A “delighted and relieved” Sally-Ann Hart tells Guido she won 89% of her Hastings & Rye Conservative Association’s vote last night when the selection was put to the membership. This follows after she was initially rejected by her association’s executive. Now she just has to win in the general election…
Newly installed Tory chairman Greg Hands has been forced to clarify that CCHQ stands behind all serving Conservative MPs, as the wets face blowback from their decision to dethrone Boris.
Yesterday, Guido revealed that Kent’s Damian Green – chair of the One Nation Conservative caucus in parliament – had been rejected by the new Weald of Kent constituency executive as their candidate. Local sources told Guido this was very much connected to his decision to oust Boris last year…
After going to pixel, Green tweeted that he was “disappointed not to have been adopted” and is now thinking about what to do next. Greg Hands added “we stand behind our MPs… [Damian] has our full support.”
The grassroots group Conservative Democratic Organisation hit back at Hands, with chairman David Campbell Bannerman pointing out CCHQ “can’t control everything”
“These MPs are now being held to account and being made accountable for a coup that has crashed the party in the polls. Those who turned on Boris Johnson are being punished. This deselection is hard evidence of this being real”
CDO CEO Claire Bullivant added, “There are 60 MPs who are probably getting worried. It’s hard to see how those who stabbed Boris in the back will ever be forgiven by the members. In every Conservative WhatsApp group, chat room, social media thread… the members’ revolt is very real and their disenchantment is growing.”
Damian Green’s failed selection follows Hastings & Rye rejecting the reselection of Sally-Ann Hart – another wet who backed the coup against Boris. There’s a trend here. Is your local branch having a selection meeting soon? Get in touch…
Guido sources say that at the end of last week the executive of the Hastings & Rye Conservative Association voted not to reselect the incumbent MP since 2019, Sally-Ann Hart, to fight the next general election. Constituency sources are remaining tight-lipped as to the reasons. Sally-Ann confirmed to Guido that “I was not re-adopted by my Association.” She was willing to fight the seat at the next election.
Sally-Ann Hart was the former district councillor for Eastern Rother from 2015 until she was selected as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate in November 2019 and elected as the member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye in December 2019. Guido’s understanding is that the selection of an MP now has to go to the wider constituency membership and she will not be precluded from putting her name forward again. Though it would be difficult without the support of the Association’s officers….
The story so far.
After Toby Young got cancelled for cultural crimes four years ago, he set up the Free Speech Union to help others threatened by cancellation. The project prospered, it took on staff. Young expanded his activities into the Covid information wars via another start-up, the Daily Sceptic. Then, abruptly, Paypal cancelled him and them. A third of Young’s organisations’ revenues were processed by Paypal and the services was switched off with little notice and less explanation.
It was the first sign that Britain was going down the same path as the US where big tech companies are adopting political positions and regulating the speech of their customers, keeping them within official limits.
There was a row. MPs and peers rallied. They understand. They are classed by banks as Politically Exposed Persons and have their own difficulties with bank accounts and financial services. Enough pressure was brought to bear on Paypal – a notoriously difficult company to engage with through normal channels – and after a week, in late September, the accounts were restored.
Now read on…
New Clause 15 in the Markets and Competition Bill set the hearts racing of all freedom-loving, free speech enthusiasts. In this afternoon’s Public Bill session, Sally-Ann Hart made the case for her Amendment that would make it illegal for payment providers like PayPal to suspend the bank accounts of organisations whose views they find disagreeable.
The Free Speech Union founded by Toby Young, along with his Daily Sceptic site has enjoyed fame, some fortune, and a record of victories for people bullied out of their jobs by cancellation fanatics. In some quarters, he enjoys a senior position in the political demonology of Britain. His defence of biological reality, or his arguing the case for not locking down the British economy were particularly unforgivable. PayPal, taking upon itself the role of moral and political arbiter, closed his accounts. The disruption to a small but influential organisation was existential.
Tory MP Sally-Ann Hart has proposed an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill that would make it illegal for a financial provider to deny service on political grounds.
In a statement on Twitter Sally-Ann cited PayPal’s recent closing of the Free Speech Union’s account as motivation for her move, adding “This is not party political; we must protect everyone’s right to free speech”. Elon would be proud.
The Free Speech Union welcomed the move and joined Hart’s call for the government to support the amendment. Toby Young, General Secretary of the organisation, said:
“Every MP who’s concerned about the emergence of a Chinese-style social credit system in the U.K. should support this amendment. British people should not be denied access to essential financial services because some liberal authoritarian in California disapproves of their political views. It’s cancel culture at its worst.”
If recent government action on the Online Safety Bill is anything to go by, they might be in luck…