THE fight for her political future by Ryedale MP Anne McIntosh begins on Friday when nearly 550 members of the Conservative Party decide whether she should be re-selected for the safe Tory seat of Thirsk and Malton at the next General Election in May 2015.
This week, Miss McIntosh, a 59 year-old barrister, issued a newsletter to her supporters outlining her work record in the House of Commons and constituency.
She says she has taken part in 84 votes in the Commons, spoken in more than 100 debates and asked 142 questions.
She has been an MP for 15 years, initially representing the now abolished Vale of York division, and had previously been an MEP for Essex for 10 years.
At a Conservative Association meeting last year, officers in the constituency decided not to automatically reselect her because, they said, of the amount of time she spent in the constituency and her stance on some issues.
Miss McIntosh, who is the high-profile chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, said: “The decision on whether to adopt me as the candidate will be taken by all party members in the constituency, in the true spirit of democracy and openness.”
Major Peter Steveney, chairman of the constituency association, said the result of the ballot, which will be announced on January 31, will be binding.
He said: “The Conservative Party rules are very one-sided. The sitting MP can self promote, but we cannot put our case.”
He said he was anxious to see the situation resolved. “We need to start to concentrate on our campaign for the General Election and to plan fundraising events.”
This is the second time in four years Ms McIntosh has faced such action. In 2009, local party members voted to overturn their executive board’s decision and reinstate her as candidate. She went on to take the seat with a big majority, in the General Election of 2010.