Fareham Tory councillor wins appeal to stand again for re-election

Councillor Chris Wood
Councillor Chris Wood
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A COUNCILLOR is to be given a chance to re-contest his seat after initially being barred from doing so.

Councillor Chris Wood had previously lost his appeal to Gosport Conservative Association to stand for his Fareham Crofton seat in this May’s Hampshire County Council election.

Councillor Chris Wood, as ever in the same way he was in Ukip, and on return to the Conservative party, is a divisive personality.

Conservative party source

But a leaked letter to members of the association reveals that the Conservative party’s headquarters has upheld Cllr Wood’s appeal and that the process to find a candidate for the seat will now be carried out again.

It also reveals that Brian Taylor, the association’s chairman has resigned from his role in reaction to the decision.

The letter stated: ‘It’s with regret that I advise you that our outstanding association chairman Brian Taylor has resigned with immediate effect.

‘Brian had already announced his intention to stand down at the forthcoming AGM but the CCQH decision to uphold the appeal by Cllr Wood has finally broken his tolerance with this long-running appeal process.’

The letter states that the decision by the party HQ on Monday night was ‘the straw to break the camel’s back’.

Pal Hayre was the chosen candidate by the association during the original vote last November.

The decision came a month following Cllr Wood’s defection from Ukip to the Tories.

The News understands that the appeal was upheld as with the Fareham Crofton seat set to take in parts of Fareham West in new ward boundary changes, the Conservative Association should have been consulted in its Gosport counterpart’s initial decision.

A Conservative Party source said: ‘It’s an incredibly sad day that Brian Taylor has had to resign.

‘Councillor Chris Wood, as ever in the same way he was in 
Ukip, and on return to the Conservative party, is a divisive personality.’

Cllr Wood refused to comment and Mr Taylor was unavailable.