There was the sound of a loose cannon rolling around Eastleigh yesterday, as the most contentious parliamentary by-election in recent history spluttered into life. Bang went Maria Hutchings, Conservative candidate for the seat, and bang again. Yes, she would vote for Britain to leave the European Union in a future referendum, and yes, she would have voted against gay marriage. Mrs Hutchings also happens to be strongly “pro-life”, against building on green-belt land and isn’t a particular fan of “Tory toffs”.
In his effort to find a candidate more honest than the previous Honourable Member for this Hampshire constituency – which, let’s face it, shouldn’t be that hard – David Cameron has landed himself with a ready-made backbench rebel, a woman unafraid to speak her mind.
“If there was a referendum now, I would vote 'out’,” she said, for one moment free of her entourage of Conservative Central Office – now daftly titled “CCHQ” – minders.
“I am not a rich Tory toff,” boomed the former recruitment consultant as she sat in an Eastleigh coffee shop next to Grant Shapps, the bemused and improbable chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party. “I am a mum, I ran my jobs club down here. One day I didn’t have enough money when I came to the ATM to pay for £1.80 parking here, and the people at the jobs club gave me the money!”
Click on link to read the full piece. Its excellent.
Poor old Atticus Skeptyk Finch if it is he is going to have a hard job with this lady. She is also against same sex marriage, is a mother of 4 and contradicts her minder, Tory chairman Grant Shapps in public. Great! We need more debate like this. Farage did himself a favour by ducking this contest. It was a great start to the campaign while the LibDems were busy trying to air brush Mr Huhne out of their sordid history.
I have decided to tweet. You can read my thoughts at @NortonSubHamdon for what they are worth.