in Last Ditch Newark Bid

shapps

In further proof that the Tories are in a bit of a flap about Newark, the party chairman has just threatened the six hundred wannabe Tory MPs that they will be booted off the approved candidates list if they do not campaign ahead of Thursday’s poll. In an email seen by Guido, Shapps warns:

“As you know, a condition for being on the candidates list is the requirement to campaign in by-elections. Having spent 10 years on the list myself, I know that this expectation is no different from that which will be expected from you as an MP. Candidates who do not assist at by-elections without good reason may put themselves at risk of being removed from the list of approved candidates. … As a possible Parliamentary candidate, the Party is looking to you to show leadership and to support it in this critical by-election.”

They will not be able to throw this much effort at every seat UKIP are targeting this time next year…

ConservativeHome Readers Increasingly Favour UKIP Pact

ch-ukip-pact

ConservativeHome’s post Euro elections reader survey shows that the reality of the national vote result was not lost on the site’s readership. Support* for a blue-purple pact has risen…

*Usual caveats about self-selecting samples.

Why Has Owen Paterson Really Been Off Work?

Every morning CCHQ sends its MPs and staff a media monitoring summary of the day’s main news events. There were more than a few raised eyebrows when this morning’s briefing landed in Tory inboxes:

Must have missed that one…

Private CCHQ Briefing Warns MPs How to Stay Out of Trouble

Tory MPs and their staff attended a meeting this afternoon where they were warned about dodgy donations while making their latest declarations. Click through the slides* below to see who they are scared will expose their financial misdeeds:

You have been warned…

*We kept the other 43.

Picture Special: Inside New Tory Headquarters

CCHQ has moved into its new offices at Matthew Parker Street behind the QEII Conference Centre. Here is the scene inside, with Maggie and Churchill taking centre stage:

It’s much more of an open plan setting:

Still, not everything is going to plan…

New CCHQ Security Concerns

As the Tories move into new HQ, Chairman Lord Feldman warns against leaks…

About That New Tory Cost-of-Living Counter-Attack…

Guido likes to think we are more than just a political gossip blog providing readers with the finest in tittle-tattle for a decade.

We’re also a think-tank:

January 24, 2014, George Osborne’s sock-puppet Matthew Hancock is arguing in The Times and on the Today programme this morning that the cost of living crisis is over:

matt-hancockOver the past year, from 2012 to 2013, things have started to turn around. New facts on take-home pay — the pound in your pocket — are stark. Last year take-home pay grew faster than inflation for every group of earners except the top 10 per cent.

In Davos today the PM is also hailing rising take home pay. You’re either in front of Guido, or you’re behind…

Entire Conservative Party Web Archive Still Available

Missing reading old George Osborne speeches about the moral case for low taxes? Or the one when he promised to raise the inheritance tax threshold? Have no fear, they are all still available from the British Library – including the […]

+ READ MORE +

WATCH: Cameron Tribute to ‘Our Maggie’

A ten minute tribute to coincide with the launch of a Margaret Thatcher shop tomorrow. The Tories are quick to credit Craig Oliver with the idea…[…]

+ READ MORE +

EXCLUSIVE: Blunt-ly Rejected By Conservative Association
Executive Votes Against Him, Faces Reselection Battle

blunt

On Tuesday night following a vote by his local party executive committee, Crispin Blunt, the Tory MP for the safe seat of Reigate since 1997 was asked to re-apply for selection by a vote of the Conservative Association’s membership. Re-selection […]

+ READ MORE +

CCHQ Out of Millbank in January

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, the Tories will move CCHQ in January from Millbank to Matthew Parker Street behind the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster. After the students smashed up Millbank in 2011, their insurance bill soared. All […]

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Adam Boulton says David Cameron campaigned as a neo-Thatcherite…

“The manifesto programme, with its sell-off of social housing, clampdown on public sector strikes, EU in/out referendum and benefit cuts, represents a much more traditional, neo-Thatcherite conservatism than that offered by Cameron Mk 1…”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Burnham’s Paul Smith Suits Burnham’s Paul Smith Suits
FLASHBACK: You Are Subsidising Andy Burnham’s Property Portfolio FLASHBACK: You Are Subsidising Andy Burnham’s Property Portfolio
Arise, Sir Eric! Arise, Sir Eric!
ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH CONTINUED ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH CONTINUED
Stella Grills Dimbleby on Sexuality Stella Grills Dimbleby on Sexuality
New Select Committee Chair Allocation in Full New Select Committee Chair Allocation in Full

Miliband: Don’t Move to the Centre Miliband: Don’t Move to the Centre
Insta-Bunga! Insta-Bunga!
GREEN PAEDO RING RUMBLED GREEN PAEDO RING RUMBLED
BIONIC MAN CONTROLS TWO ROBOTIC ARMS WITH HIS MIND BIONIC MAN CONTROLS TWO ROBOTIC ARMS WITH HIS MIND
TECH NOSTALGIA: LYCOS SELLS ITS PATENTS TECH NOSTALGIA: LYCOS SELLS ITS PATENTS
BIN LADEN PLANNED JIHAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE BIN LADEN PLANNED JIHAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE
CAMERON’S UBER PALS SQUARE UP AGAINST BORIS CAMERON’S UBER PALS SQUARE UP AGAINST BORIS
Andy Burnham: “I Would Follow David Moyes Textbook” in Office Andy Burnham: “I Would Follow David Moyes Textbook” in Office
BBC CLIMATE FORECAST THREE YEARS OUT OF DATE BBC CLIMATE FORECAST THREE YEARS OUT OF DATE
UKIP Latest: Suzanne Speaks UKIP Latest: Suzanne Speaks
24 Hour Drinking: “The Best Thing the Labour Party Ever Did” 24 Hour Drinking: “The Best Thing the Labour Party Ever Did”
Fight! UKIP’s Steven Woolfe v Jean-Marine Le Pen Fight! UKIP’s Steven Woolfe v Jean-Marine Le Pen
Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories Hilton’s Hipsters & High Tories