Stuart Randall - leader of the Fife Tories and a councillor in nearby Dalgety Bay - is incandescent at having been left off the shortlist drawn up by the Scottish Tories, describing the procedure as "shabby" and "insulting the intelligence of the voters".Being leader of the Fife Conservatives isn't a glamorous job - it's not like being Tory leader in Kensington and Chelsea. Of the 78 councillors in Fife, two are Conservatives. Stuart Randall is the leader, and the other one isn't.
Thanks to his hard work over the years, Mr Randall was selected to fight the Westminster seat of Dunfermline East in the general election of 2001. His Labour opponent was a Mr Gordon Brown. In the 2005 election Mr Randall was selected to contest the new constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Again, his target was Mr Brown.
Now it seems to me that the Tories should owe a bit of loyalty to the person whom they chose to fight two consecutive general elections against the man expected to be the next prime minister. One would have thought that Mr Randall would have been on the shortlist for Conservative candidate in the forthcoming by-election in Dunfermline. Indeed, one would have thought that Mr Randall would have had a very good chance of getting the nomination. But Stuart Randall was "far too old and middle-aged to fit the bill". (He was born in 1962.)
Local Tories aren't amused:
Many party members boycotted the selection meeting, as they were 'appalled' at the way things had been handled, the councillor added.My Tory sources tell me that the anger goes well beyond Fife. Why should folk work hard for a party just to be stabbed in the back? David Cameron may be the darling of the London media but he is in the process of pissing off his party's natural supporters. Drinkin the blude-reid wine will only get them so far.
'It's been a shabby arrangement. There were three prospective candidates speaking to an audience of five. I've spent almost all day answering Emails and phone calls from people appalled by what has happened.