Tory MP survives deselection bid

Author: By Liam Creedon, Press Association

The St Albans Conservative Association last night kept faith with Ms Main, 52,
and voted against deselecting her from standing as Tory candidate for the
Hertfordshire seat she won from Labour in 2005.

The vote in London Colney follows allegations that Ms Main’s daughter lived
rent free at a flat paid for by the tax payer.

Speaking after the meeting a beaming Ms Main told the waiting press: “I’m just
absolutely delighted to have had the overwhelming support of the Association
meeting and I will continue to work on behalf of the people of St Albans.

“I’m truly grateful for all the messages of support that I’ve had coming in
from people who aren’t Association members but are the voters and
representatives of St Albans so I’m just really delighted.”

Ms Main was forced to fight for her political life as she appeared before
around 160 members of the association.

She spoke to them for 20 minutes outlining her actions regarding the expenses
allegations she faces and detailing the “good work” she had done for the

A huge cheer rang out from within the hall as the results of the vote were

If Ms Main had lost the results could have spelt the end of the back-bencher’s
political career.

The Tories have a majority of just 1,361 over Labour in the constituency with
the Liberal Democrats close behind in third.

The claims against Ms Main are being investigated by parliamentary sleaze
watchdog John Lyon.

The Conservative Party’s scrutiny panel has deferred ruling on Ms Main’s
expenses while the probe is ongoing.

The association’s constituency chairman Seema Kennedy and her deputy Matthew
Peck instigated last night’s vote by putting down a motion of no confidence
against Ms Main.

During the meeting a dossier was distributed amongst members outlining why
they should deselect Ms Main.

But there was a quiet confidence amongst the MP’s supporters as they arrived
for the meeting earlier in the evening.

Retired company director Trevor Fox summed up their mood when he said the
attempts to unseat her were ridiculous.

The 62-year-old from the St Albans said: “She’s been a very good MP for the
area. She’s done a good job.

“At the end of they day a lot of MPs have been naughty, maybe she bent the
rules a bit but trying to unseat her is ridiculous.”

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