Gardiner loses High Court battle

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The Independent Online
Sir George Gardiner lost his legal battle to remain an MP yesterday when a senior High Court judge ruled that his local constituency association did have the right to de-select him.

The MP was seeking a declaration that Reigate Conservatives had no power to vote to oust him and their decision was therefore void. He also wanted an injunction restraining the association from adopting a new prospective Conservative candidate for the Surrey constituency. But Sir Richard Scott, the vice-chairman, said there was nothing in the rules of the constituency association which barred them from the de-selection process at a general meeting.

"There is no contractual right of a prospective candidate precluding the association from de-selecting him and selecting someone who has become a more desirable candidate. The rules of the association are part of the democratic process to put an MP into Parliament. The notion that a candidate has contractual rights is to my mind unacceptable," he said.