From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing
Having surrendered the Conservative whip, Amber Rudd, the MP for Hastings and Rye, said, in a recent statement issued by her parliamentary office, that she will not stand against the local Conservative Association and its parliamentary candidate if there is a General Election; instead she will stand as an independent candidate.
But will she really do that when the cards are down?
After all, even with the backing of the Conservative Party, she still only managed a minuscule majority of 346 in 2017, so, by standing alone, I would have thought that she stands the proverbial chance of a snowball in hell of winning the seat next time round.
So what is actually going on?
Why is she bothering to go through all the rigmarole of fighting for a seat that she must know she will never win?
As far as I can see all she will do is split the Conservative vote and allow Peter Chowney, the Labour candidate, who finished up a hair breath’s behind her with the support of 25,322 of the electorate, to take a seat in Westminster.
All very odd, especially now that Nicholas Soames, who declared that he would not be standing in the next election even before having the party whip withdrawn by Boris Johnson, is leaving a vacancy in Mid Sussex that, with a majority of nearly 20,000 in 2017, Ms Rudd would be guaranteed to win if she stood there, instead of fighting a losing battle down here on the South Coast.
It sounds to me very much like a case of ‘watch this space’, because I suspect this is a story that is going to have more twists and turns than the road between Hastings and Rye.