Anne Main survives deselection attempt

St Albans Conservative Association voted last night to keep Anne Main MP as its candidate – despite criticism of her Commons expense claims.

From the BBC:

St Albans MP Anne Main allowed her daughter to live rent-free in a taxpayer-funded flat, which she said was cleared by Commons authorities.

Her constituency party has voted to keep her as its candidate for the marginal seat and she was “delighted”.

Claims against Ms Main, an MP since 2005, are still being investigated by the parliamentary sleaze watchdog.

The Telegraph reported back in May that Anne Main claimed mortgage interest of £1095.68 a month on the flat, as well as service charges, utility bills and furnishing costs. Her main home is 25 miles away in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Neighbours of the St Albans flat were more familiar with Anne Main’s daughter while saying they had scarcely met the MP herself.

Earlier this week, the local association’s deputy chairman Matt Peck wrote to members to rally support for her deselection, calling Ms Main “a ‘lame duck’ MP” (Source: St Albans and Harpenden Review)

Tim Montgomerie writes at conservativehome:

“Local supporters of Main will be urging CCHQ to raise the threshold for triggering these kind of contests. They worry that the negative publicity surrounding the internal dissent has been a massive gift to the St Albans Liberal Democrats.”

Ms Main was elected in 2005 with a majority of 1361 over Labour; the Liberal Democrats came a close third.

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  • Heseltine was wrong. Turkeys do vote for Xmas. It makes our job easier in St Albans. Expect a Lib Dem firecracker.

  • You could be right. Ladbrokes think Anne Main is strapped on for the win now.


    Con 4/9
    LD 2/1
    Lab 14/1

  • dominic Hannigan 14th Aug '09 - 10:23am

    @ Meandyew – But gives very good odds for us too.

  • @Dominic – Good point, I think the odds would be less favourable for us had Main stood down. I see it very much as game on here and Main will have to work very hard in the seat to keep it.

  • In terms of support for the campaign,excellent rail connections from London,less than an hour for Lord Rennard to get there from his second home a bit longer if he’s travelling from his main (holiday flat) residence in Eastbourne.

  • Cleggsaduffer 15th Aug '09 - 2:31am

    Perhaps Michael Brown (convicted felon) can help out in “good faith (sic)” with the campaign? (not)

  • What are you saying Mr John Zims… Chris Rennard ‘at it’ too with his second home???
    And are all Libdems ‘whiter than white’ when it comes to the expenses scandal? I don’t think so and wonder when Nick is going to sort all that out with expensive rocking chairs (Alison Goldsworthy) and lots of make-up (Jo Swinson).

    Haven’t seen too many tories being deselecteed by Cameron (he’s all talk and no action) and none by Clegg. Mixed messages from GB.

    The country still thinks they are all in it for themselves!

  • Martin Kinsella 15th Aug '09 - 4:00pm

    Libdem Guru, those claims against Jo Swinson were monstrously unfair and I do not think they bear repeating even if it is done in a tongue in cheek manner.

    Cameron has been deselecting Tories, mainly the old guard who stand in his way. Douglas Hogg, Christopher Fraser, Sir Peter Viggers all gone. Yet the likes of Anne Main, Stephen Crabb, Michael Gove etc etc nothing. He is simply using this scandal to get rid of those who do not fit with his new model army. He did his level best to keep trougher Andrew Mackay in parliament. Cameron has been purging the old guard and doing nothing about newer members and the gullible press have not seen through it. However he has done more than that idiot Gordon Brown.

    Rennard has a case to answer. One of the few of our party who do but he still has a case to answer.

    BTW it is Julia Goldsworthy not Alison, personally I prefer Gormless Goldsworthy. It seems to suit her more.

  • Philip

    ‘ “tough action talk” was indeed only about dealing with those whose faces didnt fit, ‘

    But that’s exactly what Clegg did with his ‘ton of bricks’ TV interview,so why no action?

    ‘ George Osbourne, and the prattish Ed Vaizey who put antique furniture on his exes, committed far worse examles of abusing the system than Peter Viggars, who didnt actually claim for that notorious duck house’

    So did any of those claims reach £41,000?…

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