Helmer’s resignation was supposed to be effective of today, but as party chairman Sayeeda Warsi is apparently insisting on someone other than Matthews, apparently “a less-geeky woman”, takes over, Helmer has decided to dig his boots in.
A European c0-conspiritor (sic.) told Guido last night “Roger won’t be going anywhere unless Rupert is guaranteed.” CCHQ sources insist that they won’t be budging on this one, so it looks like Helmer will be staying. Once again, the Tory high-command’s gender-agenda has created an almighty mess…The Conservatives' regional chairman yesterday told the Derby Telegraph that no investigation has taken place, but I am not convinced that he would have been told about it.
All of which does raise a serious point... Is it automatic that the first unelected candidate on a regional list fills a vacancy created by someone from his or her party resigning? Or does a party have the power to nominate someone else?
Later. The BBC quotes Roger Helmer as confirming that he is postponing his resignation:
"There do seem to have been one or two administrative queries arising with central office over the succession to the seat.
"Naturally, I want to get those sorted out before I formalise my resignation."