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Tories scrap primary votes in flawed count

PUBLISHED: 12:58 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:10 05 October 2010

TORIES hoping to snatch Left Wing MP George Galloway's constituency in London's East End at the next General Election have scrapped last night's results from the open primary' they held. A subsequent ballot of local party members failed to endorse the candidate selected at the earlier primary'

By Gemma Collins

TORIES hoping to snatch Left Wing MP George Galloway’s constituency in London’s East End at the next General Election have scrapped last night’s results from the open primary’ they held.

A ballot of local party members failed to endorse the candidate selected at the earlier open primary’ meeting.

A new selection process takes place after June’s European Elections, giving them more time to find a candidate to fight against “the failed Labour Government with whoever is elected,” a statement from Bethnal Green & Bow Conservative Association’s chairman David Fell said tonight (Wednesday).

Rank-and-file party members turned out for the two-hour US-style primary to select one of three shortlisted candidates to take on this Respect-Labour heartland.

NULL & VOID

But the association was hit by “concerns over organisational issues” in the run-up to the primary held at a church hall in Stepney’s Commercial Road.

So party officials declared the result null and void. It means rank-and-file members having to wait until the summer to vote again before they know who takes on the Tory mantle to try and put the boot into Respect and stop Labour snatching back Galloway’s seat at Westminster when he switches to neighbouring Poplar & Limehouse.

Tower Hamlets Tories hoping to put a blue’ sparkle into this Labour-Respect heartland tonight denied the primary was a waste of time.

SEAT READVERTISED

Their Poplar & Limehouse Parliamentary hopeful, Tim Archer, Opposition group deputy leader on Tower Hamlets Council, told the East London Advertiser: “It’s disappointing we didn’t get a conclusion.

“But it has been a good process for the association and lets people know it is active.

“The seat is going to have to be re-advertised and the process run again.”

The three shortlisted candidates at last night’s primary’ were two barristers, Andrew Charalambous, 41, and Claire Palmer, 27, and pharmaceutical sales rep Hasan Iman, 37.

Bethnal Green & Bow is also targeted by Labour who lost it to Galloway last time round.

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