Brooks Newmark has conceded defeat over the plan to stand again in Braintree. Speaking to his local paper, Newmark claims “I am extremely flattered by the lovely messages of support from members of the public and my local party asking me to reconsider my decision to step down at the next election,” adding: “However, I have decided to stick with my original decision”. As Guido revealed earlier this week, Brooks had been “wavering”, but any attempt by him to stand again was blocked by high command. The Tories say the selection process in the seat will now resume “in the near future”. In the New Year… when local associations can have shortlists thrust upon them by CCHQ.