Tory Party Chairman Greg Hands is seen to be favouring one potential candidate over others in advance of the selection process on the Isle of Wight. When visiting the island in May, Greg Hands MP helped Tory council group leader Joe Robertson distribute leaflets describing Cllr Robertson as “Next MP for East Wight”. Guido hears that Robertson collected the party chairman from the ferry and whisked him away to a canvassing session in his ward before an association fundraising event. Canvassing sessions are usually attended by other local candidates – the invitation was not extended this time. It seems Greg Hands was hoodwinked into implicitly endorsing a candidate in the selection process:
Local Conservative association officers questioned CCHQ about Greg Hands involvement with the campaign however the party did not respond to requests for a comment. There are at least three other local candidates hoping to fight the seat for the party, and Robertson’s presumptuous leaflet has ruffled feathers with insular local Conservatives who resent Councillor Robertson for standing for parliament in Erith & Thamesmead at the last general election. With underhand leafletting activities and perceived disloyalty to the island, the odds are not in his favour for the final decision made by party members on 19th June.