Tuesday, October 27, 2009

David Davis "Outraged" Over Truss Deselection Bid

I'm travelling back to London on a train from Guildford where David Davis and I have been treading the boards at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre.

We have just heard the news that South West Norfolk Conservatives have voted to refer Liz Truss's selection back to a full meeting of the Association, which will take place in nearly three weeks' time.

I believe the Party and its leadership must take a very strong stand on this. It is completely unacceptable for Liz to be treated like this, and I have no doubt that it wouldn't be happening if she was male. If SW Norfok Tories are so incompetent that they can't use Google that's their lookout. Their social outlook is neanderthal. Should having an affair disqualify you from standing? No. Should not overtly revealing it to a selection process disqualify you? No. If this is allowed to stand, we're heading down a very slippery slope.

David Davis just told me. "I don't know Liz Truss but I am outraged to hear of this and it's no way to treat anybody, least of all when you have been so careless as to conduct a selection without looking them up on Google."


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you Iain. The reaction tonight by the committee is farcical by referring Mrs Truss's selection. All it does is give ammunition to opposition parties and make the Conservatives look like out of touch prats

Richard Patient said...

Bonkers is what I call the Norfolk Tories. Get a grip.

jailhouselawyer said...

Er? Is there anything we should know about which may generate adverse publicity?

It does have the old casting couch impression about selection.

There's the element about trust and breach of trust.

MPs have already lost the public's trust, how is her conduct going to regain this?

Johnny Norfolk said...

I think it is completely unacceptable for Tory HQ to interfear with what the local people want. I do not think is is anything to do with her affair, but loss of trust. People should have the MP they want not what you want. Its no wonder people are sick of all this. Cameron going on about having decisions as far down the line as posible and as soon as it is put to the test, not a bit of it, its telling people what to do again.
Keep out of it and leave it to the local people.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, Lyn Truss is being treated abominably. But that's her and your party's political base, with the prospect of victory in sight the neanderthals crawl out. You can see it the growing confidence of the euro-sceptics. No sign of progressive conservatism there.

Unknown said...

Hugh Culver CBE looks like a prize prat. Newsnight's 3rd story

Bath plugs for the many, not the few said...

The local party has the right to do this; they should not be kowtowing to central control. This kind of interference is destructive of democracy.

Notwithstanding the opinions of many commenters here, this is a significant moral issue. Good morals don't go out of date.

Paddy Briggs said...

Ms Truss's sex life, past, present and future is no business of anyone but herself and those close to her.

Faceless Bureaucrat said...

Have a care, Iain - the rules are clear (whether you agree with them or not) that the Candidate MUST disclose any relevant issue to the Committee themselves. Failure to do so is a clear breach of the rules and however neanderthal you may think they are, they are the rules of the game. If any PPC feels they do not want to play by those rules, they should not play the game in the first place.

In any case Iain, you of all people know Norfolk well and to expect anyone sitting on a Conservative Association Selection Committee in that neck of the woods to have even heard of Google, let alone know how to access it, is naive in the extreme.

Sadly, Ms. Truss should have realised that not raising the issue formally with the Committee straight away was asking for trouble...

Claudius said...

Clearly, CCHQ knew, but didn't tell the Association.

Weygand said...

I know nothing about Mrs Truss - and do not see why that she may have had an affair with anybody should matter - but find it surprising that you are so categoric about the matter without knowing the facts.

A position you are normally swift to criticise.

As a mere hypothesis - Were it the case that a candidate had given certain assurances or even made denials that now seem unfounded, would it not undermine the trust that had been placed in her?

The association would say "We trust the word of candidates on the approved list - we do not search the ether for gossip; vetting is for Central Office"

It may well be that Mrs Truss will be confirmed - and on the face of things I see no reason why she shouldn't be - but if information likely to be the subject of national headlines was kept from the association somebody has been at fault - and if Central Office kept the matter quiet then it is to blame, not Mrs T and not the associaition.

Martin S said...

I wonder if paulstpancras has seen the Labour Party local branches in action?

Now they are truly Neanderthal.

verity's lovechild said...

I don't see that it's terribly "neanderthal" not to want an adulterer as your elected representative. Would that it were equally easy to avoid having a liar or thief.

That said, the local Tories' apparent inability to basic research on their candidates does not inspire much confidence.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster said...

Let the people decide.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Norfolk is a very traditional place,
Where my word is my bond still holds.
Locals take time to get to know new people.
They are not at all trendy and live by hard work and old fashioned values.
If they feel that this candidate has not leveled with them, or held back on things that matter to them. this would be a gross loss of trust.
This is not the Labour party that just does what they are told. and we do not know what the candidate has said in the selection.
Cameron should leave it to the local people and back them.

Remember what happened to Heath

I think our leading politicians have a far to high opinion of themselves, They need to come back down to earth and remember they are here to serve us not the other way round.I am afraid we need to judge Caneron by what he does not what he says,
and as for Iain saying central office should take a very hard line over this, just who does he think he is talking to in that manner. I am suptrised at his comments.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Johnny Norfolk " Outraged " at interfearance by David Davis and Iain Dale in the local selection of candidates in Norfolk. Before you make comments please avail yourselves of the facts on what has been said in the selection process.

PS Iain stop firing bullets for other people.

Andy said...

"...the rules are clear...that the Candidate MUST disclose any relevant issue to the Committee themselves."

Of course they must disclose any relevant issue. The point is, this clearly isn't a relevant issue.

When potential candidates are asked at the end of any selection panel, "is there anything in your past that, if it were to become public knowledge, could be embarrassing for you or the Association", we surely don't mean this kind of thing!

Truly shocking. I am an Association Chairman, and I would be ashamed of my Association if its decided to treat a candidate in this way.

Iain Dale said...

Johnny Norfolk, Weygand, I do know the facts of this case, and they do not justify the reaction of the association. Nobody has kept anything relevant from the local party. If any of them had had an ounce of competence they could have read about these matters on the internet. But even so, they are irrelevant to her ability to do her job.

Paul W.E. Ingham said...

They were probably upset that Ms Truss and Field weren't even related.

HH said...

What planet are these Neanderthals on?

Andrew Kennedy said...

Perhaps the of the SW Norfolk Conservative Executive Council should all publish details of their own sexual history so we can judge if they are suitable people to pass judgement on others.

Anonymous said...

Reality check.

At end of affair, a marriage was ended. It used to be that if you destroyed someone else's marriage, that was the end of your public career. See people of the stature of Parnell ferinstance.

This woman needs deselecting.


Magical_Mist said...

It's a joke really isn't it? If you were to take a selection of conservative members in this constituency, do you think they'd all be over the age of 70?

Craig Ranapia said...

Faceless Bureaucrat said...
Have a care, Iain - the rules are clear (whether you agree with them or not) that the Candidate MUST disclose any relevant issue to the Committee themselves.

So, what constitutes a "relevant issue"? For the prurient out there, the average number of times a day I masturbated while a teenager might be relevant to my fitness (or otherwise) to stand for Parliament.

I wouldn't, however, disclose that information and anyone who asked would be told to get their minds out of the sewer, and if they couldn't refocus their attention on relevant matters I'd be off.

I've never been unfaithful to my partner of 14 years, but we've had some damn spectacular knock-down, drag-out, eye-gouging, no holds barred (figuratively speaking) rows. In private, and with no hint of criminal domestic violence. Want to know what they were about, or how extensive my vocabulary of vulgar insults is?

MYOB is the appropriate web acronym, I believe.

Dual Citizen said...


That's the URL for leaving comments and suggestions to the SW Norfolk association. I'll be sending my support for Liz when I get home. And I'm not a party member.

Maybe if you Iain, DD and other high profile Conservatives do the same, they may see some sense.

WV - bilessem. Kinda appropriate!

Hawkeye said...

If I were Liz Truss I would tell them to stuff their seat and leave them to it. I'm sure she will find another seat elsewhere. She should leave and CCHQ should give the locals hell for creating such an abominable mess.

Would you really want to go into an election campaign knowing that your local party did not want you or doubted your integrity?

Either Truss goes or the doubters go. They cannot kiss and make up.

Unknown said...

@Iain, I am not so sure you can be really so definite that her actions are 'irrelevant to do her job'.

She had an affair for substantial period of time. That means she was conducting an organised deceit for a substantial period of time. With primacy being placed on rebuilding the image of politicians as moral beings, plus Dave Cameron's pro-family and marriage policies, it could look rather hypocritical.

It is true of course, that there have been many politicians or public figures who have had heroic public lives but sordid private ones.

But where I think your argument is strongest is that it took place in the past. The Christian must believe in redemption and forgiveness, not vengence. As you say, very few of us - in fact no one - leads a perfect life.

But it is a moral grey area how you treat these cases. Taking absolutist stands full of righteous indignation for one side or the other is a bit silly, to be honest.

Raggy said...

If selection criteria includes never shagging anyone you shouldn't have, the available pool of talent is very much smaller. Why is this affair anyone's business?

Sadly my experience of my local party is that they have only recently discovered the typewriter. The Conservative Ladies events are always daytime and clearly not for us working girls. There is a lot of bright talent in the Tory party and I encounter much of it on the internet, blogs and twitter but the local associations need dragging into the 21st century sharpish.

If we get all women short lists it'll be a 'Who makes the best fairy cake' competition.

wonderfulforhisage said...

Whatever happened to the spirit of localism, localism, localism. Has it gone the same way of education, education, education?

I hope the Heir to Blair keeps his nose out of this one.

newsed1 said...

Anybody who will lie to to their spouse or partner....

...will surely willingly lie in other areas of their life.

Politicians have a poor enough reputation as it is and, what's more, why force an adulterer on Norfolk, especially an adulterer who cannot play by the selection rules.

What's happened here - the local party being made to look foolish and out of touch - is primarily because she didn't disclose something that will be of interest to the Tabloids.

Truss's inability to tell the truth has been exposed at the first hurdle. What other hot water is she destined to get into because she can't behave and - worse - can't be honest about it?

Adulterers are never trouble free, don't you think?

Prescott = pillock
Nice Mr major = pillock
Pantsdown = pillock
Curry = pillock

you get the idea...

Major Tom said...

An affair of his sort would have you thrown out of the services. Why should politics demand lower morals?

David Bridle said...

He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her..... time for the Tories to accept human fraility and be a bigger party that embraces all. "Sinners" included! I vote for MPs who are human... if you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

Most local Conservative Associations are full of dreadful people who you should avoid at all costs.

Daily Mail reading hypocrites...

David Cameron is very likeable - but there are still too many old style Tories out there. Get rid of them !

As long as Truss didn't lie about her personal life then 'the affair' is not an issue for most fair minded people.

Tapestry said...

That would be a good read - 'The South West Norfolk Conservative Sexual History Register'.

Paul Ingham....Lolz.

Johnny Norfolk said...

A new MP is found to have had an affair with another MP. Is this what we want before we are even back in power. It may not matter to Cameron, Dale and Davies but it does to many people.
She should have raised this issue with the local party. You just do not understand Norfolk at all.

Its all about trust, It may mean nothing to you but it does to us. How can Cameron as leader act like this. He takes a hard line with some without mercy and a soft line with others on his whim.

A leader should leave it to others at first as he may have to be the honest broker in the end and Cameron has showed bias to this candidate. Poor leadership. We do not want a party like Labour where the leader is a god.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I had always understood that all tory women are like that - thought it was the only attractive thing about the wicked tories.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Can people not understand. Its not about sex its about trust. People do not want an MP they feel they cannot trust.
We are not Neanderthals. We know that google is the noise you make when you drink, and we have had colour television for some years now.
So deal with your problems and leave Norfolk to deal with its own.
Cameron should remember the support he has had from Norfolk in the wildernes years and show some respect for its people.
He should talk to his other Norfolk MPs before shouting his mouth off.He is looking more like a little dictator, and we know what happens to them.

Anonymous said...

Oh that we all had such unblemished pasts that we could stand for SW Norfolk.
When I was 11 I wrote a rude word on a front doorstep and the police became involved!
Would SW Norfolk regard that as a breach of trust if I didn't tell them?

Knut said...

I'd sympathise with SW Norfolk if she was still having the affair. She isn't and it is hardly something that was hidden from even the most cursory of searches. I'm more concerned about the lack of background research SWN do on their candidates.

Sean said...

I'm afraid that the more I see of how the Tories select their candidates, the more I wonder that many good people get through at all.

CCHQ is arguably incompetent: local associations are in some cases close to open revolt (rightly or wrongly). Both sides are often high-handed.

This particular case can (and has) been argued from both sides. One thing I don't agree with is that it's biased against Liz Truss because of her sex: many men have lost their political careers, or worse their marriages, in exactly the same way.

Doug said...

Agree with Faceless Bureaucrat.

First, do we believe in localism or not? If not then we should all just shut up.

Second, everyone is required to divulge this kind of information before selection. Let's be clear this isn't about an affair it is about disclosing the most high profile publicity she has had in the past and bad publicity at that.

It is not nor has it ever been the responsibility of the committee or an employer to investigate potential employees backgrounds other than through the information divulged by the potential employee themselves. That is why it requires full disclosure and honesty from the candidate.

It doesn't bode well for the future when Liz Truss has already been caught out obfuscating to the selection committee.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I think Cameron has done well in opening candidate selection to either the whole local party or the whole local population.
Having done a good job he must now stand back and let it run.
Regretably he is not doing this he is interfearing by saying who the candidates must be and discriminating against men. Then telling the local party that they must select this candidate even though she may not now have the support of the majority of the local party/population. She may or may not be selected, but Cameron should support the local decision.

The way he is behaving will doom the new Conservative government as if he does not support local Conservatives they will not support him.

His time would be far better used working on policy and telling the people what he intends to do about the EU etc.

He should do his job and the local party should do theirs.

Why does he not visit and talk to the members and understand their feelings before he makes national comment.

Openess works both ways.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Norfolk completely fails to get the point. He writes:

"A new MP is found to have had an affair with another MP. Is this what we want before we are even back in power."

No. Liz Truss was not "found" to have had an affair with another MP, which implies this is a recent revelation she had tried to hide. Instead she had an affair four years ago that was well publicised in the media. There was no attempt at concealment at all as far as I can see and thus no issue of "trust".

Unsworth said...

I couldn't care less about who or what Ms Truss may be having sexual realtions with - as long as it doesn't disturb the traffic.

What really pisses me off is the sheer bleeding effrontery of some jumped-up 'selection panel' thinking it is any of their damn business. That panel should be asked to explain to the public why it found it necessary to concern itself with such matters.

Perhaps they all get some sort of weird sexual gratification from asking these questions. Are they perverts in South West Norfolk?

Osric said...

I completely disagree. I accept that the Conservative Association were stupid not to have simply Googled "Elizabeth Truss", but the fact is that she should have been open and honest about her affair in the first place. If the Tories are the party of the family, which which David Cameron keeps insisting, we shouldn't be so blase about this matter.

Tapestry said...

Johnny Norfolk's 'About Me' on his blog reads -

I just wish politicians would just run things and stop trying to run our private lives for us.


The word hypocrisy might suggest.

Nich Starling said...

You seem to be unaware that the namnes of the candidates was kept private until the start of the meeting, meaning that people were not able to google the candidates first.

I seem to recall something similar happened after your selection Iain.

Weygand said...

Iain misses the point - it is nothing to do with morality.

The association clearly feel they have been misled either by Central Office or the candidate or by both.

It does not matter that they could have made enquiries themeselves. They were entitled to take Central Office and the candidate on trust.

The whole point of trust is that you put yourself in the hands of someone else. It's what personal and public reltaionships are built on and what frequently makes them stronger and worthwhile.

Iain says he knows the whole story - and so can he confirm that no representations were made by Central Office or the candidate that the association feel were far from candid (which the association seems to think)? If so, let us know and I will shut up and go away.

From the outside there is the smell of Central Office deliberately keeping information from the association in case it sabotaged a woman candidate - and if so would show that, as so often, it is the cover up not the original issue that has created the problem.

Non Runner said...

David Davis 'outraged' over Truss deselection bid.

MPs 'furious' over Kelly proposals.

What a self-centred bunch of arses.

True Belle said...

Damn the lot of them.

If I were Liz Truss I would find a far more attractive seat and put myself up as an Independent!

How many men have been wayward- Look at dear blue eyed Boris, nothing stopped him from becoming what he is now.

Those who throw stones and all that, oh dear.

Johnny Norfolk said...


"I just wish politicians would just run things and stop trying to run our private lives for us."

You could also add that is consistant with the above.

" and leave local decisions to local people"

Manstein Plan said...

The fact is something WAS hidden which combined with Liz's anointment as the "CCHQ candidate" clearly got the Association's goat, particularly given the recent hoo-ha about shortlists. They were looking for someone to kill and poor Liz blundered into their sights.
She has clearly been BADLY advised by the same people at CCHQ responsible for such selection triumphs as Ealing Southall, Maidstone and Gillingham, where favourite sons/daughters are marched to the front of the queue on account of gender/ethnicity/sexuality etc.

"Don't worry laddy/love...just keep quiet about/don't mention the ***** and we'll see that you're alright."

(Much better to have taken the Steve Norris route - admit to it, apologise for it and then ... make a joke of it.)

Sorry CCHQ you've been rumbled! Your clunking and hamfisted attempts to manipulate candidate selection has blown back in your faces. I'm just sorry that a candidate as talented as Liz has been your fall guy/girl.

In future: BACK OFF!

Anonymous said...

Well this is worrying. I wrote a response yesterday which went against the sentiments of the topic - now it seems that those with a different view are to have no voice.

And it only seems like yesterday that people were complaining about Labour and Free Speech.

Hw short people's memories are.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Advice for David Cameron, David Davies and Iain Dale


It doesn't add up... said...

@Norfolk Blogger:

Absolute nonsense. The names were announced and discussed in the local press (published 10 October, and online the following day):


The only excuse you could have is that I understand a male candidate substituted for David Rutley after he was selected for Macclesfield, and one of the other women dropped out. You had a whole fortnight to research the candidates.

Frugal Dougal said...

When a marriage goes to hell in a handcart because of an affair, it's usually because of the actions of two consenting adults. So why is it that the woman is assumed to be the "home-wrecker"?

Iain Dale said...

Nich Starling, wrong and wrong. It's becoming a habit. The 6 candidates faced the Association Executive the previous Wednesday. Their names were in the EDP.

In my own case, there was also press coverage in the EDP before the selection.


Anonymous said...

Shame on you SWN. It is you who should resign and not the excellent candidate.

I am surprised that James Tumbridge has not writen in to support Liz.

I think the time has come for CCHQ to announce that fron now all selections will be done through an open primary system.

I hope Liz stands her ground. If selected she will receive very good support from the public.

I hope that SWN does not get away with this. They should be put on special measures as from today.

Anonymous said...

Well, ok so having an affair with Mark Field probably does show she is a bit soft in the head but it is rather harsh to try and deselect her for it!

I suspect it is probably just sour grapes form some local-yocal jumped-up little councillor that wanted the seat and didn't get it.

Scary Biscuits said...

I suspect Davis and Iain are just outraged that any local association should have the temerity to deselect any candidate ever. How dreadful to threaten MPs' jobs for life. It's the leadership's job to control candidates, not local people. Goodness me, next they'll be suggesting that candidates 'represent' their constituencies.

On a more serious note, I very much doubt that we have heard all there is to this story. It is indeed very unlikely that she is being deselected 'just' for having an undeclared affair with an MP. It is more likely she has done other things to upset her local party and this affair is the excuse for their action, not the real reason. People like Iain should remember that before shooting their mouths off.

Roger Dodger said...

I like David Davis. Balls and integrity.

Faceless Bureaucrat said...

@ Scary Biscuit 1:14pm

"It is more likely she has done other things to upset her local party and this affair is the excuse for their action, not the real reason."

Being a former Liberal Democrat and publicly advocating bringing down the Monarchy probably didn't help either.


Anonymous said...

@discobiscuit "It is more likely she has done other things to upset her local party and this affair is the excuse for their action, not the real reason. People like Iain should remember that before shooting their mouths off."

Why? Why should Iain remember 'this'?
Small town - small mind?

Change is coming. Embrace it or get left behind.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Iain.

This just shows that most women are totally unsuitable for parliament.

It is a man's world as Sir James Brown said.

Anglo Saxon said...

I totally love this type of blog as it provides information that I and others would not know. I would refer to the research uncovered by F B @ 2.58pm that Ms Truss was formally a LibDem and a anti Royalist. That would seal her fate with me if I was a Norfolk voter.

Naive Nina said...

Its enough to make any woman involved in politics become a militant feminist. Call me naive but I had no idea such overt sexism existed, in SWN, the ether, or anywhere else! Wow! Chain me to the railings of SWN Conservative Association now. If ever there was an argument for AWS here it is in black and white.

Craig Ranapia said...

I would refer to the research uncovered by F B @ 2.58pm that Ms Truss was formally a LibDem and a anti Royalist.

OMFG -- you mean there are people in the Conservative Party who weren't signed up the moment their cord was tied? Am I the only person who thinks that the anti-Truss camp are really starting to look a wee bit silly now?

Anonymous said...

Lets hope that the wider membership will support Liz.

It appears from their website that SWN did not engage very much with the Press and the local community about the selection.

Their web site is dreadful and the last entry about the selection was made on September 10. What away to run an Association.

Anonymous said...

Why would they google her?

They're all septugenarian Tories- from Norfolk - probably including the chairman and secretary who, let me remind you, are from Norfolk.

Incredible to the blogosphere as that may seem, it's all too believable to me.

Quietzapple said...

I might interest myself in Dave Davis' views on moral issues if he and his ilk were more forthcoming on:


Tony said...

I am not certain this action by SW Norfolk Assc is actually sexist. Yes, it's possible. But they may have chosen to act in the same way if a male candidate had once engaged in an extra marital affair. We will likely never know.

But quite clearly the association has chosen to forget, or at least set aside, the reasons why they selected Liz Truss to be their candidate. Their treatment of her is disgraceful, embarrassing and short sighted.

Clearly the level of incompetence at SW Norfolk has exceeded every acceptable measure and their 20/20 hindsight has severely undermined their candidate with only months until the election. Incredible.

a fine city said...

"Not overtly revealing it" ! - I much prefer 'economical with the actualité'. If I have the candidate in front of me I would hope that I would not need to use google to verify their responses. It is not a mark of the dark ages to expect people to be open with you if they are trying to win your trust.

Unknown said...

Lynn Truss is not being treated disgracefully; her treatment is of her own making. The onus should not be on other people to Google someone but to expect honesty from them in the first place.

Lyn Truss apart, many people are fed up with having outsiders thrust upon them. SW Norfolk were spoiled with an exceptional MP in Baroness Shephard, who was a local, and we want a local again. I have no time for all-men or all-women selection lists. We just want the best people and local at that. We don't know Lynn Truss and she (obviously) doesn't know us. Comments like 'neanderthal' will do nothing to improve the situation; it only shows your intolerance and thoroughly bad manners.

Anonymous said...

@ Jeffrey. You are part of the problem, not the solution.

small town, small mind. Sounds about right.

Matt said...

well said Jeffrey.

Iain, you're out of your depth here, this is about local people making local choices.

If they believe that there has been a breach of trust and that their reputation is being damaged, then they have the option to do something about it.

Reading conservative home's website, Tim Montgomery sounds like Old Labour when he says that the local party are stretching his patience - its none of his, or YOUR - business.

Unfortunately both this and a number of other issues makes me less and less inclined to vote Tory. This party of yours doesn't look too open and friendly. I suspect a lot of people in Norfolk - and other conservative areas - think the same. Morals matter, but not if you want power it seems.

Anonymous said...

@ Matt. " its none of his, or YOUR - business."

Total absolute nonsense. The Tory mantra is 'we're all in this together'. Right?

@ Matt. "Unfortunately both this and a number of other issues makes me less and less inclined to vote Tory. "

Ironically, it's people like you who make me less likely to ever vote Tory.

Verity said...

Bath Plugs for The Many - Agreed. She betrayed the person she swore an oath to be loyal to. This is a severe character flaw, especially in one who wants to become an honourable member

An affair between two people married to other people involves a lot of dishonesty, conniving, sneaking around, lying and careful planning.

Ms Truss may prosper in other areas, but she cannot be an honourable member.

Also, David Cameron should butt the hell out of local constituency matters. On a control freakery scale, I put him ahead of Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter is, you may recall, the President of the United States who occupied himself with drawing up detailed rotas for use of the White House swimming pool by staff.

Chris said...

1) Most people would regard Liz Truss's affair with Mark Field as morally wrong.

2)Some people would view that behaviour as making her unsuitable to be an MP. MPs are suffering a chronic respect deficit at the moment. Some voters will find it hard to support Liz Truss because of this and members of the Association may feel that right now this is an electoral negative they could do without. Whether you agree with that judgement or not - it's a valid one.

3) Technically Liz Truss did not break the rules in failing to flag up the story because it was already in the public domain. But then most MPs did not break the rules on expenses - technically. She may be in the clear but it doesn't pass the 'smell test'.

4) I do not think there is any obligation on the selection committee to do their own research on 'A-list' candidates via Google or in any other way. CCHQ should profile them properly and major archive stories like this one should be included. Selection committees need all relevant information to make the right decision for their particular constituency. This information is clearly relevant for reasons explained in (2) above.

5) Liz Truss was very unwise not to flag the story up to the committee in a seat like SW Norfolk. Even if her selection is ratified by the full Association meeting there will be relationship damage that can never be repaired. If she was the best candidate she should have got the nomination even with this old story properly on the table.

So, for my money the only people who have done no wrong are the much maligned selection committee. Under the circumstances I think they are very wise to ensure that a majority of members support this selection. Otherwise her opponents at the election will have an angle to exploit - that she gained the nomination by deceit. Whether justified or not - it's an accusation they need to be in a position to refute and endorsement by the whole Association is now the best way to do that.

Anonymous said...

Verity...I came over here to escape your constant Cameron clamering.
What's wrong too many post on the other channel asking you to SHUT IT?
You live in Canada....no sorry...Mexico. We don't need your Tory supporting....Cameron bashing messages..

Unknown said...

Canvas. You epitomise every thing wrong with New Tory. Insults will not change our minds, in fact, they will harden our resolve.

Anonymous said...

Iain, you reported to us (with some glee) on Lord Goldsmith's affair on 17 Feb 2007. He pleaded that it was a 'private matter' but that did not stop you. "Anyone would think we were atching a replay of the 1990s at the moment - in spades. No doubt they were wearing a Chelsea shirt..". Very funny. 2009 sleaze is not private just because it is an A-lister.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says "2009 sleaze is not private just because it is an A lister." I think you will find CCHQ and Ms Truss rather hoped it was! The squeaking and shrieking outrage emanating from the city slickers that the country bumpkins found, nearly too late, that they had been duped and are now doing something about it is hilarious. One thing that this whole sorry episode will teach local associations is not to trust CCHQ as far as you can throw them.

It is nice to know that Mr Dale has changed his mind about being vile to people who have affairs and are trying to keep it private. Full written apology to Lord Goldsmith perhaps? Not holding my breath.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain. I think you need to read this piece from the EDP.


It all sounds like a stitch up from CCO to me.

maddysbloke said...

You're just wrong Iain. It's not for interviewers to look these things up, it's for candidates to be open and honest about their lives and 'affairs'. In all probability, Mrs Truss chose not to mention it in the hope it wouldn't be noticed. She could then confidently expect this kind of defence. GooSW Norfolk Conservatives for trying to do the right thing here.d for