Magazine article Public Finance

Mutiny over Mayors by Hartlepool Tories

Magazine article Public Finance

Mutiny over Mayors by Hartlepool Tories

Article excerpt

Hartlepool Conservatives are in mutiny over a Tory central office decision to select a candidate for the upcoming mayoral election.

Earlier this month, the town's Tories controversially chose party stalwart Brenda Pearson as their mayoral candidate. This went against a decision taken at the party's AGM in March not to select a candidate because of opposition to the concept of directly elected mayors.

Frontrunners for the mayoral election, to be held on May 5, are the current postholder, Stuart Drummond, who has carved out a reputation for good administration since his election in 2002, and Labour's Carl Richardson.

But, in echoes of the Howard Flight case in the general election, the local Tories took this key decision only after they were apparently told by head office that it was their 'duty' to select a candidate. Subsequently, Pearson was selected only 24 hours before applications closed on April 7.

However, that interference has prompted a furious row. Some local Tories have written a letter to the party association demanding that Pearson stand down. …

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