Party officials have faced false claims over clash with MP

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From: James Holt, President of Thirsk & Malton Conservatives, Hutton-le-Hole, York.

YOUR report of “dirty tricks” in Thirsk & Malton Conservative Association grotesquely misrepresents the truth (Yorkshire Post, January 27).

To the extent that you have published the shameless spin put out by supporters of Anne McIntosh, the headline, article and accompanying “special report” represent the dirtiest 
trick of all in a campaign 
full of snide and false allegations against dedicated volunteer officers of this association, and in particular against its chairman, Peter Steveney.

Every action Major Steveney and his colleagues have 
ever taken in relation to the make-up of the Association’s executive council (which voted not to re-select Miss McIntosh in January 2013) was done in good faith and under advice from regional, and later national, officials.

When the party board asked them in July to re-form the executive, they could certainly have challenged that controversial ruling but chose not to do so in the interest of bringing the re-selection issue to a conclusion.

Miss McIntosh then flatly refused to accept a new executive of which every member had been specifically approved as legitimate by the party’s chief legal officer, hence the imposition of the ballot which closes this week.

Why did she refuse to co-operate?

Because she knew that the new executive would have voted 
again not to re-select her – and indeed that the tide of opinion across the membership of the Association was running strongly against her.

Mr Parkin, who published the secret Party report on Miss McIntosh’s campaign website as well as his own, is now highly likely to face party discipline — and that inquiry will no 
doubt establish whether Miss McIntosh sanctioned his 
actions in a last desperate gambit to shore up her already discredited campaign.

Since the report is now in the public domain, let me point out that in fact it found no justification for disciplinary action against the association or Major Steveney – and none was subsequently taken.

From: Margaret Singleton, Farlington.

AN open letter to all members in the Thirsk, and Malton Conservative Association.

As members we are at present taking part in a secret postal ballot, carried out in accordance with official Conservative Party rules.

In this ballot we are deciding for, or against, the re-adoption of Anne Mclntosh as our Conservative candidate for the 2015 election. This is a personal vote and, as British citizens, our legal right.

In my role within the local executive, I have always supported the democratically-elected MP, in this instance Anne Mclntosh.

I would like us all to be able to decide for ourselves how we vote without outside comments and influences.

Sadly a divisive and destructive situation has arisen over this selection process.

It is therefore with regret that I inform all members of the Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association that I have resigned as your elected Deputy Chairman of Membership and Fund Raising. I am no longer a serving officer.

I would like to take this opportunity to send a sincere thank you to all those wonderful members, and friends, who 
have helped and supported 
any of my Conservative fund raising events over the last ten years.

There have been many wonderful occasions both here in my home and in other generously offered locations.

From: Greg White, Lastingham, York.

AFTER the failure of the last attempt to deselect Anne McIntosh MP from the Thirsk and Malton constituency, 
the entire executive resigned 
and were replaced by her supporters. A few years later, the new team have apparently also lost patience with her.

As Lady Bracknell might have said: “To lose the confidence of one executive team, Miss McIntosh, may be regarded as misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness.”