Deselected MP Anne McIntosh condemns bullies in Commons speech after feud with party activists (From The Northern Echo)
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Deselected MP Anne McIntosh condemns bullies in Commons speech after feud with party activists
AN MP deselected after a bitter dispute with her constituency association has condemned bullying.
Thirsk and Malton MP Anne McIntosh, who was told on Friday (January 31) that she would not be automatically readopted as the constituency's candidate at the next general election, spoke out during Defence questions in the House of Commons.
During a debate about the number of women in senior military posts, Miss McIntosh, Yorkshire's only female Conservative MP, was welcomed to the floor by Speaker John Bercow.
She said: "May the message go out from this House that bullying and harassment will not be tolerated, whether in the military, in politics, or in civilian or any other walk of life?"
Armed forces minister Mark Francois replied: "I find it difficult to improve on what my honourable friend has just said, so I will simply say I agree."
Supporters of Miss McIntosh claim the dispute which led to her deselection has been based on sexism and that she has been subjected to a dirty tricks campaign.
While her opponents claim a "comfortable majority" of the 88 per cent of association members who voted called for her deselection, Miss McIntosh said yesterday (Monday, February 3) that the margin had been "very narrow".
The chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has said she intends to fight to retain her seat.
She said: "I am still on the list of Conservative candidates for Parliamentary seats, including Thirsk, Malton and Filey.
"I have been bolstered by the many messages from well-wishers following the vote result last Friday, including offers of help and financial support to fight to retain my position as the MP for the division in May next year."
She said she would meet Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the situation.
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