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Does Conservative leader back 'Three Jobs Bob' for his 'modern' Conservative party?

June 12, 2006 1:26 PM
Isle of Dogs

Bob Neill STILL lives in Tower Hamlets, despite having been Bromley's London Assembly member for SIX years. Will he resign his seat on the London Assembly if elected as MP?

As the Conservative leader arrives in Bromley today to support the Conservative campaign to provide Bob Neill with a fourth job many local residents are questioning how far the Conservative leader's support goes.

Local Conservatives have already rejected Mr Cameron's call to pick candidates from an 'A-list' "comprising the brightest and best candidates".

Instead they have selected Bob Neill, who lives in Tower Hamlets and has THREE jobs as a Greater London Assembly Member, a Barrister and as a Member of the North East London Strategic Health Authority.

Shaun Roberts, Agent for Ben Abbotts Liberal Democrat Candidate for Bromley and Chislehurst said:

"If elected will Mr Cameron demand that Bob Neill quits his numerous posts and become a full-time MP for Bromley?

"Issues such as fighting crime, getting jobs for Bromley and keeping our area green and clean are a full-time job. The Conservatives cannot continue to take Bromley for granted.

"Local people deserve to know whether Mr Cameron will also ask Mr Neill to move to Bromley from his home in Tower Hamlets.

"How far does Mr Cameron's support for Bob Neill go? Already local Conservatives have rejected his call to choose a candidate from his 'A-list'. Instead they have picked someone who lives in Tower Hamlets, who already has three jobs and is aiming for a fourth.

"Bromley residents in this election face a straight choice between local Liberal Democrat candidate Ben Abbotts who will be a full time champion for Bromley residents in Parliament or the Conservative Candidate who lives in Tower Hamlets. Tony Blair's Labour cannot win here they finished in a poor third place in May."

Local Liberal Democrat Campaigner Ben Abbotts said:

"As Bromley's MP I will devote myself full-time to championing the needs of local residents. I want to see tough action on crime and anti-social behaviour, keeping Bromley green and clean and putting pride back into Bromley."


Notes to editors

Local newspapers and National newspapers have been quick to highlight the differences between Mr Cameron and the local conservatives.

"[David Cameron] hoped to deliver an important signal that his party was changing by having many more candidates for winnable seats who were not white, middle-class men. At the first challenge to this push, the leader has been confounded by his party and flinched from making a fight of it. For the by-election in the safe Conservative seat of Bromley and Chislehurst, the local Tory party has selected a white, middle-aged man in a pinstripe suit."

Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer, 11th June 2006

"Mr Cameron's scheme to force party chiefs in winnable areas to pick from his A-list was not in place for Saturday's vote, but the failure of two A-list candidates, Euro MEP Syed Kamall and Julia Manning, to be selected prompted opponents to declare his experiment a failure."

Bromley Times, 8th June 2006

"Mr Cameron said that he would scrap his priority list of parliamentary candidates and bring in more drastic controls over selection if Conservative associations refused to choose more women and members of ethnic minorities. "Positive action can only work if Conservative associations themselves want it to work," he said. "I have faith in the Conservative Party because they voted for change when they voted for me.

Party workers in Bromley and Chislehurst rejected two candidates from the "A list" and chose a white, middle-aged barrister to fight a by-election in the safe seat."

The Times, 8th June 2006

"On Friday, David Cameron pleaded with his party not to "insult" the people on his priority list of candidates. It was time, he said, to end the scandalous under-representation of women and ethnic minority Conservative MPs. On Saturday, the Bromley and Chislehurst constituency association chose Bob Neill, a white, male, middle-aged barrister, as its by-election candidate,"

Daily Telegraph, 5/6/06