Speculation was rife last night that the pregnancy of Tory Joanne Cash was a factor in her being “forced out” as Conservative candidate in the crucial target seat of Westminster North. Reading the following excerpt from a Times article, however, is it surprising yesterday’s crisis meeting was attended by both Eric Pickles and Lord Strathclyde?
Another one to watch is Joanne Cash, the candidate for Westminster North. If Cash, a barrister specialising in media law, is elected she will arrive with a contacts book to die for. At her wedding last year to Octavius Black, the founder of the Mind Gym consultancy, Michael Gove, the Tory schools spokesman, gave the main speech.
Other guests included Andy Coulson, Cameron’s director of communications. Cash lives in Notting Hill, west London, yards from the home of George Osborne, the shadow chancellor. As well as being an assiduous social networker, the Oxford-educated Cash is a policy junkie, advising the front bench on legal issues.
The rumour mill has been working overtime in the last 17 hours. ConservativeHome reported before 10pm that the Tory top brass were “mounting effort to reverse [the] decision” while Tory Radio heard whisper this afternoon that she may be back in place as PPC by the end of the day. The Daily Mail, however, suggests tensions may have arisen over the appointment of local party officers, rather than Cash’s pregnancy; Paul Waugh notes a rather cryptic bio entry on her Twitter account – did Westminster North members take offence?
Either way, this won’t look good to voters less than three months before the election.
Will be interesting as to how they explain this one.