Sutton Tory refuses to canvass for beleaguered Barwell

An official Conservative Party election candidate in a south London constituency is refusing to help Tory MP Gavin Barwell in his battle to hold on to his seat in Croydon Central.

Sutton's new blue blood: Matthew Joseph Constable Maxwell-Scott. The hyphen may be optional, as is canvassing for Gavin Barwell

Sutton’s new blue blood: Matthew Joseph Constable Maxwell-Scott. The hyphen may be optional, as is canvassing for Gavin Barwell

Barwell is a career politician who won Croydon Central with a majority of less than 3,000 at the last General Election. He faces his parliamentary career being cut short after just five years, as a poll conducted by his former Conservative Central Office boss, Lord Cashcroft, places Barwell 6 per cent behind his Labour rival, Sarah Jones.

Last week, Inside Croydon reported how Tory Party chairman, Grant Shapps, had been ordering parliamentary candidates in less-winnable seats to come to the aid of beleaguered Barwell.

It is “absolutely vital”, Shapps told activists, to support the likes of Barwell in marginal seats. But apparently, it is not vital enough for certain candidates to bring themselves to campaign outside their constituency.

The email had been sent to a “Tory activist” in Carshalton and Wallington, who duly leaked it to the Evening Standard. The sitting MP in Carshalton and Wallington is the LibDem Minister Tom Brake, where the Conservative candidate is the heir presumptive to the inherited baronetcy of Constable Maxwell-Scott of Haggerston.

“Obviously, we want to make sure that your help is being utilised to the most value,” Shapps’ email to the “activist” stated.

“With this in mind we’d be really grateful if you could help out in Croydon Central. I appreciate that this may not be your home constituency, but it is absolutely vital that we get all offers of support into our most marginal seats.”

Other candidates from nearby seats, such as Chris Philp, from Croydon South, have dutifully rallied to Barwell’s side, campaigning in New Addington.

But the order from Central Office has gone down like a cup of cold sick with the aforementioned C&W Tory candidate, Matthew Joseph Constable Maxwell-Scott.
Maxwell Scott tweet
Demonstrating a commendable sense of humour, the former Wandsworth councillor and Tooting resident advised iC via Twitter, “I campaign solely in my seat.”

It is not yet clear what view Conservative Central Office might take of such bare-faced insubordination. The ultimate sanction could be the threat of non-selection in future. But then there’s always UKIP…

In his tweet, Maxwell Scott also advised us that he has managed to move home into his constituency (which is more than Barwell or Labour’s Croydon North MP Steve Reed have ever done), and that the hyphen in his surname has become an optional extra. A bit like canvassing for Barwell.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, Sarah Jones MP, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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