MPs successor to be decided US-style
AN American style open primary in January in which all voters – irrespective of their party allegiances can vote- will determine the Tory Party s successor to Malcolm Moss. Mr Moss, with a 9,000 majority, is standing down at the next election after bein
AN American style 'open primary' in January in which all voters - irrespective of their party allegiances can vote- will determine the Tory Party's successor to Malcolm Moss.
Mr Moss, with a 9,000 majority, is standing down at the next election after being elected to the NE Cambs seat in 1985 and the party's local executive have confirmed proposals for selection of a new Parliamentary candidate.
Robert Sears, association chairman, said the date for the selection meeting had been confirmed for January 19 and the venue would probably be Sir Harry Smith Community College, Whittlesey.
Later this month applicants will be invited from the Conservative Party's "priority list" of approved candidates, but special arrangements have been made for local candidates to apply.
"Outstanding local candidates in this and in neighbouring constituencies will be invited to apply," said Mr Sears. "If they apply to me, as chairman, I will then speak to the candidates' team office in London and, subject to agreement by them and me, they can be put on the list as well. It's a good compromise for local people."
Mr Sears and his two deputy chairmen, Alan Day and Councillor Geoff Harper, will then meet to bring the list down to a short list of 20.
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Over the weekend of December 1 and December 2 a 15 strong team comprising delegates from across the constituency- including representatives from Mepal, Sutton and Littleport- will meet to narrow the list to six or possibly four candidates who will then go onto the January primary.
"The whole process of the primary is to make it really transparent," said Mr Sears. "Anyone, irrespective of whether they belong to the Conservative Party, can come along and vote on the day." The only requirement for non party members is that their pre-register.
Each short listed candidate will address the audience for five minutes, and be subject to 10 minutes of questioning. The association has asked John Elworthy, news editor of the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard, to chair the question and answer sessions.
"Votes get case, in a secret ballot, and then we have a winner," said Mr Sears, who decided last week not to put his own name forward for selection