Assertions about SE Cambs Tory candidate selection have been dressed as facts - this is what happened

PUBLISHED: 11:52 03 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:52 03 February 2014

Tory hopeful: Lucy Frazer

Tory hopeful: Lucy Frazer

Archant

You have recently published articles or comments about the selection of our Conservative candidate which contain many assertions dressed up as facts.

In your January 23 edition the ‘opinion’ piece was written by someone who left the party many years ago in a fit of pique because he did not get his own way and then stood against us at the last election. Hardly an independent commentator!

Please let me explain what actually happened. For the first time in its history we decided to have an open primary and invite the public into the process. Neither Labour, Lib Dem nor UKIP have ever done this.

The process was very open but there were some who were determined to get “their person” selected.

When the result was announced nobody challenged it. Immediately after the announcement those who were paid up members of the party were asked to adopt Lucy Frazer as the candidate. They did so unanimously.

At that point the selection process was over and we had a candidate who the association would support and to whom our outgoing MP Sir Jim Paice also pledged support.

The only error in the process was that the ballot papers were not secured in a sealed envelope. These unsecured ballot papers then apparently spent two days in a car until the agent employed to administer the process decided to count them again, without a witness. She then reported an alleged error.

It was then another three weeks before she made the papers available for any form of independent scrutiny but only four people took that opportunity.

Therefore it is by no means certain that there was a miscount. The integrity of the ballot papers was not assured.

Consequently all the officers of the local association, including me, decided quite rightly to put the issue to a general meeting of members called for the purpose.

In a secret ballot the members decided by an overwhelming majority to endorse Lucy Frazer. That was a democratic decision taken by almost 100 people.

It is a pity that a small number wish to ignore that and instead heap abuse on myself and many others.

RON BRADNEY

Deputy chairman

SE Cambs Conservative Association

Via e-mail

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