A colleague of Victoria Borwick, the current favourite to be the next Tory MP for Kensington, denies being behind an attempt to smear a rival candidate. The rumour was put about to the media yesterday – in writing – that “George Osborne’s private office” was calling up Kensington members to pressurise them to back No. 10 Special Adviser Laura Trott. N0. 11 sources deny outright that any such calls were made.
Apparently: “The call was pretty high pressure, and when I said I wanted a local candidate not some advisor I’d never heard of I was told quite clearly that “the Chancellor needs Laura in parliament.” It’s bad form, and I don’t think many members in Kensington are going to put up with it.”
It was said to have been a woman: “she said she’s from ‘the Chancellor’s office’. I felt very pressured and like I wasn’t allowed to disagree with her.”
When Guido put it to Borwick’s people, they simply said “Victoria doesn’t want to comment.”
We report, you decide.
When will Kensington select their Tory candidate? According to a CCHQ spokesman:
“We don’t give a running commentary on these things. Imminent though, but not that imminent.”
Meanwhile the Standard tip long-time Cam SpAd Laura Trott and mega-loaded Victoria Borwick really, really wants to win:
“I have decided to put my name forward to be the Conservative candidate in Kensington. I have lived and worked in this wonderful part of London all my life and raised my four children there. I have been a councillor on Kensington and Chelsea council for more than 10 years and a member of the GLA for seven years. I feel I know Kensington inside out. There is hardly a street I haven’t canvassed. As a school governor for Golborne and Maxilla under the Westway, I am not just talking about the leafy parts of the borough. I regard myself as the ultimate local candidate. I love campaigning and I love meeting people and helping them sort out their problems. In political terms, I love getting my hands dirty – so much so that I have even been lowered through a manhole cover into the new Thames Tideway sewer. But then, as Boris’s deputy at City Hall, I get all the best jobs. I am fiercely opposed to Labour’s mansion tax, which would hit Kensington very hard and penalise many cash-poor, asset-rich people, who bought family homes 20-30 years ago and now face an extra annual tax of £10,000 a year or more. I would do all I can to stop it.”
So much so that the current Deputy Mayor of London has retained the services of a professional spinners from Nick Wood’s Media Intelligence Partners to help her in her quest.
Just as she did in 2006…