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.
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.
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.
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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Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema, The Imitation Game, Jan 22
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 24
- David Lean Cinema, Night Will Fall, Jan 27 (Holocaust Memorial Day)
- David Lean Cinema, Kon-Tiki, Jan 29
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Jan 31
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Feb 3
- Soul Symphony Community Choir taster session, Feb 3
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4
- Storytime (for under-8s), Oval Tavern, Addiscombe, Feb 7
- Tales of Love, Lost and Found, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 7
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Feb 10
- Uninvited Guests, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 11-13
- Mayor of Croydon’s charity Valentine’s concert, Feb 13
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Feb 17
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Feb 24
- Rosie Wilby, Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 27
- Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson, Stanley Halls, Feb 28
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Mar 3
- Holmes Alone, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 6
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Mar 10
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 11
- Iain Lee, Spread Eagle Theatre, Mar 14
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Mar 17
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Man to Man group session, St Andrew’s Church, Mar 24
- Eagle Improv, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 8
- Anatomy of the Piano, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 15
- Patrick Monahan, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 16-17
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
- South Norwood Community Festival, July 5
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