Monday, January 11, 2010

John Maples, the morning after

Last night the news broke that John Maples, Member of Parliament for Stratford Upon Avon had decided to retire at this election. The news was a big surprise to me, although I'm new to the association so wouldn't be privy to everything that goes on.

By retiring after January the 1st he has meant that the local association must choose a candidate under by-election rules, ie. Conservative Central office will enforce a shortlist of three candidates that the Association must choose from.

As the party's head of candidate selection he undoubtably came up with this rule and certainly knew what the effect of his resignation after January 1st would be. He has written to Conservative Home to explain why the situation has arisen and basically it revolves around protecting his reputation.

Clearly he had decided to retire much earlier but was waiting for Sir Thomas Legge's report into expenses to clear him of having to repay anything, because if he was to resign before that it would look like he was doing so in disgrace.

Following the report's publication he says that he had to see David Cameron and our association chairman on December 12th but that the previous day the Telegraph had published an article about the profit made on the sale of his constituency home. He says that had he announced his retirement the next day it would have been seen "as at least linked to the article if not as a result of it" apparently he therefore felt he "had no alternative but to wait a few weeks, which is what I did." 

So he basically disenfranchised the association to ensure that his reputation wasn't impinged in any way on a national stage, but never mind the local one.

Related Posts:
Replacing John Maples - The Procedure 
Replacing John Maples - It Continues

Related Content


  1. I live in SOA and have just discovered your blog. I note your concerns about the Lib Dems making SOA a target seat. Your comment about Conservatives loosing seats locally hand over fist but of course seem to see that as a bad thing. Whilst I appreciate your blog is geared towards national politics and you are a Conservative I would suggest your association starts asking itself why in Stratford Upon Avon District Council & I think at county level for the town itself the Conservatives have lost every single seat they have contested to my knowledge for the last 4 years. If i'm honest I think party politics at a local level is a nonsense however I would suggest at the moment we have the most appalling run District council which has absolutely no interest in doing what local people want them to do and seems to operate is some dictatorial fashion by making "cabinet" decisions ignoring other locally elected councillors too. It just happens to ber a conservative council too! Whilst this is only my opinion I respectfully suggest you would not have to knock on many doors locally to see this view is widespread. Local democracy is a shambles.

    Confidence and support for the democratic process starts at a local level. I have no doubt that Maples successor will win the seat as that is the nature of the first past the post voting system. However whether it was all within the rules or not to see the guy walk off with a million quid courtesy of the tax payer presumably with a peerage later after enjoying a safe seat hardly makes me feel anythings changed in politics and its "business as usual"

  2. Thanks for your comment and discovering my blog. I've covered a few local issues in the past and plan to cover more in the future as we head towards election time.

    I agree that there is a larger issue at stake of the way the council operates and that it's not down to party really but individuals. At the same time the town council is held I believe by the Lib Dems and is extremely weak in what it does leading to the uprising of groups like Stratford Voice, the Town Management partnership and Stratford BID, all of which are trying to (or in the case of the town management partnership which has collapsed were trying to) fill the void left by the council.

    The key challenge for us as an association is to reinvigorate the councillors and select new councillors that have an interest in collabroative politics on a local level, and on the national level to select a candidate to replace John Maples who will work for the local good and understands that politics has to change.

  3. Stratford Bid is most certainly not trying to 'FILL THE VOID LEFT BY THE COUNCIL'. It is via the Council collecting the rates that the Bid money is collected. The bid is most certainly not suitable for Stratford. Local business and shop already have very high taxes and to have this extra cost forced on them is possibly a deadly blow for some of them. Most business did not realise that the cost of the BID would be to them not that it was something forced by a minority voting for it. Why should they pay for chewing gum removal, and 5 silly youngsters walking around talking to tourists. Business have already paid large buainess rates they even have a separate charge to collect their rubbish. NO MOST CERTAINLY NOT the BID is not for the people but forced on the people.

  4. Yes, I agree totally, but if the town council were doing their work properly then there wouldn't be any perceived need for the BID, it has been created to fill the gap of what should have been happening orriginally. Also what has happened to the website promoting the town and town businesses, and various other aspects that were promised?

    I've never thought of the Town Hosts as that young, but agree they are a total waste of time and money!