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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Gareth Fox"

Duncan Smith and Neil knighted

One is a former Party leader; the other previously a Minister.  One is Leaver; the other a Remainer.  One holds a North London marginal seat; the other a South London “safe” constituency.

But what is most striking about these two dissimilar politicians – Iain Duncan Smith and Bob Neill – is that both are recently tamed rebels.

Duncan Smith supported Theresa May’s deal third time round, but opposed it on two previous occasions.  The Public Whip shows ten rebellions by him during the last Parliamentary session but one, all EU-related.

Neill voted for the deal, but opposed the Government twelve times, including on a customs union, free movement and timetabling: again, all his revolts were EU-related.

These knighthoods carefully-calibrated balancing exercise that honours two rebels who have come home – from different ends of the Parliamentary Party.

In due course, we would expect Duncan Smith to go to the Lords.  Here are the other Conservative political honours of which we are aware:


  • Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green.
  • Bob Neill, MP for Bromley and Chiselhurst.


  • Andrew R T Davies, former leader of the Conservative in the Welsh Assembly.
  • Laura Sandys, former MP for South Thanet.


  • Gareth Fox, former head of candidates, CCHQ.
  • Zoe Thorogood, former Conservative Party Chief of Staff.


  • Jill Elson, former East Devon district councillor.
  • Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, former Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Chippenham.
  • Andrea Pull, Conservative Spring Lunch.

Full list of all honours here.

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Exclusive: “We will be contesting the European Elections on 23rd May 2019”, CCHQ writes to Tory candidates

ConservativeHome can exclusively reveal that, in a letter to candidates sent this afternoon, the Conservative Party has conceded that “we will be contesting the European Elections on 23rd May 2019”.

Inviting applications to stand in the elections, Gareth Fox, CCHQ’s Director of Candidates, requests CVs “by no later than 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 9 April 2019)”, in order to select candidates in time for the 24th April deadline for formal nominations.

The prospect raises several practical questions – how many candidates will apply for a race which was never meant to happen, and which the government still hopes to cancel; how candidates will be selected democratically in a short space of time; whether the Party has the money to fight such elections; and, if it does, what proportion of the heavily Leave-supporting membership base will actually campaign in them.

To underscore that uncertainty, Fox’s email concludes with the line: “Nevertheless we might find we do not need to proceed with these elections.” Make of that what you will.

Here’s the full email:

Dear Candidate

Due to the current situation we will be contesting the European Elections on 23rd May 2019 and the closing date for Nominations is 24th April.

Whilst I have been contacted by some members of the Approved Parliamentary List expressing an interest in being considered, I am keen that everyone on the List who may be interested in standing as a European Candidate has an opportunity to apply.

If you wish to be considered for the European Elections please could I ask you to complete and return the attached Seat CV to [REDACTED]@conservatives.com by no later than 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday 9 April 2019). Please ensure you include the Region in which you wish to stand on the Seat CV and include the Region in the subject line of your email.

Due to the short timescale I am sorry that we will not be able to consider your application if received after the deadline.

Nevertheless we might find we do not need to proceed with these elections.

With best wishes.

Gareth Fox

Director of Candidates

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