Fareham councillor to not stand in May elections after losing second internal vote
A COUNCILLOR will not be able to stand for re-election after losing a second consecutive internal vote.
Councillor Chris Wood will not be able to stand as the Conservative candidate for his Fareham Crofton seat on Hampshire County Council at this May’s elections.
He was beaten 21-13 by candidate Pal Hayre in a secret ballot vote by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Conservatives on Wednesday night in Stubbington.
Cllr Wood lost the initial vote to Ms Hayre last year, but was given a second chance after Conservative Party headquarters upheld his appeal, triggering the second vote.
He told The News: ‘I am proud to have served the people of Stubbington and Hill Head as their county councillor for the past four years.
‘It is a great pity that the public will not be the ones to decide whether I continue as their councillor in May, but I thank the great many of them who have contacted me over the past few months offering their support.’
The councillor still has a seat as a Fareham borough councillor for Stubbington, which is next up for re-election in May, 2018.
He defected to the Tories last year after claiming that his previous party Ukip had become ‘toxic’ and ‘out of touch’.
Ms Hayre was the previous Tory candidate for the seat in the past two county council elections.
A Conservative party source added: ‘We have tossed out a young, hardworking local councillor who has the support of the public in favour of someone who has twice stood for election and twice been rejected.
‘A vindictive clique within our party have done a disservice to local residents and removed a person who has worked hard. I’m ashamed at the behaviour of some members.’