Conservatives in Thanet South stand accused of delaying the selection of their candidate who may be Nigel Farage’s opponent for the parliamentary seat of South Thanet. The delay is thought to be occurring so that a local candidate gets selected.
A source close to the selection process told Breitbart London exclusively that senior local Conservatives favour Thanet Councillor Julie Marson, but stopped the selection amidst fears that some of her supporters could not attend the meeting.
Local conservatives stalling has also seemingly delayed UKIP’s plans to announce the party’s leader, Nigel Farage, as their candidate in Thanet, which was due to happen shortly after Cllr Marson’s appointment. She is seen as a weak candidate that Farage will find easy to beat in an election UKIP hopes will be the “murder of a wet”, a reference to a left-wing Conservative.
The selection process was due to start with an interview on Saturday, but candidates were sent a brief email on Friday saying the process was delayed due to “unforeseen circumstances”. Conservatives have publicly remained tight lipped on the reasons for the delay but Breitbart London understands it has been postponed to stack the odds in Cllr Marson’s favour.
The source admits to helping coach a rival candidate, but claimed the association was likely to go for a local choice because of the Farage threat.
“When associations feel under pressure, what do they always do? Revert to the local candidate,” he said. “The problem is that once one member of the association can’t make it to vote for their candidate they put pressure on to get others to pull out, then before you know the whole thing gets called off.”
Cllr Marson has been a Thanet District Councillor since 2011 and even ran unsuccessfully in the last European Parliament. She is opposed to a referendum on Europe before the General Election, and she states on her website: “A referendum now is not what Britain needs. That’s giving up and running away with your fingers in your ears! What Britain needs is a genuine effort to get reform, offer that reform to the British people and let them decide.”
Nigel Farage has not finally decided which seat to stand in but Thanet South is understood to be his favoured option. The seat is also up for grabs as the sitting MP Laura Sandys decided to stand down after UKIP gave the Conservatives a drubbing at the local and European elections in the area.
The other seat that party managers are considering as an option for Farage is Castle Point, were UKIP did well in last year’s Essex County Council elections. However the stumbling block is that the seat is currently held by Eurosceptic Conservative Rebecca Harris, who is tipped for promotion at the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.
Harris is also the Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party responsible for youth, which includes a role in the party’s ‘RoadTrip2015’ campaign which takes young activists into marginal seats to campaign. She is likely to be able to galvanise significant support that could match or even surpass Farage’s own machine.