06:00 Tuesday 14 January 2014

Activists quit South East Cambridgeshire Conservatives after 'second choice' Lucy Frazer confirmed as candidate


Colin Barker, who has resigned from South East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association. Colin Barker, who has resigned from South East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association.

Tories have ripped up their membership cards after a ‘second choice’ candidate was confirmed as the party’s prospective MP for South East Cambridgeshire.

The News has been told that several activists have quit the association after it voted to stick with Lucy Frazer, who topped the vote at an open primary last month after an apparent miscount.

Ballots which would have handed victory to second-placed Heidi Allen were wrongly given to Ms Frazer, it was claimed.

But members decided party unity and hanging onto Ms Frazer was more important than rerunning the contest.

Former association vice-chairman Alan Shepherd, from Bottisham, said he could not go along with this.

He said: “It falls below the high standards I expect from a Conservative association. It’s obvious the other girl won so it should have been run again.”

Former councillor Colin Barker, of Newmarket Road, Teversham, said he had quit the association after being a member for more than 25 years.

He said: “I believe in Conservative values like democracy, fairness and honesty, but all of those have been thrown out of the window for the sake of convenience.

“I will not be part of that – it stinks.”

Peter Cresswell, the association chairman, said Ms Frazer was an “extremely capable and talented” candidate and called on members to “put this difficult situation behind us”.

Ms Allen has endorsed Ms Frazer.

Ms Allen added: “I am, of course, very disappointed that I was unsuccessful, but we must now look to the future.

“In the spirit of moving forward, I urge everyone to support Lucy and to help her in her quest for election in 2015. It is only by working together that we achieve success.”

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