Town’s “best known Tory” fails selection process to go up against McTaggart in 2015

From the Slough Observer:

THE town’s long-serving MP will face a new Tory rival in the next General Election after a familiar foe failed to pass the assessment process.

Diana Coad, who stood against Slough’s Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart in 2001 and 2010, has not made the list of Parliamentary Candidates compiled by The Conservative Party for the May 2015 election.

A spokeswoman for The Conservative Party said:

“We had an assessment process and she didn’t pass. If you haven’t passed the assessment you can’t go on and stand – only those who passed can go on.”

The councillor for Langley St Mary’s, who increased the Tory vote by 69%, told The Observer she is not supportive of the Coalition or the leadership, which has made her unpopular with the party.

She said:

“I think I am probably the best-known Tory in Slough, but unless I change my views on the leadership – which I am not going to do – I think it is unlikely I will be standing.”

She added:

“I have been a member of this party for 45 years. I fought three parliamentary seats and I raised the vote in Slough by 69% in the last elections.

I have spent my life fighting for this party and I am not going to do it for this leadership. Anyone not supportive of the leadership is out in the cold. I am angry, I expected better.”

Cllr Coad listed manifesto pledges not being fulfilled, being very eurosceptic and mass immigration as some of the reasons she is not supportive.

The Conservative Party spokeswoman said Cllr Coad’s non-selection ‘is not in anyway related to the Coalition or leadership’.

Wal Chahal, chairman of the Slough Conservative Association said he was unaware Cllr Coad had not passed the assessment process.

Anna Wright, Slough Conservative Group leader said she has been waiting for candidates to be confirmed and was disappointed Cllr Coad will not be standing. She said:

“It would have been good if she could stand because she is well-known in Slough. Secondly, she would be a good MP that’s quite obvious and she would look after the people of Slough that’s for sure, so I am surprised she failed the assessment.”

The Conservative Party spokeswoman said she could not reveal details about the assessment process or list of candidates who have passed.

Sheila Gunn, an aide of John Major’s was the candidate in 2005.

The next General Election has been set for Thursday, May 7, 2015.

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