People on the street “more interested in what I am doing rather than how I was selected” says Tory candidate Lucy Frazer
- Credit: Archant
Prospective Tory MP Lucy Frazer claimed that people on the street are “more interested in what I am doing rather than how I was selected”.
Her comments came during a tricky four and a half minutes as part of a two hour debate with four other Parliamentary candidates fighting to replace Sir Jim Paice as MP for SE Cambs.
Mrs Frazer was embroiled in controversy a year ago after the local Tory association was forced to call a special meeting following claims a second candidate, Heidi Allen, may have won an open primary selection. In a third round of balloting Mrs Frazer was declared the winner but when a party official checked the ballot papers some days later it was alleged a pile of votes had been mistakenly ‘taken’ from Ms Allen and handed to Mrs Frazer.
Responding to a question during last Saturday’s hustings at Swaffham Bulbeck she said: “Of the selection process, what I find is that I didn’t start on this process how I wanted to start.
“I have spent a career in what I believe to be a profession of immense integrity but I am not a career politician, not a politician and I wanted to start in an appropriate way and I am disappointed not to have that opportunity.”
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Panel chairman Ian Woodroffe put questions to the candidates which had been forwarded to him advance of the meeting – and twice interjected to encourage Mrs Frazer to focus on the specific question of selection that had been asked.
Mrs Frazer admitted “the local association made an error and the error they made was they did not seal the ballot box
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“Five days later when someone challenged the result no one could determine what the result was so they had a choice: did they re run the process, a process which had resulted in a choice which no one had challenged at the time or did they endorse their candidate?
“At a second meeting with almost same number of people they choose overwhelming to endorse their candidate
Mrs Frazer, a barrister of some 20 years and a Cambridge graduate, said: “What I find on the streets as I go round and as I talk to many people and having given up my job and spent the last year committed every day to working for you here, people are more interested in what I am doing rather than how I was selected.”
She said the open primary was a “fair and democratic process” but added: “If it is possible for one person on their own individually, without witnesses, to look at a number of ballot papers and challenge the result and therefore force a re run of a process one might say that is not a fair and democratic process”.
Mrs Frazer said: “So the position I took at the time was that I was the outcome of a process.
“It was not my job as the candidate to make a decision on what was right or wrong. It was not how I wanted to start but it was what the position presented itself.
“I said to the local association you must make a decision about what to do, you must decide what to do and whatever you decide I will respect your decision and that is the decision we have come up against.”