Here’s an interesting little insight into the inner workings of the Tory party, thanks to Conservative Home website.
Hertsmere constituency is one of the safest Tory seats in the Country. They need to choose a new Tory Candidate as James Clappison is standing down. The local conservative association has gone for a shortlist of four candidates:
1. Antonia Cox: A City of Westminster Council Councillor, former Banking Correspondent for the Telegraph, former Leader writer for the Standard, She has worked for the Neoliberal thinktank Centre for Policy Studies and is Director of a new Free School.
2. Oliver Dowden. Following a very similar line to Alex Deane, Dowden is currently 2nd in command in David Cameron’s personal team of advisors. Dowden worked in the Public Affairs industry, or Corporate Lobbyists as they are more commonly known.
3. Chris Hayward. Hayward is actually an active local politician, as deputy leader of Hertfordshire County Council, so he would know where his constituency was and what the issues were there. But he is also a Common Councilman of the Corporation of London (just like Deane) and runs a property investment firm. This vignette from the Corporation website tells us a little more about him:
“Chris is married to Alexandra. They have two young children and live in Sarratt, Hertfordshire and the City of London. He is Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council.
In the City Chris has been Churchwarden at St Margaret Pattens and the Chairman of the Trustees of the Friends of St Margaret Pattens. Currently Chris is Immediate Past Chairman of the Broad Street Ward Club, a member of the Candlewick and Farringdon Ward Clubs, Life Member of the City Branch of the Royal Society of Saint George and a member of the Guild of Freemen.
Chris is a member of the Carlton Club and Walbrook Clubs in London and a member of the Leander Club and Phyllis Court Clubs both in Henley-on-Thames. He is also currently Master of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers.”
Hayward was eligible to stand for election as a Common Councilman because he owns a flat in the city, and won the election with 82 votes out of 455 cast – 18% of the vote.
4. Rishi Sunak. Sunak worked for an activist hedge fund called the Childrens Investment Fund TCI, and other hedge funds. TCI was set up to channel profits from aggressive investments into charitable work in the developing world. Last year TCI didn’t give any of its £2.3Bn annual profits to charity.
Sunak now works for Catamaran Ventures, a family hedge fund. He heads up neoliberal Thinktank Policy Exchange‘s Black and Minority Ethnic research unit. He has founded a free school. He is also the son in law of one of India’s richest men, Infosys founder Narayana Murthi.
Looking at this you could see a simple scoring system on a few criteria:
- Set up a free school? score 2 points.
- City of London Common Councillor? score 2 points.
- Worked in the city? score 1 point.
- Extremely wealthy: score 5 points.
- Worked for a Neoliberal thinktank? score 3 points.
- Member of the Carlton Club? score 1 point.
- Worked for David Cameron’s personal team? score 1 point.
- Worked in the tory press? score 1 point (leader writer score 2).
- Worked as a corporate lobbyist? score 1 point.
I wonder whether this approach could be applied to any other Tory candidate selection processes.