Thursday, February 01, 2024

Conservative Home: The Conservative machine in Wellingborough is broken

Andrew Gimson, serial biographer of Boris Johnson and scion of a great Leicester Liberal family, has been to Wellingborough for Conservative Home.

44 Midland Road, though still named on the leaflets of Wellingborough Conservative Association as its address, was on Tuesday locked and deserted.

And this is curious, for in two weeks’ time a by-election will be held in Wellingborough, and one would expect the Conservative office to be a hive of industry as the party defends its majority of 18,540 over the Labour Party, won in December 2019 by Peter Bone, who gained the seat in 2005 and first contested it in 2001.

Not only that:

No indication is given in the window of 44 Midland Road of where locals, or indeed visitors, who wish to campaign for Harrison should report for duty, and Charlotte Ivers, of The Sunday Times, recently spent a day attempting in vain to find her.

Harrison is Helen Harrison, the girlfriend of the town's former Tory MP Peter Bone. He was the subject of a successful recall petition after he was suspended from the Commons

Helen Harrison, it should be said, is a significant local politician and has twice been a parliamentary candidate before. But her selection reinforces the impression that the campaign is firmly hands of the pro-Bone forces in the local party.

Perhaps as a result, Conservative Home has heard, said Gimson, that Tory MPs are refusing to go to Wellingborough to canvass for Harrison.

Having failed to find the Conservative campaign, Gimson did some vox pops in the town. He ran into the sort of people you tend to run into when you do vox pops during the middle of the day.

Later. Top North Northants Lib Dem Chris Stanbra points out on Twitter that:

Helen, who is a fan of "look I'm out campaigning" tweets, hasn't tweeted anything since ... 11th January.

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