Ex-minister faces selection battle

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The Independent Online

The political future of the former Conservative minister Sir Nicholas Scott hung in the balance last night after his constituency association voted not to automatically endorse him as its candidate at the next general election.

The Chelsea MP - who was recently involved in a car accident in which a toddler in a pushchair was allegedly knocked over - will have to fight it out with other candidates to contest the newly-created Kensington and Chelsea seat.

His constituency association had the choice last night of either adopting Sir Nicholas, 61, as the sole candidate, or opening up the selection process so others could stand for selection. It decided on an open selection procedure in which Sir Nicholas, who has represented Chelsea for 21 years, will be one of the candidates.

John Corbett Singleton, the constituency association chairman, said: "In accordance with Sir Nicholas Scott's wishes the executive of the Kensington and Chelsea Conservative Association has agreed to open out the selection for the prospective parliamentary candidate for the enlarged constituency of Kensington and Chelsea. This is on the understanding that Sir Nicholas will go through to the final selection process on 10 November."

Sir Nicholas, who was not at the meeting, said of the association's decision: "That always had my support. When the association suggested that happen, I said I was content with that."