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Former Tory chairman expelled for aiding UKIP
10:07am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
A three-time former chairman of Romsey Conservative Association claims he is the subject of a vendetta after he was expelled from the party for a minimum of five years.
Rod Brayshaw was thrown out after he was reported for delivering leaflets for rival party UKIP prior to the local elections in June by Tory councillor, Chris Wesson.
Mr Brayshaw said he was not delivering leaflets, but merely keeping an eye on his eight-year- old granddaughter who was delivering the leaflets on behalf of his wife, Liz, who is a UKIP supporter.
“My crime was watching out for the safety of my granddaughter,” said Mr Brayshaw, 71 of Whitenap.
“I didn’t touch any of the leaflets.”
Mr Brayshaw appealed against his expulsion and the matter went to a hearing at Conservative head office in London, where the decision of the Romsey and Southampton North Constituency was upheld.
However, what has really angered Mr Brayshaw was a subsequent letter from the Romsey Working Men’s Conservative Club, terminating his membership.
The letter from club secretary, Ian Forfar, states that “only persons being members of their local Conservative Association” are eligible for membership.
“It is therefore my duty to strike your name from the register and disable your entry swipecard,” says the letter.
Mr Brayshaw claims this is completely inconsistent, as many of the club’s 800 members are not true blue party loyalists. “I know one member of the club who has had Lib Dem posters in his garden at election time and I’m sure others voted UKIP at the last elections. Are they going to be sacked, too?” he said.
He claimed the party, which had falling membership, could ill afford to lose members over such trivial matters.
John Dowling, chairman of the Working Men’s Conservative Club, said they had no alternative but to expel Mr Brayshaw after receiving a letter from Conservative head office saying he was no longer a member of the party, but he would be able to reapply for membership in five years’ time.
The party ruled that Mr Brayshaw had breached Rule 3 of its constitution, which states: “Membership of the Conservative Party is not compatible with membership of, or association with, any other registered political party.”
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