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Leading East Riding Conservatives Found Guilty Of Selection Rigging.

May 21, 2014

It is bizarre for a non-partisan community group to be dragged into the internal wrangling of a political party. When ERYC Council Leader Parnaby and his Group Officers effectively made association or support for Justice for Brid a breach of Conservative Party rules, so serious that sitting councillors were deselected even for a perceived involvement, we were damaged by their processes.

As reported in both  The Yorkshire Post and The Hull Daily Mail the first stage of the Conservative Party’s investigation into the Council Leader’s attempted de-selection coup against councillors thought to have association with Justice for Brid, and not toeing the Parnaby line, has concluded.


– that inappropriate influence was applied by the Group Officers contrary to the rules of their Party,

– that the same Group Officers  broke their own rules in effectively throwing the councillors, who suspended their Group membership, out of the Group, and

 – that MP David Davis’s Association Chairman acted wrongly, breaching rules by voting twice in an election to ensure they were deselected.

The investigation, which attempts to close down the entire  matter, but has yet to consider any of the false accusations and potentially libellous statements, including those made against Justice for Brid, concludes that they should all now ‘kiss and make up’.

The Conservative Party pride itself that its elections are run to the standards of Electoral Law. Despite this, the only action taken is against the injured parties, if the mistreated councillors do not rejoin the Group ‘for the sake if the Party’, they have been threatened with summary de-selection by Conservative Party Headquarters not signing-off their nomination papers. This is even if they are selected as the official candidates, and despite there being no Party rule requiring councillors to join their council group.

This threat is akin to a court finding domestic abuse, but instead of sentencing the abuser, ordering the victim to go back to their convicted partner to be a good spouse in the future.
It is a ludicrous and derisible response to the ‘guilty as charged’ verdict.

The Conservative Party is quick to define UKIP by the inappropriate actions of its members. It makes political capital over Labour’s selection-rigging in Falkirk, but faced with the same serious issues and abuses in the East Riding, the instinct is to cover-up and pretend there is nothing wrong. The kind of appalling double standard that so undermines politics today.

The Conservative cover-up has been going on for years in the North of England, with even the highest levels aware of what is going on.  A Party that seeks an overall parliamentary majority in 2015 cannot afford to continue such pretence

It sends a message to the electorate that this is a Party willing to accept electoral malpractice, one willing to mislead the public and discard its own rules and principals to win elections at all cost.

If the Conservative Party prefer to support and endorse their elected representatives, officials and senior members who abuse positions to subvert democracy and abuse others, then, by the standards it applies to the opposition, that becomes what the Conservative Party stands for.

It is time for the moral cowards who so readily seek positions of power and influence within the Party to stop chasing honours and personal advancement and do their jobs properly. They need to start serving the membership and supporters whom they have tainted by their inactions, and must follow UKIP’s example of censuring and removing those who do wrong . Without doing so voters can have no confidence in the Conservative political brand or their candidates. The positions of the guilty East Riding Council Councillors and H&H Association officers should now be untenable.

The offenders can only survive if the National Conservative Party choose them over honest, decent Party members.

We will be watching and will report on the outcome.


The Conservative Group Officers found guilty are

Leader; Steven Parnaby, Beverley Rural Ward

Deputy Leader; Jonathan Owen, East Wolds and Coastal Ward

Secretary; Felicity Temple, Driffield and Rural Ward

Chief Whip; Bryan Pearson Beverley St Mary’s Ward

Jane Evison, East Wolds and Coastal Ward

Richard Burton, Bridlington Old Town Ward

Brian Skow,  Mid-Holderness Ward


David Wincup, Haltemprice and Howden Association Chairman


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