SW Norfolk Tories press to see selection rules

TORY activists in south west Norfolk have pressed for the opening up of the candidate selection rule book as the row over Elizabeth Truss continues to build up steam.

TORY activists in south west Norfolk have pressed for the opening up of the candidate selection rule book as the row over Elizabeth Truss continues to build up steam.

She has been called to a special general meeting that will reconsider her parliamentary candidature after members of the local association belatedly learnt that she had had an affair with a Conservative MP.

A 'skeleton in the cupboard' question that would have elicited the truth was not asked at last Saturday's selection meeting.

And the circumstances behind that have resulted in demands for clarification of the rules by party members who fear that the dice will be loaded in Ms Truss's favour at the meeting - to be held on November 16 - which will determine her fate.


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“We keep being told that this is in the rules, and that that isn't, but no-one ever gets to see the rules”, a leading figure in the association said.

The association's acting chairman, Hugh Colver, rejected advice that he had to ask the candidates last week whether there was anything in their background that would embarrass the party if it attracted media attention. But he has said he could not recall being told that, and some activists, including Iain Dale, are disputing that the asking of that question is required.

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Clarification was sought on Friday from Conservative HQ, but none was forthcoming. Instead, there was a statement that “Elizabeth Truss has been open and honest and is an excellent candidate” who “has our full support”.

But the SW Norfolk agent, Ian Sherwood, promised that the selection rules, 27 pages long, would be sent to any member who requested them.

The battle over Ms Truss was featured on Radio 2 on Friday. Mr Dale - who had already upset many Tories in SW Norfolk by saying they have a “Neanderthal” social outlook - got into a spat with broadcaster Anne Atkins after asking: “Are we living in the 15th century?”

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