Lord Tebbit is not very happy with Mrs Mensch and the wider Tory malaise he sees her as representing. Taking to his Telegraph blog, he’s on the rampage:
“…since my day as Party Chairman, Tory Central Office has usurped almost all of the power to choose candidates from the local Conservative Associations. I warned against such a move, which has predictably contributed to the near collapse of grassroots membership of the Party. Trust is a two-way street and neither trust nor respect can be earned by shouting orders. Nor has it done much to strengthen the bond between Members and their constituents.
Secondly, when I entered the Commons in 1970, to be a Member of Parliament was regarded as an honour and a privilege that came with obligations. It was not a job sought for the pay and perks. I cannot look into the heart of Mrs Mensch, but it appears that she has put her newly acquired husband above the constituents that her website still says she was “honoured to have been elected to represent” only two years ago.
Of course it might be said that I left the Commons to care for my wife, but that was in the light of her injuries and after 22 years in the House having given good notice before the end of my term that I would not seek to stand again. It is the apparently casual attitude of Mrs Mensch towards the obligations she had undertaken which concerns me: it is as if these days being a Member of Parliament is no more than a job.”
As Guido reported this morning, CCHQ have not learnt the candidate selection lesson yet…