Party members are calling to DESELECT Party Chairman Richard Holden from standing in Basildon and Billericay

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Richard Holden arriving in Downing Street. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street. CC BY 4.0 Deed | Attribution 4.0 International

Letters of no confidence could trigger an emergency Special General Meeting to replace Chairman Richard Holden from standing as a Parliamentary Candidate in Basildon & Billericay and force local officials to reselect another candidate before the 4pm deadline tomorrow (Friday). 

Members in Basildon and Billericay say they are “furious” Conservative Chairman Richard Holden became their local parliamentary candidate on Wednesday night, with 41 hours to go before close of nominations on Friday. 

He was chosen from a shortlist of one.

However, according to party rules if enough letters of no confidence are sent to Basildon and Billericay Association Chairmen Richard Moore from members, an emergency Special Meeting can be triggered.

A party member in Basildon told the Conservative Post: “Let’s call it what it is. This is a chicken run for Richard Holden. He thinks Basildon is a safe seat well it isn’t now. We’re furious. We won’t campaign or vote for him. We want a local candidate. They better call an emergency meeting. Ignore us at their peril is what I say. Let’s get those letters in.”

Speaking of the enforced candidate, Andrew Baggott, who leads the Conservative group on the Basildon Council said: “They have shown complete disrespect and arrogance to all the party volunteers, all the party members, hardworking Conservatives in this borough. They are shameful.”

He added: “They are lacking in integrity, honour, and these are the things that the public looks for in the people they want to run this country.”

Members in Basildon and Billericay have discovered a little known rule in the Conservative Party Constitution which states that if 10% of an Association’s membership send in a letter of no confidence about their MP or parliamentary candidate, technically they can start deselecting a candidate they don’t want. In this case Richard Holden.

So for example, an Association with 200 members would only need 20 letters of no confidence to go in to call for a Special General Meeting. 

A Special General Meeting can be forced within 14 days but the Chair can call one at sooner notice at their discretion (and even without letters if they wish).

Conservative Post, understands the following letter is now being sent from members to the Association Chairman:

Dear Chairman,

I am writing to request an immediate emergency Special General Meeting to consider the following motion:

“That this meeting of members of the Basildon and Billericay Conservative Association does not confirm the selection and adoption of Richard Holden as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Basildon and Billericay Constituency.”

I can confirm the above motion uses wording similar to that used by CCHQ themselves for a similar motion that members voted upon elsewhere, proving that the motion is valid and that the precedence of a confirmatory vote of members has been set.

I believe we should immediately start the process of selecting a new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.

Yours sincerely, XXXXX


Constitution Guidance:

The following guidance applies to the Conservative & Unionist Party, and is a democratic way for local members to take an element of control over local selections for Parliamentary Candidates. 

Under clause 10.1.2 of Schedule 7 of the Conservative Party’s constitution, a Special General Meeting of an Association or Federation can be called by a petition signed by not less than fifty members of the Association or 10% of the current qualifying membership of the Association (whichever is less) sent to the Secretary of the Executive Council of the Association requesting them to convene such a meeting. If there is no Secretary in post, it can be sent to the Chairman or Chairwoman. Local party members can do this by sending an email, either one-by-one or by using a ’round robin’ format. A printed version with physical signatures can also be presented.The motion being put to the meeting allows members to choose if they back their Parliamentary Candidate by voting for or against the motion as they see fit. If the motion is passed then the Association would have to consider the role of Parliamentary Candidate as vacant.

Photo: Richard Holden arriving in Downing Street. Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street. CC BY 4.0 Deed | Attribution 4.0 International

1 COMMENT

  1. Excellent news. Time to defenestrate the fake Conservatives. They infiltrated the paliamentary party, so they should get the same “by hook or by crook” treatment.

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