Readers with long memories may well recall that in December 2014 there was some furore over the selection of the next Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Aldridge Brownhills following the standing down of Richard Shepherd, who’s retiring from his 36 year tenure at the next general election.
The competition for the person very likely to be our next MP (We’re in a fairly safe Tory seat here) was between four candidates – popular local Tory Councillor for Pelsall Marco Longhi, and three outsiders – the favourite being Wendy Morton.
After being cancelled due to procedural controversy, the selection for the next candidate finally took place last night, Thursday 22nd January 2015.
Marco was popular with the electorate but since it’s party members who vote, this seems to have had little sway with the local branch. They chose outsider, Wendy Morton, rejecting Marco who knows and cares about our area.
Wendy Morton is vice chairman of the Conservative Party, who previously stood for the marginal seat of Tynemouth in the 2010 election, and in a year when possibly the most hated Prime Minster for decades was cut down, she actually managed to decrease the Tory share of the vote by 2.2%.
There seems to be an existing history of parachuting Wendy in against local wishes, as this article shows. Local voters and activists have been unsettled too, as this comment on ConservativeHome would appear to indicate.
I’d really like to congratulate Wendy, but I can’t. Why should I? This will be yet another career politician seat warming in a backwater constituency they have no connection to. As far as I’m concerned, this whole affair represents everything that’s wrong with modern politics: We could have had a local man who’s passionate about us and our area – even if I don’t like his politics – but instead, the party machinery appears to have taken precedence over the constituency.
I think that about says it all.
You can read the coverage at the Express & Star here.