RYEDALE’S next potential MP is expected to be announced this week.
Speculation over the final four, who have been selected from about 90 applications, has mounted with close friends saying former TV presenter Selina Scott is one of those who has been asked to stand. However, Ryedale District councillor Edward Legard has confirmed to the Gazette & Herald that he failed to make the shortlist.
Roderick Gilchrist, a long time friend and media advisor to Ms Scott, said she had been asked about standing. “Influential people in the Tory party have been putting out feelers to Selina, with a view to seeing if she would put herself forward, particularly for Thirsk and Malton. She is in the position of deciding whether she wants to put her name forward or not,” he said. “The party has to decide this week what it wants to do but I am sure most people would agree that she would be an absolutely brilliant MP and would really get her teeth into the job.”
MP Anne McIntosh, who won the seat with a Conservative majority of 11,000 at the last election, was deselected in February after concerns over a “clash of personalities” with local activists.
She said: “Many people have approached me regarding the Conservative Candidate Selection for Thirsk and Malton. As I have said before, I do not comment on internal proceedings of the Conservative Party, to which I remain loyal and supportive. Nor will I be making any further comment at this time other than to say that I intend to carry on doing the work I was elected to do in May 2010 to the best of my ability.
“I shall continue to represent the people of Thirsk, Malton and Filey with the utmost energy and enthusiasm, being the only woman Conservative MP for the Yorkshire and Humber region, I am extremely proud to do so.”
A spokesman for the Thirsk and Malton Conservative association confirmed the meeting was taking place, but denied reports that Ms Scott was one of the potential candidates.
“At the end of the meeting the association will have decided who is the candidate for the next general election,” he said. “It will bring to and end months of uncertainly and speculation and allow the association and party to move forward.”