Last night, the members of Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association met to select their candidate to succeed Anne McIntosh, whom they deselected in January amid bitter in-fighting.

The winner of the contest was Kevin Hollinrake, an estate agent from York who co-founded his own firm. He was selected to fight Dewsbury at the last election but had to step aside due to business commitments.

Congratulations to him – hopefully this will be a new start for a more peaceful period for the Association.

The selection also confirms, as we suspected, that the various conspiracies theories about Old Etonians being rushed into the seat were nonsense.

Oddly enough, given that there are more than half a million of them in the UK, I can’t think of a sitting MP who is a former estate agent – so a first for them, too.