One of ‘Prime Minister David Cameron’s ‘closest friends’ has been parachuted – against local opposition and anger – in as the Tory candidate for what is presumed to be a safe Tory seat in a desperate bid to see off UKIP after the sitting member suddenly announced he was not standing again.
As a sign of disarray among Dorset Torieis, Cameron’s close friend Simon Hoare will be battling in North Dorset to defeat UKIP candidate Steve Unwin, who was, at one time, Tory party agent for the present retiring Conservative MP Bob Walter.
Mr Hoare – a member of the Conservative Association Executive at Witney where Mr Cameron is the MP – said Mr Cameron had already contacted him to say he was ‘delighted’ he had been selected for the seat where he is defending a majority of more than 7,000.
But yesterday Mr Unwin – who has lived in the constituency for 20 years – said if they had chosen a local candidate they would have been in a much stronger position.
A confident Mr Unwin said UKIP was getting an amazingly good response on the doorstep.
“I will now win this seat. By selecting Hoare, they have made it much easier for me to win. He is one of Cameron’s lackeys.
They have bussed in someone from Cameron’s constituency, one of David Cameron’s closest friends.
We have had an amazingly good response on the doorstep – people know who I am.
Mr Hoare will only be here until the election – I would rent rather than buy a house if I were him.”
Yesterday father of three Mr Hoare said he would resign at once from Oxfordshire County Council, and West Oxfordshire District Council to see off the UKIP threat.
“I am delighted, over the moon, cock a hoop. I am so excited about the whole prospect. My family will be moving to North Dorset as soon as we can. I have told Mr Cameron – I sent him an email and he has told me he is delighted as well (at my selection.)”