Mass resignation by members of Tory group in selection dispute

THE Sleaford branch of the Sleaford and North Hykeham Conservative Association has resigned over a dispute regarding who should have a say in selecting candidates for next year’s county council elections.

Under new party rules, the selection of a candidate for the 2013 county council elections would be made by the Sleaford branch’s parent organisation, the Sleaford and North Hykeham Conservative Association.

But the Sleaford branch management were unhappy they would no longer have a role in the selection process, and all officers of the Sleaford branch management team have resigned.

Mark Allan, chairman of the Sleaford branch, said: “It is unfortunate that it has come to this, as the Sleaford branch and its management team has worked hard for the association over past years.

“But we felt there was an important point of principle at play.

“It is obvious that local Sleaford branch members are better placed to select their candidate for the 2013 county council elections, and are able to do so against an understanding of the many issues of importance facing the town, the people of Sleaford and the Sleaford electors who will ultimately determine a Conservative success or not.

“This was not accepted by the association.

“The Sleaford branch management team had no option but to resign.”

Chairman of the Sleaford and North Hykeham Conservative Association, Henrietta Reeve, was surprised at the news but said they were simply following the rules laid down by the party.

She said she could not comment further until more enquiries had been made, and the matter had been discussed with all members of the Sleaford management committee.