We reported last week that the final four for Aldridge-Brownhills were Pamela Hall, Marco Longhi, Wendy Morton and Adrian Pepper. The seat was held at the last election by Sir Richard Shepherd with a majority of 15,256 – and is thus, by any calculation, a safe seat.
The final was due to take place last Saturday, but was reportedly cancelled by CCHQ the day before. One source claimed that the only explanation provided by CCHQ was “unavoidable circumstances” (not expanded on) It is being tight-lipped about the matter, which means that speculation will inevitably follow.
One local blogger, Brownhills Bob, writes that “there appears to be something rotten in the state of Aldridge”, and goes on to recommend the only local candidate in the final, Cllr Longhi. (Hats off to his headline: “What’s the Tory”?)
We are nearing the period in which pre-election selection rules kick in, which gives CCHQ more powers over how they take place – and the candidates for the final.
It is therefore possible that the selection will be re-run and take place under those rules – and that the candidates who reached the cancelled final will have to start all over again, or be barred entirely.