« Questions for Team Cameron over Greg Dyke | Main | Maude calls on Campbell to sack councillor »


I hope the MPs recognise that if it becomes easier to remove an incumbent MEP, maybe there ought to be the same level of accountability for MPs with a fresh set of candidacy elections for every general election. After all, we want party members to have a complete say in who the party's representatives are.

I'm sure that will put a few of them off.

Looks like these MPs have an agenda - to get more of their 'own' selected. They must be stopped.

No what must be stopped is the creeping disenfranchisement of the members of the Conservative party undertaken purely in the self interest of the career advancement of "our" elected representatives.


Europhiles that are on the Conservative Group (in the parliament) heavily advocate the vote from being taken away from the party membership because they realise that their views are out of touch with Conservative Party members, and somewhat more importantly, the wider electorate.

Hands, Paterson, and Howarth are not the ones with an agenda. It’s the Europhiles who do not represent the views of the majority who are trying to steer their own lucrative careers.

Don't you believe in democracy then Justin. What's wrong with the principle of Tory members choosing their representatives?

Any Conservative Party members who want to retain their right to select and rank their MEP candidates should register their support by e-mailing: [email protected] and visiting: www.mepwatch.co.uk.

The more people who support our campaign the less likelihood there is of the Party taking away our vote.

MEPs don't determine whether we stay in the EU or leave it. They don't even decide whether to set a federalist or inter-governmental agenda.

As such, surely we would lose some great MEPs just because of their views on whether we should leave the EU.

The party leadership is the most eurosceptic we've ever had and MEPs will have to toe the party line when it comes to things like that.

I would only accept incumbant MEPs having no advantage in the selection process if MPs had to be selected the same way and every MEP had a free and open candidacy election every 4 years.

It is outrageous to suggest that any MEPs should be reselected automatically - the case is quite different to UK parliamentarians, where at least their electors can vote them out. The situation would be ridiculous. If there was only one sitting Conservative MEP up for reselection they would be automatically selected at the top of the list - no matter what their views or work rate. If I particularly objected to that MEP, the only thing I could do about it would be to campaign like mad against the party! Ludicrous.

CCHQ seems to be worrying far too much the press risk of a deselected MEP defecting to the Lib Dems - which is really nothing compared to the bad press that will be stored up by allowing disloyal or lazy MEPs to continue in post - and that is without considering the damage that will be done in terms of our activist base and our electoral chances...


Now when are they going to protest in defence of the already-limited freedom of speech that we have?

Theoretically current MPs can be voted out by members, but there aren't any alternatives presented: either the current MP or open nominations.

And even then, the one time it actually does happen, there is uproar!

Lazy MEPs would be removed, but MEPs won't be removed because of their political views.

Justin, 9 times out of 10 I agree with you. But on this, I'm sorry, several of the current crop are openly disloyal. I could stand it because the members - the people who work to put them and whom they represent, along with their other constituents - could get rid of them. But now, a fresh, young party that trusts in democracy and localism, that has made primaires so hugely successful, si turning round and preventing the membership holding incumbent MEPs to account for their abysmal records. I don't want to see a bloodbath (and I think many of the incumbents do a good job and will be protected by that), but how can we tell people we are a party of openness, new blood and meritocracy and then do things like this? And, as I said on another thread, I can barely credit it because these people are opposed to Cameron's agenda! They are actively trying to undermine him!

I would only accept incumbant MEPs having no advantage in the selection process if MPs had to be selected the same way and every MEP had a free and open candidacy election every 4 years.

If, as an association member, I don't like my sitting MP, I can propose that they're deselected - as happened (rightly or wrongly) in the cases of Sir Patrick Cormack and James Gray. If enough of my fellow association members support me then they go.

Under the proposed system for MEPs I, as an ordinary constituency member, would have no opportunity at all to propose deselection - only the NEF would.

Perhaps those trying to draw parallels with westminster to support taking away members righst might like to think again...

Kudos to Tim and Sam!

I thought a mistake had been made in the earlier report because the proposed changes seemed too stupid to be true.

Previous posters seem to have forgotten the invidious nature of the party list system - those ranked in the first 3 or 4 places are virtually guaranteed to be elected whereas the rest might as well be selected as Conservative candidate for Doncaster, for all the chance they have of winning. In such a system, the only real election is that for nomination in the first place.

James how you can possibly suggest that the Tories are anymore a party of meritocracy just beggars belief. After the old Etonian lefty takeover, the debacle that was the A list, the attempt to disenfranchise the membership in the election of leader and now this, wholly unacceptable, proposal the party is, if anything, even less of a meritocracy than it was, especially than it was under Mrs Thatcher.

Most of the focus seems to be on the MEPs and how they are treated compared to MPs. Of more concern to me are members - who will see this as a removal of one of their key roles in influencing the Party. As many posters have said this sends out all the wrong signals - to the membership, the media and the wider electorate. It is a peculiar decision, as well, to bring it to the Board just before the local elections and risk just this kind of upset.

Does any one know why this proposal has been made apart from the reasons given above about protecting incumbents? Was the last selection process considered a failure? I think London had a low turnout at the hustings if I remember correctly but are there any other reasons why they've decided on such radical changes?

James, our MEPs stood on a platform to stay in the EPP until the next elections...

Question for you all to ponder this morning: if the system proposed for MEP selection had been in operation for the Party Leadership, would David Cameron have won?

Please, guys, don't be vindictive. The last thing the Conservative Party needs is the orchestrated de-selection attempts that split Labour in the early 1980s. There is no dishonour in presenting a balanced ticket to the electorate: we are after votes from all sides, Lib-Dem as well as UKIP.

That said, of course all our members should have a vote. The Conservative Party must abide by the principles by which it aspires to govern: decentralisation, empowerment and democracy.

I am sure Francis Maude, who is a paid-up localist, will defend the democratic principle: there is absolutely no evidence that he is trying to stitch up the selection process. At the same time, I hope our members will recognise that our party is more convivial, as well as more electable, if it encomasses some pluralism of opinion.

The protests at this possible removal of power from the members is NOT about the Europhile/sceptic debate, albeit possibly the impetus for the original proposed is. In my experience of the two London selection meetings for 2000 and 2004, I certainly did not vote for a purely sceptic ticket (despite inclining that way) and I don't think the majority of others did either. The natural result was that there was a balanced ticket reflecting the balance of opinion within the party, i.e. mostly fairly Eurosceptic but with a representative from the other wing, John Bowis. I certainly ranked him in an electable position in my vote, despite not agreeing with him on the extent of European integration, but recognising his experience and value in the Parliament in his specialist areas.

Now of course next time if some candidates are saying they will never leave the EPP when this is the party policy on which the leader of the whole party was elected - well that could be a different matter. But if the central party is trying to impose a less democratic system to protect MEPs from having to support party policy - that is bizarre.

I suspect it is a malign alliance between EPP fans and that strong element at the centre which always regards any manifestation of party democracy as a threat to their cosy ability to control things. If those of us whose primary concern in this matter is party democracy and MEP accountability find ourselves in an alliance with those whose main motive is a policy one, then so be it. One has to hope that both democrats and Eurosceptics form a majority at all levels in the Party and, frankly, if the Party Board does not reflect this, we need a new Board.

Could ConHome remind us who are the members of the Board that (indirectly) represent constituency members, so we can write or email them?

Prentiz is absolutely right on MPs - they can be de-selected. So that was a total red herring at the top of this thread from Michael Rutherford but, even if it wasn't, there is something unpleasant about him appealing to MPs' cyncial self-interest in the way he did. This is a very serious matter.

That was cynical self-interest just above - "cyncial" has a nice ring to it but is not yet in the dictionary.

A bit off topic but I thought Londoner's slip was great and "cyncial" ought to go in the dictionary as an alternative to 'cynical'.

'Deregulation', on this site, once, came out as "dergulation", which I think deserves a definition all to itself (probably along the lines of some dreadful punishment inflicted on Labour).

One (as it happens) Labour councillor, ranting away during one of our Full Council meetings, referred to our Conservative group as coming up with "nonsical" policies, when he obviously meant 'nonsensical'. Perhaps I'll dergulate him in one of my speeches in Council, sometime.

Daniel Hannan sounds like the voice of reason which he is. But when faced with downright evil, such as this slimy cowardly attempt to disenfranchise millions of Britons, it would really be more appropriate to reply in kind.

Politics is a dirty game and known to be. But when a small clique proposes the ending of representative democracy - literally - they should be responded to with more aggressive measures than mere commentary. Harrassment, violence even are not wrong when used in protection of democratic rights.

We go to war to convert the Middle East to democracy. We should not sit on our hands at home. In the final analysis, taking away democratic rights is an act of violence.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker