Jane gives Tories food for thought

Jane Basham and her constituency colleagues after the South Suffolk prospective parliamentary candid

Jane Basham and her constituency colleagues after the South Suffolk prospective parliamentary candidate selection meeting in Hadleigh. - Credit: Archant

The selection of Jane Basham as Labour candidate in South Suffolk in 2015 would not normally worry the Conservatives that much.

But I understand it has caused quite a few shockwaves – and could be bad news for veteran sitting MP Tim Yeo.

Mr Yeo has made it clear he wants to stand again in 2015 – by which time he will be 70 – but there are growing numbers within his own constituency party who are not sure that would be such a great idea.

For the next 20 months or so Ms Basham will be running around the constituency as if she already represents it – meanwhile Mr Yeo’s visits to south Suffolk have become increasingly rare.

He has not yet been confirmed as Conservative candidate for the next election, his re-selection has been delayed by the parliamentary investigation into Sunday Times claims that he offered to coach businesses before they appeared before the committee that he normally chairs.

I know his party members have looked at how the arrival of new MPs has shaken up constituency parties in Central Suffolk and West Suffolk.

And they’ve started to wonder if they wouldn’t do better with a new thoroughbred rather than allowing the old warhorse one last moment of glory.