Recently on ConservativeHome we invited you to submit questions to John Maples MP, Deputy Conservative Chairman - with responsibility for candidates. He answers your questions below.
(1) Chris Philp, PPC, Hampstead & Kilburn: “The party has rightly focussed on getting more women and ethnic minorities accepted, and progress has been made in both areas. However, the party is still very socially unrepresentative. Before the last election, 59% of Conservative MPs were privately educated compared to just 7% of the general population. Does that concern him, and if so, what does he plan to do about it?”
I have not done the maths, but I would be very surprised if this % of privately educated MPs does not fall after the next election.
(2) Anonymous: “Why on earth a non A List candidate who has on several separate occasions applied for a seat and been told to go to Hell on a rickshaw by Candidates should be expected to stump up for the 2006 subs. After all, by definition they simply have not been allowed to be Candidates. Basic principles of the Trades Description Act apply. Isn't this (i) a Candidates Tax (ii) a botch up that aggravates non A Listers, that CCHQ should have the good grace and good sense to quietly drop? What is he going to do when people pay for 2007 but not 2006?”
We don’t do rickshaws, but if “anonymous” is offering this eco friendly method of transport, we will try to work it into our programme! Seriously, under the most recent selection method, all candidates can apply for seats. It costs money to run the candidates department and good Conservative housekeeping dictates that we recover as much of our costs as we can. I don’t think £80 is a lot for being on the List and getting the communications and service we provide to candidates.