Portsmouth Conservatives told: prepare for leadership contest

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A TOP Portsmouth Conservative politician warned his party to prepare for a leadership contest, it has emerged.  

Councillor Robert New spoke at the Portsmouth North Conservative Association’s annual meeting – and said a contest would come in 12-18 months.

The Guido Fawkes blog did not name Cllr New but said the AGM minutes said: ‘We are preparing for a party leadership contest sometime in the next 12-18 months and we anticipate a general election to follow.’

A leadership contest would see Prime Minister Theresa May challenged in her position.

The News understands Cllr New, who now chairs the association, was not questioned as he gave his report in his then post as political chair.

Portsmouth South chair, Leo Ciccarone, said the message had not been repeated in his association. He said: ‘I’ve not had anything at all about prepare for this or that.’

He added the associations are now working together to ‘achieve one aim’ of returning Conservative MPs.