Cambridge Conservatives are in the process of selecting a prospective parliamentary candidate to fight the Cambridge seat in the 2015 general election.
The vacancy was advertised to those on the approved candidates list. I have mixed views on the use of this list.
The positives are obvious. We are assured that all candidates meet the minimum criteria to stand as a PPC for the Conservative party. They can communicate, develop ideas and can hold a debate. They also hold Conservative values. All this makes it easier for associations.
On the down side, associations are not involved in the process of approving people onto the list. Nor do they set the criteria. I worry that professionalising the selection process too much could result in “characters” not getting through and those with real passion missing out if they don’t hit all the buttons.
So, adverts are out with the closing date of the 23rd June. Cambridge Conservative Association, supported by central office, then carry out a sift of the applicants. Around 10 people will then go forward to be interviewed by the Cambridge Conservative Executive Council.
These interviews will result in 3 candidates being put up in front of all association members at a Special General Meeting of members. The PPC will be chosen.
As Chairman, I am responsible for the whole process, until the SGM, which is chaired by our President Lord Balfe.
We want to get the right person. The right person who can win the the seat. The right person to promote Conservative values. The right person to represent the very special city of Cambridge.
The good news is that it will be our association that chooses not central office. We will remain fiercely independent on this matter.