Baffled by party’s move against hard-working local MP

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From: Chris Parkin, Helmsley Branch Committee Member, Thirsk & Malton Conservative Association, Town Street, Old Malton.

I HAVE been trying to follow the saga of our local MP Anne McIntosh and the decision of the executive council of the Thirsk and Malton Conservative Constituency Association not to re-adopt the current incumbent.

With a majority at the last General Election of over 11,000 over the nearest rival I wondered what possible crime the sitting Member could have possibly committed to earn such disfavour from the erudite leaders of the local association?

Was there indeed another moat being emptied and cleaned at a stately home somewhere, another duck house on another pond requiring redecoration, perhaps a murder or at the very least a bad case of arson? But no, all I seem to be able find is that diary sharing was not de rigueur and that local issues were, it seems, not highly thought of. Perhaps I’ll let the people of Pickering, whatever their political persuasion, answer the latter as work started last week on the new £2m flood defences.

Well what do we know? Perhaps we can expect the local party officers to pop along to Pickering with their waders and sand bags when the next flood ensues but, thanks to a lot of hard work by the MP for the T&M Constituency and some others, they will most likely not be needed in a couple of years.

It has to be said that this is a remarkable story. I know of no author of any fiction that could configure a storyline like the one described above.

What else do we know?

We know that Anne McIntosh is a hard worker. I venture to suggest that no one becomes a Select Committee chairman by sitting back on their laurels. Nor is she is shy at tackling her own 
side on matters of rural 
concern.

We know that she is thorough in her attitude to her work. In the recent issue of flooding her precise and comprehensive responses to some probing questions have proved her knowledge on the subject is 
rarely equalled, as were the matters of food safety she addressed.

We know that she works 
hard from Monday to Thursday in the Commons and is 
normally available for constituency work at other times and I actually do not need a diary to tell me this.

I know through being involved in tourism that when a request for help, an appearance, an opinion or guidance has been requested it has been forthcoming.

We know that she carries 
the respect of most if not all in 
the farming community she comes into contact with – ask one. No, not landowners but someone who actually works on the land.

We know that she can be damaged by scurrilous rumour and innuendo and that she is only human, but I find that it is probably her most endearing quality.

From: Eric Weightman, Sheriff Hutton.

AS a lifetime resident, and Conservative supporter, I am ashamed that yet again some of the Malton Conservative members, with a small number of executives, are wishing to de-select our MP.

People are fed up with these people who keep causing unnecessary trouble, which has seen the membership fall from 1,500-plus to a mere 560.

The latest episode will, I fear, finally see a safe Conservative seat lost forever. They dislike Anne McIntosh because she is a woman. I say she is a woman of substance, who continues to work hard for our constituency.

Surely, it is a great honour to have your local MP holding the responsible position of chairing the Environment Food,and Rural Affairs Select Committee?

It has been said that the association deserves a better MP; or do they mean one more subservient and answerable to them?

From: Suzanne Everett, Chairman, Thirsk & Malton Conservative Women’s Committee, Great Barugh, Malton.

I HAVE been involved for many years with the local Conservative Association and am currently chairman of Thirsk & Malton Conservative Association Women’s Committee.

We seem to be passing through the eye of a storm at present.

I have great difficulty recognising the comments I have read in your pages about our current MP, Anne McIntosh.

I have worked closely with Anne, firstly in 1997 when she was the Conservative candidate for the new Vale of York constituency and currently as 
the Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton.

There is no doubt she is a hardworking and effective 
MP throughout the constituency and I would urge all members 
of the Association to support 
her in the forthcoming 
ballot.