This morning’s Telegraph reported a leaked memo revealing a "secret plan" to favour women in the party’s safest seats.  ConservativeHome has been able to verify The Telegraph story.  Pasted below is a leaked copy of a confidential email from Edward Llewellyn – David Cameron’s chief of staff – to key advisers.  The email agreed that the party should aim to ensure that women are selected in "at least 20 of the 35 seats in play" before the Party Conference.  The constituency officers of the 35 plus seats will be invited to meetings with Bernard Jenkin in David Cameron’s office.  "DC would drop in on these meetings whenever possible," point five of the memo states.  Click on the image to enlarge the leaked email.

At a lunchtime meeting with lobby journalists today, David Cameron said that more than 50% of the candidates on the Priority List are women and 10% are from ethnic minorities.  Applicants for the List will receive their letters after May 4th’s local elections.

Related link: Bernard Jenkin answers questions posed by ConservativeHome readers.