Conservatives accused of ‘corruption’ over candidate selection

Conservatives accused of ‘corruption’ over candidate selection
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 07/06/2024

- 20:27

David Campbell Bannerman spoke to GB News

A former Conservative MEP has accused his own party of corruption after the party chairman was placed on a shortlist of one for the constituency of Basildon and Billericay.

David Campbell Bannerman said the Conservatives were ‘parachuting in mates of the Prime Minister’ into winnable seats.

Speaking on GB News David Campbell Bannerman said: “It's entirely cynical. I think it's corrupt, the process, the system is corrupt because what they're doing is parachuting in all these special advisors, and basically mates of number 10, mates of the Prime Minister.

“And it's so insulting to all the activists and members around the country who work so hard, and they're getting all these people that know very little about actually campaigning, being dropped in seats all the way around the country.

“It’s chumocracy, I call it, and it's very corrupting. But, you know, central office has so much power now, they've taken all the power away from the members, and they can't actually choose their own candidates, which they used to do in the old days.

They've left it deliberately to the last moment. It's cynical, because then they can rush it and use emergency measures, including only three names going forward, and one of those names is the favoured candidate, often a Special Advisor.

“I want the Conservatives to do well in this election. You know, Labour is a terrible threat, let's make that clear. But this really doesn't help, and Will Tanner is another one. He's Deputy Chief of Staff to Rishi Sunak, and there'd been allegations that the membership database was being used to help him, allegedly from the constituency, and not the others.

“Now I don't know. Let's see what happens, but there really needs to be an inquiry into this whole process.

“What they do, cynically is they leave it so late - 190 seats left so late, a lot of safe seats coming up, they actually got MPs to leave it till the last moment so they can use emergency procedures to force through their own candidates. That's the way it works.

“And Basildon, we knew the MP was going in October last year, and that constituency has tried to get in a new MP ever since October, and they had meetings in January, I understand.

“Lo and behold, here we are, mad panic, 48 hours before nominations, which go in tomorrow, and you've got one candidate being pushed.

“I'm afraid what this does, it just creates a huge morale problem, just at the point when we’re trying to unify and fight Labour, and that is really critical.

“So once again, I'm afraid over-centralisation is destroying the party, and after this election, we've got to clear out central office, and we've got to start again, because this is totally unacceptable. It is corrupt. I don't use that word lightly, but it is a corrupt system, and it's got to stop now, because this is embarrassing.”


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