Kieran Mullan has abandoned his plans to stitch-up the nomination for Chester South and Eddisbury, opening the door for a selection battle in the safe Tory seat. A meeting of the selection committee had been scheduled for 19th May to confirm or reject Mullan’s selection, however a statement has since been circulated confirming that the Crewe MP is now willing to open the field to competition. Mullan said:
“I have benefited from being able to speak to a wide variety of people locally (both involved and not involved in the selection process) and I have given all the feedback I have received a great deal of thought.
I would like to feel any process that selected me was fair and credible and would have the support of members. I think the only way to achieve that now is to be put forward to the final alongside other candidates to allow a choice by members. I appreciate the time and effort many of you have put into this process to date and thank you for your time.”
To translate – he spoke to local members and realised he was about to lose. Mullan was initially offered a place in the final three back in February, however he rejected it, claiming he was “entitled” to be the incumbent.
Mullan’s decision means a scrap for a rare Conservative safe haven is on the cards. Local sources expect a number of MPs will attempt the chicken run, whilst Richard Walker’s name is still getting mentioned as a potential candidate. Topping the list of potential seat-switchers is Andy Carter. Chris Clarkson is also rumoured to be interested as Stuart Anderson’s name got a mention too. All of whom are forecast to lose their seats on current polls…