Anne McIntosh must wait for open primary decision

Gazette & Herald: Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh

OUSTED MP Anne McIntosh must wait to find out if an American-style open primary is possible in the constituency.

Miss McIntosh has spoken of her desire for an open competition for potential Conservative candidates in the Thirsk and Malton constituency.

But a leaked letter sent by the chairman to local party members appears to have poured cold water on the suggestion.

The letter, sent by chairman Major Peter Steveney, said he wanted to see the selection of the next Tory candidate in the constituency carried out in the normal way.

Miss McIntosh, who was dropped as the party’s candidate in a postal ballot of local party members in January, has called for an open ballot giving all registered voters chance to have their say, regardless of party affiliation.

She said: “I believe the only way to bring the association together and unite behind one candidate is to hold an open primary to select the candidate and that I be allowed to submit myself to that process.

“That is the most open, transparent and democratic way of selecting a candidate.”

But Major Steveney’s letter, which said the association could at last move forward, states the local party has no idea who will apply for the candidacy, and will not comment on individual names.

A spokesman for the association said the selection process was run by the Thirsk and Malton association with the party HQ’s candidates department, and the selection process would be decided on by the association members.

In a statement, the local party added: “It is up to the association and its members to decide on the identity of their candidate and the process the selection takes, such as whether to hold a primary or not, in accordance with its rules.

“Anne McIntosh MP remains on the party’s list of approved candidates and is free to apply for selection in any available seat. Furthermore, the candidate selections for constituencies like Thirsk and Malton have all been postponed until after the European elections in May.”

• Miss McIntosh has welcomed this week’s National Apprenticeship Week and praised the companies providing training places and apprenticeships in the area.

She said: “Training and skills are the pathway to future prosperity for young people living in Thirsk, Malton and Filey.”

“Through apprenticeships and training young people learn skills or a trade which equips them for an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Comments (2)

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6:45am Fri 7 Mar 14

Digeorge says...

Do find it all rather strange she was 'deselected' in the first place! Did I say pompous ,well it is run by a retired "Major", need I say more!
Do find it all rather strange she was 'deselected' in the first place! Did I say pompous ,well it is run by a retired "Major", need I say more! Digeorge
  • Score: 3

8:44am Fri 7 Mar 14

Chris_Clark says...

At the last General Election, Anne McIntosh won the Thirsk and Malton seat with 20,167 votes. An appparently popular choice for the constituency she is also a notably hard working MP well considered in Government and Opposition circles.

At the last deselection, Mr Staveney and the constituency membership, representing under 3% of the voting membership, decided they wanted someone else, bringing down on them the wrath of Conservative HQ and the attention of opposition politicians. I shall not repeat the claims made by both sides at the time.

If an extremist union representing under 3% of the workforce brought 20,000 workers out on strike there would be a storm of criticism by Conservatives over the power of such tiny minority, and calls for a change in the law.

So would not the 20,000 Thirske & Malton Conservative voters now want to be concerned that a tiny Constituency Party of under 600 members at the time wishes to throw out an effective MP and replace them with - whom exactly? Note Mr Steveney wishes to keep things within the Constituency members.

Or as with dealing with extremist union leaders caused changes in the law, should the wider Thirsk & Malton Conservative voter population demand a change in the voting process?

There should be a Primary. If there is not, it is likely the only law that will apply will be the law of unintended consequences.
At the last General Election, Anne McIntosh won the Thirsk and Malton seat with 20,167 votes. An appparently popular choice for the constituency she is also a notably hard working MP well considered in Government and Opposition circles. At the last deselection, Mr Staveney and the constituency membership, representing under 3% of the voting membership, decided they wanted someone else, bringing down on them the wrath of Conservative HQ and the attention of opposition politicians. I shall not repeat the claims made by both sides at the time. If an extremist union representing under 3% of the workforce brought 20,000 workers out on strike there would be a storm of criticism by Conservatives over the power of such tiny minority, and calls for a change in the law. So would not the 20,000 Thirske & Malton Conservative voters now want to be concerned that a tiny Constituency Party of under 600 members at the time wishes to throw out an effective MP and replace them with - whom exactly? Note Mr Steveney wishes to keep things within the Constituency members. Or as with dealing with extremist union leaders caused changes in the law, should the wider Thirsk & Malton Conservative voter population demand a change in the voting process? There should be a Primary. If there is not, it is likely the only law that will apply will be the law of unintended consequences. Chris_Clark
  • Score: 2

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