Sarah, the Twitter ban refusenik, is almost “party proof”

Sarah, the Twitter ban refusenik, is almost “party proof”

Open primary winners are less open to persuasion

Of all the 650 MPs who were elected in May 2010 Sarah Wollaston was almost unique. For she became Tory candidate following an open primary in July 2009 in which every elector in Totnes, irrespective of their party allegiance, was sent a postal ballot.

Other Conservative candidates were selected by so-called primaries but only in the Devon seat and in Gosport did the blues go to the expense of full postal elections.

The result is that the photogenic former GP has a very different relationship with her party machine than all but one other Tory MPs and that when she speaks out against official policy she is much less vulnerable to whip pressure.

Normally an MP writing Tweets critical of the leader, as Sarah has, might expect the whips to “have a word” with their party chairman as the first step to bringing her into line.

    But Sarah owes her position much less to the machine and in view of all the hype when she was selected it’s hard to see how they could get rid of her.

Lynton Crosby might not be happy about Sarah’s Tweeting but I think he will have to live with it.

Mike Smithson

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