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Potts in hot water

with 2 comments

Cllr. David PottsEdinburgh Tories – No confidence – resignation.

South Tyneside councillor David Potts one of the Conservative representatives for Cleadon Village and East Boldon is in a tight spot in Edinburgh where he was due to be the party’s candidate against Chancellor Alistair Darling at the next general election.

Local party activists in Edinburgh South West are reported to have passed a motion of no confidence in the Cleadon councillor and have taken the unprecedented step of writing to Scottish Conservative headquarters asking for him to be removed as the candidate.

The Scotsman reports that local party members have complained that Mr Potts was not spending enough time in the constituency to mount an effective campaign, one association member said Mr Potts had not been up to Edinburgh as often as he should have been and there had been “virtually no campaigning at all”.
The member said:

“He never attends any functions or meetings of the executive. The executive of the association unanimously decided to send a letter to Central Office, asking for him to be removed as candidate as they had no confidence in him any more. They are just waiting to hear back if they can go ahead with it. He seems to be in denial that this is happening. He doesn’t seem to accept it, but he will go.”

I have to say it would be very unusual for a ppc to be a member of the local executive committee, there is normally a separation in Conservative Associations between the executive and their chosen candidate.

Mr Potts claimed he was “entirely unaware” of any move to deselect him.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, I have a very healthy relationship with them.”

Cllr. Potts has been in touch with the Corner Shop and describes the Scotsman’s report as “garbage” with unattributed comments from unnamed people and he will be looking for a retraction of the story. (I cannot accuse him of hiding behind a wall of silence then 🙂 )

Update 20:40

David Potts is quite understandably upset and annoyed that this report has filtered down to the north east of England. Unfortunately it is not something that I could ignore, nor could one expect others in the north-east to ignore it either. The report was carried by The Scotsman and The Edinburgh Evening News today and local news editors here would have found it through their email alerts (which most good journalists set up on Google.) It is in the public domain as a matter of public interest, and they would have ran with this story too, but knowing David’s tenacity and determination as well as his attitude towards fair play and honesty, I’m sure they would report his efforts to have a balanced report of the matter and (if Scottish journalists have been looking for a story which simply isn’t there) to have the report retracted.

Update 23:55

David MacLean is reporting in the Shields Gazette this evening that sadly Cllr. Potts has resigned as the Conservative candidate for Edinburgh South West, David’s father has recently been in poor health.

Andrew Fulton, chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party, said in a statement released at 8.55pm: “Although regrettable, we fully understand David’s decision and wish his father a speedy recovery. “David has worked tirelessly for the Conservative cause, in Edinburgh and on Tyneside, and we now look forward to selecting a new candidate to carry on his good work and continue to take the fight to Alistair Darling in Edinburgh South-West.”

Although this is a regrettable personal situation for the South Tyneside councillor I’m sure he will bounce back from this obvious disappointment.

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Written by curly

September 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] Original post by curly […]

    Curly’s Corner Shop

    September 9, 2008 at 6:05 pm

  2. It is rather dull of them to be complaining that he never attends executive meetings. Surely the more worthy complaint would be if he did no campaigning; perhaps they never do any either, and therefore have no idea as to whether he does do any.


    September 11, 2008 at 8:59 pm

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