Could the Tories stage another open primary event to elect a new leader of Fenland Council

PUBLISHED: 17:37 14 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:25 02 June 2010

WHAT has been a bumpy few weeks for the Conservative group on Fenland District Council, culminating with the departure of both the leader and the deputy leader, could be used for a radical change. If the party were to adopt similar proposals to those whic

WHAT has been a bumpy few weeks for the Conservative group on Fenland District Council, culminating with the departure of both the leader and the deputy leader, could be used for a radical change.

If the party were to adopt similar proposals to those which saw the adoption of Steve Barclay as prospective Parliamentary candidate we could have a leader in place with a mandate not only from the party but from the people, too.

Mr Barclay was chosen, nearly two years ago, as candidate from a short list of six and all were forced to endure an open primary style process whereby any constituent, of whatever party, was provided with the chance not only to quiz them but to have a vote on who they preferred. It was a remarkable, totally transparent process and one from which the party has gained much.

Dare they do it again with the selection of a leader for Fenland District Council? It surely wouldn't be impossible for them to amend the rules to bring about such a ballot?

Obviously the key criteria is membership of the council, but from the eligible candidates any could put forward their name and if, say, more than 8 fancied taking on the job and some sort of short listing was needed, the rest could line up for a public grilling, and public selection as leader.

It would give the incoming leader a powerful mandate and would ensure he or she is not only the leader of the council but has the support of the wider electorate.

At the very least the Conservatives might well reflect upon the merits of such a procedure for if nothing else it would help re-build its position of trust with an electorate who must have been left sorely wondering what on earth happened to create such a fall out as seen in the email gate affair.


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