Tory Selections Hit Bump in the Road

Several Tory selections across the country have hit a bump in the road as CCHQ struggles to find suitable candidates and finds itself embroiled in punch-ups with local associations. North Norfolk, which is held by LibDem Norman Lamb on a much reduced majority of 4,000, should be target seat yet is struggling to find a candidate. 2015 candidate Ann Steward has so far not been fast-tracked. Leading to fears locally that CCHQ is going to impose an unwanted candidate on the seat…

In Norwich South Clive Lewis is facing a fight to keep hold of his seat amid a strong local LibDem challenge. The Tories came second there in 2015 yet are struggling to find a candidate to take on Clive this time round.

Eric Pickles surprised his association by stepping down. Eric said on April 18 he would stand again but sometime last week a deal was done – it is widely expected he will go to the Lords and is making way for a CCHQ anointed successor. Sure enough within 24 hours of his announcement three names had already come out of London, to the annoyance of the locals who had ambitions themselves…

Simon Burns is stepping down in Chelmsford – privately it is known that the three person list is already agreed and approved and selection will be on Saturday. Vicky Ford MEP is seen as a front runner. 

In Hornchurch and Upminster there is “outrage” at the CCHQ shortlist of Mark Field’s parliamentary researcher Julia Dorkerill, former Cameron adviser Shaun Bailey and Chris Grayling’s SpAd Simon Jones. Locals there want a Brexit candidate and are threatening to spoil their ballots. CCHQ is refusing to amend the list.

Some of these are getting very messy for CCHQ…




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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond uses a trip to Berlin to mock the Foreign Secretary:

“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. Wise words with some applicability to the Brexit negotiations although I try to discourage talk of “cake” amongst my colleagues.”

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