Current Affairs

Lesbian Tory rejects selection jibe

Marc Shoffman December 14, 2006
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Margot James, the Tory Party’s first openly lesbian candidate has hit out at a local councillor who implied that she received special treatment when she was selected to run for the Stourbridge seat last week because of her sexuality.

Halesowen Conservative councillor Ken Turner claims that he was excluded from the MP selection process for the Halesowen and Rowley Regis constituency because he is a white male.

He then accused Ms James, the party’s Deputy Chairman for Women, of receiving special treatment when she was selected because she is a lesbian.

He told the Halesowen News: “I think when we see who gets the position – the one who has Stourbridge is a deputy chairman at the candidates’ office, a millionairess lesbian – it speaks volumes.”

Ms James insisted she has no power over the selection process, she told the paper, “It would have been a clear conflict of interests. He is mistaken in my role.”

She claimed that 60 per cent of Tory candidates were men.

Ms James, a successful businesswoman, is one of the more high profile names on the “Tory A List” of candidates which includes Conservatives expected to receive priority treatment in the selection process to represent winnable seats during the next General Election.

Councillor Jenny Dunn, chairman of the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservative Group, said everyone had an equal chance, “I’m a bit upset he’s said something like that because I can’t see that would be the case from the evidence I have.”

The candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis will be chosen in the New Year.

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