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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

The embarrassment that is the Carmathen West and South Pembrokeshire Conservative Association continues to make headlines this morning with a former candidate accusing Tory spin doctors of lying about events there.

John Jenkins, who was deselected by David Cameron a year ago, only 24 hours after being chosen as the party's Assembly candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has spoken out. He was dismissed following continuing fallout from a row in 2003 when he was forced to quit as the party's candidate for Llanelli after posting self-confessed homophobic comments on a website in which he asserted that all gay people had a "medical mental condition".

In an open letter Mr. Jenkins says: "The Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Conservative Association has been 'democratically taken over' by supporters of the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Mr Simon Hart. You forget that I was Deputy Chairman in charge of membership for that association when friends of Mr Hart started recruiting en masse with a view to hijacking the local Association. I remember one branch signing up over 90 members in one month which, for an association at the time with only 400 members, was a considerable proportion.

"I wish the Conservative Party would not lie to the media about such goings-on.

"In the months following my resignation from the Conservative Party, the aforementioned friends of Mr Hart turned up and voted en masse at the last Annual General Meeting of the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Association to vote out of office several officers of the association who have worked tirelessly over many, many elections in the selfless cause of advancing the Conservative Party. It is these people who I feel have been done a grave injustice by the lies of your spokesmen in Cardiff."

The prospects of the Conservatives winning this seat are receding by the minute. Whether there will be a knock-on effect on neighbouring Preseli-Pembrokeshire, which the Tories won in 2005, has yet to be seen.
Why not send in Swansea Conservative Rene Kinzett to sort it all out? He has practical experience of splits, having engineered one within our Conservative Council Group in Swansea within a fortnight of becoming it's leader.
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