Questions are being raised about how ‘open’ Beckenham’s primary for Conservative candidate will transpire to be. According to ConservativeHome local discontent is brewing following the Executive request of ‘someone who would be a first rate constituency MP and that the preference was for a local candidate’.
Yet out of the six representatives that made the shortlist, none of them are from the area. This is despite the fact that two locals did apply: MEP Syed Kamall and GLA Member for the constituency James Cleverly. Cllr Nicholas Bennet, former MP and until the most recent AGM Beckenham constituency Chairman and Cllr Steve Carr are also rumoured to have ‘thrown their hats in the ring’.
According to ConservativeHome, CCHQ are ‘actively discriminating against local candidates because they know the open primary process involving a public hustings… favours them’. Open Up calls on CCHQ to ensure their positive step of embracing primaries are safeguarded by ensuring local people can both stand and vote and that choice will reside with constituents and not HQ.
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