St Albans MP Anne Main beats off deselection bid - UPDATED

PUBLISHED: 09:32 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

Anne Main MP

Anne Main MP

A BID to oust Anne Main as MP for St Albans has failed with her securing a massive vote of confidence while the prime movers behind the plot to unseat her came sorely unstuck.

A BID to oust Anne Main as MP for St Albans has failed with her securing a massive vote of confidence while the prime movers behind the plot to unseat her came sorely unstuck.

During last night’s fiery meeting at All Saints Pastoral Committee the party faithful rounded on Tory chairman Seema Kennedy and her deputy Matt Peck and demanded to know why they had acted so “disgracefully”.

Lifelong Tory party member Tim Jones, 66, from Colney Heath, said: “I have never seen such strength of feeling in 40 years in politics. These were two people rowing their own boat without any reference to the members who were totally behind Anne Main. They took decisions behind closed doors in a totally undemocratic manner.

“Their actions must seem like manna from heaven to the other parties.”

Mrs Kennedy and Mr Peck allegedly based their move to oust Mrs Main on the results of a privately commission poll from Conservative Central Office showing that Mrs Main would damage the party’s chances in the general election.

But another member Ed Taylor said: “Seema was asked three times for the proof that this poll existed and failed to come up with a shred of evidence.

“This was an emphatic victory for Anne and we are now desperate to take the fight to the streets to get her re-elected.”

Mrs Kennedy resigned after the majority of the 160 members present voted to keep Mrs Main as their candidate.

Matt Peck was asked to resign afterwards but refused. However, members of the executive council voted unanimously first to have him deselected from his post then to have his membership terminated.

Speaking exclusively to the Herts Advertiser, Mrs Main said: “I was so touched by the many letters of support I have had especially from people who are not party members.

“Now it’s time to move on and deal with the main issues affecting St Albans like the rail freight problem, the severe economic crisis affecting people’s jobs and the fight to get a new primary school.”

The row had centred 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.

Commenting on the failed Conservative attempt to deselect Anne Main, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for St Albans Sandy Walkington said: “Anne Main may have won a vote amongst a few Tory faithful in the height of holiday season. She will have to face tens of thousands of St Albans voters next year.

"And we still have not heard the conclusions of the inquiry into her expenses by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.”

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