Tory women quit over deselection of MP

Anne McIntosh
Anne McIntosh
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TORY women activists in a Yorkshire Conservative association which deselected its MP have disbanded their committee in protest at the move.

The Thirsk and Malton Conservative Women’s Committee decided to bring its activities to an end because of unhappiness at the treatment of MP Anne McIntosh.

Ms McIntosh was deselected in a postal ballot of members earlier this year in a process which exposed internal divisions within the local association.

The MP said she had been the victim of “ungentlemanly conduct” and her dumping along with the decision of other women Tory MPs not to stand next year led to accusations the Conservatives have a “women problem”.

Wendy Walton, secretary of the now disbanded committee, and a Conservative member for more than 50 years, said: “I have worked in constituencies across the country but I have never come across this sort of bad feeling.”

The committee previously held regular fundraising events but Mrs Walton said that had now come to an end.

“We have been unhappy with the hierarchy for quite a long while because of the way they have treated our MP who has always come to everything we have arranged, been visible and been helpful.

“We have never really got to the bottom, at least ordinary members haven’t, of why many of the officers had taken such a degree of unpleasantness against our MP.

“We thought why on earth should we be flogging ourselves to provide things?”

The association has yet to start the selection process to choose its candidate for what is usually a safe Conservative seat. Ms McIntosh won in 2010 with a majority of 11,000.

A statement issued by the Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association said: “We have received notification that the constituency Women’s Committee wish to disband, and we thank them for their efforts and continuing contributions”