MP Anne McIntosh says she is determined to fight on to remain Ryedale’s MP despite not being re-adopted by the local Conservative Party.
She told the Gazette & Herald that despite the setback she still hopes to remain MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey and, even without the backing of the Conservatives, she could still stand in the May 2015 General Election. She said: “I remain on the official Conservative candidates list and, as such, am free to apply for any available seat in the country, but it is my intention to apply again for the Thirsk and Malton division because this is the area I know and where, at the last election, I had a majority of over 11,000 - almost 53 per cent of the votes cast.”
At Thirsk Livestock Market last week, she was inundated with farmers seeking her views and supporting her campaign for their industry. “She is an outstanding MP for farmers,” said farmer Alan Myer. Jim Welburn praised her as “a very hard-working MP who deserves our support”.
In the short term, Ms McIntosh is helping senior Tory MEP Tim Kirkhope’s bid for re-election in the European Parliament elections in May and she hopes that after those elections she will be free to get involved in an open primary in her constituency, which could be in June or July.
Her confidence has been bolstered by the support of MPs such as Zac Goldsmith, Margot James, and “father” of the House of Commons, Sir Peter Tapsell.
She said: “I cannot be dismissed by 200 or so local party people who are invisible in the Thirsk and Malton constituency when I have the support of thousands more who have not been given a voice. There must be transparency. I believe that such a genuine ballot, which has been supported in other constituences by David Cameron, will help to draw a line under the issue.”
One of the main criticisms from senior Conservatives in the constituency is that Ms McIntosh has not given them access to her diary. She said: “There are certain aspects of any MP’s diary that have to remain confidential, when those you are helping do not wish to have that information in the public domain.”
As chairwoman of the Government’s Defra Select Committee, Ms McIntosh has been in the spotlight recently supporting those hit by flooding and the horsemeat scandal. “I enjoy good relations with many in the party and the feedback from people in Thirsk and Malton - from all parties - is encouraging,” she said.