Tory chairman in bid to oust St Albans MP Anne Main

EMBATTLED MP Anne Main revealed this week that the local branch of her association is split over a plan to deselect her. Seema Kennedy, chairman of St Albans Conservatives Association, h

EMBATTLED MP Anne Main revealed this week that the local branch of her association is split over a plan to deselect her.

Seema Kennedy, chairman of St Albans Conservatives Association, has invited her to a meeting on August 13 to discuss her deselection.

Mrs Main said: "I am very shocked by this as only five weeks ago I attended a meeting where I received a unanimous vote of confidence."

Mrs Kennedy is believed to have been acting in tandem with her deputy Matt Peck but without the support of the majority of her executive committee.

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The MP had apparently been reassured by more than three-quarters of the 40 executive members that they were solidly behind her and wished her to continue as MP.

Pat Rosalki, a key Tory Party member who is also chairman of the Conservatives Women's Association, confessed to being deeply puzzled and angered by Mrs Kennedy's actions.

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She said: "I and other officers of the St Albans Conservative Association have been deeply unhappy at the actions of our chairman, Seema Kennedy. She has repeatedly ignored our duly elected Executive Council decisions. Anne has our full support. We have no confidence in the chairman or her actions."

She went on: "We know Anne is a fantastic MP with huge support within the Executive Council, the Association and most importantly within the constituency.

"We have repeatedly requested that the chairman calls a meeting of the Executive Council to explain herself and the actions of another officer. They in turn are being called on to resign. We and the majority of the Executive Council fully support Anne and we will make this clear at any meeting."

Mrs Rosalki and other members have called a meeting of the Executive Committee tonight at the branch office in High Street, London Colney, to discuss the chairman's actions.

Mrs Main was accused of misusing her Commons allowances by registering a flat in her constituency of St Albans as her second home even though she has a house 25 miles away in Beaconsfield, Bucks, and no regular accommodation in the capital. While her daughter was allegedly staying in her official second home, Mrs Main claimed a 10 per cent discount on her council tax for the property. That can only be obtained for homes in which nobody lives full-time.

Mrs Main said that her daughter did not pay rent and insisted that she did not live in the flat full-time.

She also charged the taxpayer more than �1,000 a month in mortgage interest payments, along with service charges and utility bills along with the cost of furniture and upkeep.

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

Mrs Kennedy said yesterday: "Following the revelations about Mrs Main's claim for a second home allowance many members of my Association have expressed to me and my officers concerns about whether Mrs Main is the right person to fight the next General Election for the Conservative Party.

"For the benefit of both the Association and all the constituents of St Albans it is important that we draw a line under this debate."

The meeting will be held at All Saints Pastoral Centre, Shenley Lane, London Colney, St Albans on Thursday, August 13, at 7.30pm.

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