Banbury stirs the pot

Andrea Leadsom

Andrea Leadsom

Banbury Conservative Constituency Association holds its AGM next Saturday.  The guest speaker is Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northants.  She is one of the 2010 intake and took over from Tim Boswell who had served as MP for Daventry before boundary changes for 23 years.  She is an ambitious lady and has clearly made her mark, having been appointed as Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister in 2014.  She worked in the banking and finance sector for 25 years so has considerable  experience of the real world including working with Eddie George on the financial crash of 1995.

Victoria Prentis

Victoria Prentis

Interestingly, Banbury’s new MP is Victoria Prentis who is Tim Boswell’s daughter and was a Treasury lawyer for most of her life before succeeding Tony Baldry as the MP for Banbury in 2015.  She lives in a manor house in a leafy North Oxfordshire village and had no political experience before 2015 because of her role as a Treasury mandarin.

What makes this AGM particularly interesting is the fact that Victoria Prentis has pinned her flag to the Cameron mast, pledging to vote Remain while Andrea Leadsom has joined the Michael Gove team and stated her intention to vote Leave.

Now, Banbury Conservatives might believe they will have a golden opportunity to hear both sides of the EU debate at their AGM next week and to make their own views clear to their own MP and to the neighbouring member for South Northants.

Sadly, this seems unlikely to happen because I am reliably informed that any debate on the European Union will be banned by the North Oxfordshire Constituency Association both at the AGM next Saturday and at any subsequent Association meetings.  Does this mean members attending the AGM will be prohibited from asking questions of their guest speaker and their MP?   It seems so.  So much for democracy and the involvement of grass roots members in their political party!

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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