It is hardly the most inspiring of openings for a prospective Tory parliamentary candidate.
“I still remember the horror I felt when I realised I was a Conservative,” writes Luke Parker, the “16th man” in the Croydon South selection process.
Having been deemed not good enough to make the original top 15, Parker’s chances of selection are surely in the “snowball in hell” category, but our mole at the Croydon Tories’ HQ in Purley tells us that Parker has dutifully been added to their long list, as a replacement for Robert Jenrick, who couldn’t be seen for dust as soon as he was offered an even safer seat in the Midlands.
Parker, who is a councillor in Twickenham, scores 1/10 in our #areyoulocal ratings, on the basis that at least he is from London. It is, though, fair to say that Croydon South was not his first choice of parliamentary seat: Parker is among a number of losers among the Tory wannabe MPs, having lost in an open primary in Twickenham in September.
1pm mole update: Our mole in Purley has dug up some startling news. Luke Parker was a pupil at John Fisher School between 1987 and 1989, and even worked on a stall in Sutton market for a spell. So his #areyoulocal rating goes up by one point for having actually been knowingly south of the river, and another four points for knowing something about Croydon and Sutton: 6/10. Will this be enough to sustain a late challenge?
We have added Parker to our online open primary, where he starts with the same number of votes as Chris Philp, who has had two days so far to garner absolutely no support – with Croydon Conservatives displaying no gratitude whatsoever for Philp’s generous financial assistance to their party.
Interesting that florid-faced Mike Fisher, the only local to be reckoned good enough to make the final 15, leads our polling so far, just ahead of the very credible Dr Rachel Joyce.
“Mike will be on the short list come the selection meeting next Tuesday,” our mole tells us confidently.
“But it will just take one phone call from Cameron, and Oliver Dowden will get it.”
That sort of suggests that Tory Central Office might resort to “parachuting in” a trusted No10 advisor to Croydon South, one of the safest Tory seats in London. Surely that could never be the case?
By this morning, Dowden had attracted less than 4 per cent of the votes from Inside Croydon’s loyal reader. We will wait for our mole’s next update on how the Downing Street flunky fares.
- Top candidates provide Croydon with chance of fresh start
- Read brief biogs of the other candidates on the Tories’ long list
Coming to Croydon
- Frankenstein’s Travelling Freakshow: Nov 5-8
- Poppy Cafe, Coulsdon, re-opening: Nov 9
- Aurora Orchestra with Samuel West perform Britten and Auden: Nov 10
- The Kings of Summer: Nov 11
- St Giles School open morning: Nov 13
- Secret Love at the Ashcroft Theatre: Nov 14
- Summer in February: Nov 18
- Much Ado About Nothing: Nov 25
- Future Tech City: Nov 30
- Comedy in Music show: Dec 1
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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- Council faces massive compensation bill over housing failings (insidecroydon.com)
- The polished people of Tonbridge and Malling (richardosley.wordpress.com)