Race to replace Greg: Tory leader ruled out

The leader of the district council has ruled himself out of the race to succeed Greg Barker as Tory selectors poise to begin choosing a new candidate.

The Battle MP announced in July that he would retire at the next election, meaning Bexhill and Battle Conservative Association must choose a new candidate to fight next May.

And with that process set to begin next week, one figure who will not be throwing his hat into the ring is Cllr Carl Maynard, who this week dismissed suggestions he may fight for the candidacy.

“My commitment is to local politics, and that stands,” said Cllr Maynard, who has led Rother District Council (RDC) for nearly eight years and is a Cabinet member for East Sussex County Council (ESCC).

Conservative Campaign Headquarters confirmed the Bexhill and Battle vacancy is likely to be advertised next week. Those interested will then have a fortnight to send in a CV, after which the local Tory association, based on Amherst Road, Bexhill, will then work with Tory HQ to draw up a longlist of between ten and twenty candidates.

This longlist is then whittled down via interviews to a shortlist of no more than four candidates by the local association, before the Amherst Road office finally choose who will replace Greg to fight the next election.

The whole process usually takes around six weeks, meaning we should learn the outcome by early November.

As Bexhill and Battle is considered a Tory stronghold, it is no surprise to learn there have already been approaches, including some rumoured to be from relatively high-profile politicians. The