The wrangle over Anne McIntosh’s future as MP for Thirsk and Malton has taken a dramatic new turn with the Conservative Party’s national headquarters advising the local association to hold an open primary.
The constituency’s Conservative Association voted not to reselect Ms McIntosh despite her having an 11,000 majority at the 2010 election.
Since then Ms McIntosh has been pressing for an open primary to be held which, in addition to paid up members of the party, would see other supporters of her and the party, have a say. A party spokesman said the guidance had been issued to all constituencies. Ms McIntosh said: “I believe I have strong support among the electorate who are not paid-up members of the party. An open primary meeting would bring the association together and unite behind one candidate. That is the most open, transparent and democratic way of selecting a candidate.”