Conservative Party HQ branded a 'farce' in rebuke by Tory MP

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Conservative party headquarters was today branded a “farce” by a London Tory MP.

Matthew Offord’s rebuke of the central campaigning team claimed candidates were treated like “cannon fodder” and MPs’ advisers given preferential treatment for seats.

The “increasingly distant” relationship between HQ and the membership was highlighted by the election, he claimed on website ConservativeHome. “The decision to hold a snap election in June magnified what a farce this situation is — since there was no advance planning, experience or knowledge that was ready to be deployed,” he said.

During the campaign MPs were told to help in marginal or Labour-held seats, leaving their own at risk, he said. “Other colleagues were denied access to literature and printing resources and we all had to wait for ever for CCHQ to ‘approve’ every statement printed.”

He said he ignored central office advice on campaigning and was re-elected in his marginal Hendon seat with an increased majority. “I am glad I did not listen to them,” he added.

Mr Offord is standing for a post as one of three MP representatives on the party board. He said many of his Tory colleagues harboured the same resentment over how they were treated.


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