13 October 2011

Former Kingston councillor to become MEP

Right wing Tory MEP Roger Helmer has announced he is quitting the Conservative Party and the European Parliament at the end of the year.

Liberal England
reports that his place on the list will be taken up by one Rupert Matthews - an eccentric writer and self styled expert on alien abductions.

This Rupert Matthews is the same Rupert Matthews who was a councillor in Surbiton and managed to lose his seat twice in eight years to the Liberal Democrats.

Matthews was one of the young(ish) very right wing Tories who took over the Conservatives in Kingston and Surbiton in the early 1990s. Their extreme views and ousting of the moderate old guard meant that a 15,000 Conservative majority at the 1992 election was overturned by Edward Davey in 1997 by just 56 votes - despite the seat not being targeted by the Liberal Democrats centrally. Instead of learning the lesson Matthews and his cronies persisted in picking even more right wing candidates - resulting in Davey's massacre of former Tory MP David Shaw by 15,000 votes in 2001 and Kevin Davis by nearly 10,000 votes in 2005.

In the interim they split the local Conservatives in two - resulting in Matthews's ward colleagues resigning the party and the two factions ending up in the courts over plans to sell off their Surbiton HQ and club.

Matthews is a worthy successor to Helmer and shows that the old unacceptable face of the Tory party is alive and well - but worrying about imaginary aliens rather than European ones.

Incidently Matthews prodigy Kevin Davis - who lost to Ed Davey in 2005 - went on to be soundly beaten by David Laws in 2010.

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