Tory candidate Ashley Fox accused of lying to MPs to secure job

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A Conservative campaigner has been accused of lying to MPs astir his governmental ambitions successful bid to unafraid a lucrative domiciled heading up a post-Brexit regulator.

Sir Ashley Fox was confirmed connected Friday arsenic nan Tory campaigner for nan safe spot of Bridgwater successful Somerset, which he applied for past year contempt having antecedently promised members of nan justness prime committee he would not do so.

Fox made nan committedness successful 2020 during a parliamentary proceeding to vet him arsenic nan adjacent chair of nan Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), a regulator group up aft Brexit to protect nan authorities of EU citizens surviving successful nan UK.

Maria Eagle, a Labour MP who was connected nan committee astatine nan time, said: “Sir Ashley appears to person many times lied to maine and different members of nan prime committee astir his intentions to guidelines for parliament while seeking a non-political role, posing superior questions astir his suitability for nationalist office.

“Had he done this arsenic a serving MP, it would person warranted a general investigation, truthful why has he been deemed an acceptable Conservative statement campaigner for nan election?”

Fox said: “I person now stepped down from nan IMA. I americium very proud to person been selected arsenic nan Conservative campaigner for Bridgwater and americium looking forwarding to nan predetermination connected 4 July.”

During his pre-appointment proceeding successful 2020, Fox was asked by Sir Bob Neill, nan Conservative chair of nan committee: “Do you intend to use for immoderate governmental office, Sir Ashley, while holding nan station of chair of nan IMA?”

Fox replied astatine nan clip “no”, and past followed up pinch an email to Neill promising: “I americium happy to corroborate that it is not my volition to activity aliases clasp elected nationalist agency during my word arsenic chair of nan Independent Monitoring Authority.”

With that guarantee having been secured, Neill said he was happy to urge Fox for nan role, which required 2 days of activity a week earning £500 a day. He added successful his proposal report however: “Any campaigner taking specified a domiciled must show nan independency required to behaviour it beyond statement governmental interest.”

Fox past spent 3 years successful nan domiciled arsenic chair earlier announcing successful September 2023 that he was quitting aft being selected for nan Bridgwater constituency.

The statement complete Fox’s candidacy successful Bridgwater, which would person had a mostly of 19,000 successful 2019 had it existed successful its existent boundaries, is nan latest successful a bid of controversies regarding Conservative selections. All candidates for adjacent month’s predetermination were confirmed by nan Electoral Commission astatine 4pm connected Friday.

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This week Sam Trask stood aside arsenic nan Tory campaigner successful Bridgend, successful Wales, aft it emerged he had made a bid of inappropriate comments astir women online. In 1 chat astir chat-up lines, Trask suggested: “Hey there, wanna travel to my spot and watch porn connected my 50 inch level surface mirror?”

Meanwhile Richard Holden, nan Tory statement chair, is facing anger from statement members aft he secured nan safe spot of Basildon and Billericay having been nan only campaigner to beryllium shortlisted. Holden antecedently represented North West Durham, a spot 300 miles distant which has been abolished by nan bound review.

The Conservative statement did not respond to a petition for comment.

Source theguardian