Confusion reigns as it emerges officials may have announced wrong Conservative candidate for 2015 election

12:14 07 January 2014

Tory hopeful: Lucy Frazer

Tory hopeful: Lucy Frazer

Archant

Confusion over who has been selected to contest Sir Jim Paice’s South East Cambridgeshire seat for the Conservatives continued to mount this week as it emerged that the wrong candidate may have been selected.

Concerns over the validity of the vote – in which barrister Lucy Frazer triumphed – were originally raised by the Ely Standard in December, with Ely businessman Simon Pittock claiming the vote was invalid because of irregularities with the voting forms.

The open primary to select a Conservative candidate for the 2015 election was held on December 7 and Mr Pittock called for the result to be declared null and void and the ballot re-run.

This week, fresh claims emerged that votes attributed to Ms Frazer may have, in fact, been earmarked for rival candidate Heidi Allen and mistakenly counted in Ms Frazer’s favour.

The SE Cambs Conservative Association, which organised the primary, will hold a meeting behind closed doors tomorrow (Friday) in response to the concerns, with Conservative Party national nominating officer Paul Mabbutt and head of candidates Gareth Fox set to attend.

Complaints from activists allege that voting papers which should have been attributed to businesswoman Ms Allen, were incorrectly allocated to Ms Frazer.

It has been claimed that in the final round of voting, a pile of 25 votes were marked as being for Ms Frazer when, it is alleged, only the top two were. The remaining 23 votes should have been counted for Ms Allen.

It is understood that –although not officially released – Ms Frazer’s winning margin was 36. With the supposedly rogue 23 votes taken into consideration, however, the victory would actually be Ms Allen’s by a margin of 10.

A letter sent to SE Cambs Association members by association president Brian Ashton acknowledged that ‘unsubstantiatable suggestions’ had been made to officers that the ballot result announced was the wrong one.

1 comment

  • I have some good friends who were involved in this strange affair. I hope very much that none of my friends messed up. Most of my friends can count - I think.

    Report this comment

    Geoffrey Woollard

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

13:00

Health experts are reminding people who are under 65 and have long term health conditions to get the first jab in and beat flu this winter.

Steve Tierney (centre)  in October when he won the Medworth by election for Fenland Council

Fenland came to the rescue of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in their bid to find a Conservative willing to be interviewed on air hours after the Rochester and Strood by election.

Lynn Road, Wisbech, during installation of new street lights

All of the issues thrown up by an audit of the street lighting contract run by Balfour Beatty which showed Cambridgeshire County Council “will not be paying the correct amount for its electricity” have been resolved, say a new report.

Yesterday, 17:00
Steve Barclay MP (middle) meeting with representatives from Sustrans to discuss a cycleway.

An MP and councillor are pushing for a new cycleway linking Chatteris with Mepal.

Most read stories

E-edition