Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Local County Councillor Appears on BBC's Newsnight

Lincolnshire County Councillor, former Parliamentary Candidate for the Lincoln Constituency in 2001, Cllr. Mrs. Christine Talbot, Conservative (Bracebridge Heath and Waddngton Division) appeared on last night's Newsnight programme on the BBC 2 television channel commenting upon the South West Norfolk Constituency's meeting to deselect Liz Truss who a few weeks ago was selected as their parliamentary candidate.

Introducing the item, iconic Newsnight presenter, Jeremy Paxman, said:
"If someone told you a year ago the greatest challenge to David Cameron's Tory leadership would come from a bunch nick-named the 'turnip taliban' in rural Norfolk, you'd have had trouble being believed.

"Tonight's meeting about whether to de-select Elizabeth Truss as candidate because they didn't know she had an affair with a married Tory MP, Mark Field, a few years ago was surely the most exciting thing to happen in Swaffham since a cardboard box was seen blowing down the High Street.

"In the event a majority backed her, and back down from a confrontation with Mr. Cameron."
After a video package by political correspondent Michael Crick, including footage of Sir Jeremy Bagge - named as leader of the turnip taliban - and the suggestion that if Mrs. Truss was not de-selected he may stand for parliament for a newly created party - Christine Talbot emerged with Sue Catling, a management consultant, Conservative candidate for Calder Valley in 2005 who was de-selected and replaced by Mrs. Truss. Cllr. talbot was asked about the disconnect between the membership of the party and the wider electorate. She responded:
"The problem we face within the party is this centralised control that's going on. And when the rule changed in July that only six candidates could go forward to the selection process it narrowed it down. In the good old days at least twenty went to the first interview and the Association picked those themselves."
Later Cllr. Talbot, responding to criticism of the narrownes of the membership of the Conservative Party says:
"At the end of the day their is a cross section of members in this country which are now in associations they are the people who have got to work with people."
More than two hundred members of South West Norfolk Conservative Association turned-out to participate in the meeting. The final result was 132 for and 37 against keeping Mrs. Truss as the candidate. Speaking following the confirmation of her selection Mrs. Truss said:
"I am absolutely delighted to have been confirmed as the Parliamentary Candidate for South West Norfolk and very much look forward to working with everybody with in the Conservative Association to kick the Labour party out at the election."

Watch the BBC Newsnight's Report on Liz Truss here.

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