Is Yeovil MP’s fate in the balance?
A lot of chatter in South Somerset today followed a series of tweets from Yeovil MP Marcus Fysh. The text of the tweets runs as follows:
Despite previously being readopted to stand for the Yeovil constituency, there are going to be new boundaries for the new Yeovil constituency and the Party has taken the decision that all MPs in this position need to be readopted on the revised boundaries.
In light of this, I have decided to opt for a ballot of all Conservative members to be their candidate for the new Yeovil Constituency at the next General Election.
I feel that it is a good opportunity to involve members and I am looking forward to talking to them about my record of local delivery and my plans for the new Constituency.
The tweets have drawn attention largely because the reason given for the ballot appears utterly implausible. Whilst it is not untrue to say Yeovil constituency boundaries have changed, the changes have been minute. Largely involving the parish of Yeovilton and a few villages round Ham Hill ( Montacute, Norton-sub-Hamdon and Stoke-sub-Hamdon). All of the major settlements remain unchanged. Most of the southern, eastern and western boundaries of the constituency are likewise unchanged.
Hardly momentous considering Frome is to become a new constituency on its own. Or that West Somerset is being carved away from Bridgwater to form Minehead and Tiverton constituency. Or even the creation of a new constituency of Somerton and Glastonbury. These are major boundary changes. Moving the parishes of Yeovilton, Montacute, Norton-sub-Hamdon and Stoke-sub-Hamdon with no disrespect to its inhabitants, is not.
A more likely explanation is that the executive of the Yeovil constituency Conservative Party, refused to adopt him as their candidate. We cannot at this point confirm that. However such are the rumours we have heard in Leveller Towers today. For his part Mr Fysh has notably made no comment on the input of the local party executive which was also odd.
It is normal procedure for the constituency party executive to select/approve/adopt the candidate. Then once selected, the candidate is put to the members.
Members will not always do as they are told of course. Theo Clarke, the MP for Stafford, was deselected as a Parliamentary candidate by her constituency executive committee. However members thought otherwise and voted her back in.
All that being said, Yeovil constituency party members deserve to know. Has Mr Fysh the backing of the constituency party executive or not? And if not why not? We know that the executive has met. So what was their decision?
We have attempted to contact the constituency party executive to confirm the rumours, so far unsuccessfully. If any member of the executive wishes to get in touch and confirm whether Mr Fysh has or has not been approved by them, we’d be delighted to hear from them.