Lucy Frazer reaffirmed as Tory candidate

After what has been an unsettling three weeks for South East Cambridgeshire Conservatives, Lucy Frazer was this evening reaffirmed by members as their candidate for the next parliamentary general election.

A special meeting was held following uncertainty over the final count at the open primary held last month when Lucy Frazer was declared the winner over Heidi Allen; they were both stunning candidates. Leaked reports to the press disclosed that the final count which was declared was incorrect, and that Heidi should have won. This appears to have been the case.

Although feelings were intense on both sides this evening, some speaking passionately about the importance of showing integrity, saying they should re-run the selection process or open primary again – with one man even offering to foot the bill for this – others declared that Lucy, one of the youngest women QCs in the country, was too outstanding a candidate to lose and that she should have their support.

Members were asked to support a motion reaffirming her as their candidate and this was won by a decisive 61 in favour and 35 against.

Lucy was present throughout the meeting and described how she had begun working in the constituency since being selected their parliamentary candidate, planning a summer school which Education Secretary Michael Gove would attend, as well as a couple of other high profile ministerial visits.

She was congratulated by our delighted local MP Sir James Paice who said they would now be “a double act” in the run up to the next general election.

I have no doubt Lucy will be an outstanding MP and will support her, but I do also feel sorry for Heidi as the open primary vote was clearly in her favour. Alan Mabbutt, the Conservative Party National Nomination Officer who attended the meeting, admitted it was the first time he had come across a case like this since working with the party from the 1970s.

Despite the miscount and tension it created, Lucy ended up as a clear winner this evening, gaining the confidence of the large majority of people in the room who pledged to support her.

12 January: The meeting is reported in The Independent.

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