An email has just gone out announcing that the selection process for Braintree, where Brooks Newmark is standing down, has been cancelled by CCHQ.

Mysteriously, the justification given is that this is “due to the Association not following the rules of selection”.

I understand from a source close to Essex Conservatives that the reason is that the Association have attempted to shortlist their Chairman for the seat – although he is not on the candidates list and has failed to get through the PAB process to get onto it. (Incidentally, this explains why the email, which is copied in full below, is signed by an Acting Chairman standing in during the selection process.)

Reading between the lines of the message the Association seems less than pleased – they were just about to interview candidates in the hope of selecting before Christmas.

From: Braintree Conservatives <>
Date: 5 December 2014 at 13:10
To: Braintree Conservatives <>

Dear Members

On Wednesday 3rd December 2014 Braintree Conservatives received a short email from Conservative Campaign Headquarters saying that

“The Candidates Committee this afternoon decided to pull the selection process due to the Association not following the rules of selection.”

The candidates that were due to be interviewed have been informed and therefore the selection of a candidate for Braintree has at this moment in time ended. We are in discussion with CCHQ regarding a way forward. We hope to come back to you soon.

To be clear the proposed SGM to be held on Friday 12th December 2014 has been cancelled and I would ask you to remove this from your diary.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and support through this difficult process.

Kind regards

Roger Walters

Acting Chairman through the selection process.