Further wranglings in St Albans MP deselection row

PUBLISHED: 12:35 03 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 May 2010

Anne Main MP

Anne Main MP

THE ROW over calls to deselect St Albans MP Anne Main has deepened divisions between members of the local Tory party. Local Tory chairman Seema Kennedy – supported by her deputy Matt Peck - had called a meeting on August 13 for all 300 members of the part

THE ROW over calls to deselect St Albans MP Anne Main has deepened divisions between members of the local Tory party.

Local Tory chairman Seema Kennedy - supported by her deputy Matt Peck - had called a meeting on August 13 for all 300 members of the party to decide Mrs Main's future.

But at a meeting of the executive council on Thursday it became clear that the majority of members backed Mrs Main and called instead for action to be taken against the prime instigators of the plan to deselect her.

The meeting at which 33 members of the executive committee were present unanimously expressed their lack of confidence in deputy chairman Matt Peck and called for his immediate resignation.

Mrs Kennedy and Mr Peck have also been given 14 days notice to attend a meeting of the executive council to discuss termination of their membership, scheduled for August 12. - the day before Mrs Main has been called to a deselection meeting

The executive council also unanimously re-affirmed its support for Mrs Main as MP for St Albans and as its candidate at the next General Election.

Speaking after the meeting Mrs Main said: "The members present made it quite clear that they had not been consulted by Mrs Kennedy about her views, and the calling of a meeting to discuss deselection.

"I am deeply disappointed that the party is having to engage in a fruitless activity at a time when we should be fighting for the issues that concern my constituents."

The row centres around Mrs Main's alleged abuse of Commons allowances. She was accused of allowing her daughter to live rent-free in her St Albans flat despite claiming a 10 per cent discount on her council tax for the property. The discount is only available for homes in which nobody lives full-time.

Last year Mrs Main claimed a total of more than £22,000 in second home expenses.

Mrs Kennedy, who was unavailable for comment, previously claimed that members of her Association had expressed doubts about Mrs Main's fitness to fight the next General Election on behalf of the Conservative Party.


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