If I were looking for a couple of Tory MPs to deselect ahead of the next general election then Tim Yeo and Anne Mcintosh would not feature anywhere near the top of the list.  Maybe I ought to come up with that list some time.

It’s a bit of a coincidence, and a bit of a shame, that two Tories who have been very active on environmental issues have lost the support of their local parties.

Tim Yeo MP via wikimedia comons

Mr Yeo clearly thinks that one of the reasons he has got the chop is his generally pro-EU and climate-accepting position.

Tim Yeo is a past Environment Minister and has been chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

I’ve met him, and a long time ago walked around a field in his constituency with him – I can’t for the life of me remember why!  I don’t agree with everything Mr Yeo believes in but he is much more my sort of Tory than are many of his colleagues.


Anne Mcintosh MP  Photo: Horticulture Week, via Wikimedia Commons
Anne Mcintosh MP Photo: Horticulture Week, via Wikimedia Commons

I have heard Ms Mcintosh described as ‘mad as a box of frogs’ – whatever that means – but even that was said with some affection.  She is though, according to some of her Tory constituents, just a ‘silly girl’.  Like most ‘silly girls’ Ms Mcintosh speaks five languages and is a lawyer who chairs the Rural Affairs Committee.  We might wish for a few more ‘silly girls’ like her.  Ms Mcintosh has shown a strong interest in flooding – maybe that’s where the box of frogs came from?

Because of the death of one of the candidates, the vote in her constituency in the May 2010 election was postponed by several weeks.  This might have been a bit of bad luck (worse for the deceased candidate of course) which prevented her from gaining a ministerial post in the coalition government as they were all decided before she was formally re-elected.

Anne Mcintosh definitely fits into the category of Tory MP with whom I disagree about quite a lot of things but personally admire and respect.

On a personal note I remember her, a while ago, after not seeing me for quite a while, coming over for a chat and a catch up – which I thought was nice of her.

Although speaking Danish, French, German, Italian and Spanish she may not speak Yorkshire – although having been to school in Harrogate one might have thought she would have picked up that tongue along the way too.


I could well imagine myself voting for either of these characters if they stood in a constituency in which I had a vote,  depending on the merits of the other candidates, and so I just feel that neither Parliament nor the Conservative Party can really afford their loss.


19 Replies to “Deselection”

  1. Yes, on broader issues I’d disagree with Anne McIntosh on most things – but I am very sorry to see her de-selected because she has been a fantastic champion for ‘soft’ solutions to flooding (and trees in particular), citing the Pickering scheme which, as intelligent flood management should, brings together a range of land management approaches to mitigate flooding of the town. And she has once again, for me at least, covered herself in glory by saying ‘we must not demonise the EA’. the way agencies like EA, NE and Fc have been treated by this Government, EA staff (with 1,100 more job cuts hanging over them) would have been more than justified in doing a Bob Crow and downing tools at the critical moment – instead the whole organisation has put its shoulder to the grindstone – I’ve just been watching EA people working frantically to try and save another village in the levels. I’d like to know what hours some of these people are working – I think they are the heroes of the hour, and show up the manoeuvring, slippery politicians in an appalling light. This is a moment for leadership, not political infighting. One positive thing: thank you, David Cameron for the £100m – but I’m not impressed with the way you have dumped on Owen Paterson – the behaviour of a real politician, and definitely not of a leader, in a crisis like this. Owen didn’t have £100m to hand out and has a lot of support behind his position that dredging won’t do the job on its own on the Levels.

  2. I remember my Mum and Dad explaining to me that ‘there are one or two half-decent Tories in Parliament’. I was quite stunned at the time. And now, 50 years later, you have used your acute observational powers to pay a nice tribute to another couple of half-decent Tories. I was quite moved to read this; liking & respect for one’s opponents seems rarely felt in today’s political atmosphere.

  3. I know both of these Tory MPs and would agree that Tim Yeo is actually quite a good egg. When I lived and worked in Suffolk I met him often. He was always courteous and seemed keen to listen to what I had to say. He was very supportive on issues bringing farmers and conservationists closer together to achieve a better lot for biodiversity on farms.

    I am not so sure about Anne Mcintosh. She was a MEP in Suffolk and when she first arrived I made an appointment to meet with her (as I did every new politician in Suffolk). She was late for the appointment and informed me in no uncertain terms that she was a very busy and I imagine important person and was not really sure why I would want to talk to her. She showed little interest in countryside or wildlife issues and we were all glad when she quite quickly moved on. I imagine somewhere something must have changed her.

  4. Never mind political parties deselecting, when are we going to see a reduction in MPs and Lords? 800 in the Lords & 650 in the Commons.

    A cull along the lines of public sector cuts seems reasonable?

  5. Tim Yeo’s attendance in parliament over the last four governments

    From 2010: 62%
    From 2005: 45%
    From 2001: 58%
    From 1997: 55%

    He actually voted strongly for laws to stop climate change.

    Voted against a smoking ban.
    Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
    Voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year.
    Voted against the hunting ban.
    Voted against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
    Voted for increasing the rate of VAT.
    Voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs.
    Voted a mixture of for and against equal gay rights.

    Anne Mckintosh had 83% attendance. Better but still nowhere near what I manage in my job.

    Voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year.
    Voted very strongly for increasing the rate of VAT.
    Voted strongly against removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
    Voted very strongly for the Iraq war.
    Voted strongly against equal gay rights.
    Voted very strongly against the hunting ban.
    Voted moderately against a smoking ban.

    Voted strongly for laws to stop climate change.

    Can’t say I’ll miss either. And neither appear remotely green or environmental enough to me

    1. Steve – well those are some of the reasons why I would find it difficult to vote for them – they are Tories. A good example of how politics matters is that you won’t find a single Labour MP (I guess) with a very similar voting record – that’s why politics matters.

      But you have to dig a bit deeper than the links I provided to find their environmental credentials. Have a look at the two MPs’ record and views on the select Committees they chair – again i don’t agree with all of them, but these are two MPs who are miles ahead of the pack in their environmental level of knowledge and understanding..

      1. Tory activists seem hell bent on tea-partyism. Their loss as talking what they believe to be their unique brand of common-sense i.e. Dogma and prejudice based decision making, will not win them elections.

        The frustration for me is that neither main party seems to offer any alternative vision to globalisation, corporate power and unfettered free markets. And when the doo doo hits the fan as per the flooding, Labour’s response is to look for cheap points to score, rather than offering an evidence based response. We can’t even seem to develop a taxation system that is fit for a global economy, hence our increasing starvation of public service.

        I’ve long since come to the conclusion that the political system as a whole is rotten and self-serving, designed to deny oxygen and representation to alternative views.

        1. John – thank you. But you aren’t a victim – it’s your political system. Make your views known. Be active. You’ll feel less frustrated anyway!

    2. yeo sting committee conflict chairman interest money green

      Enter these terms into a search engine

  6. The voting record is interesting but hold on a minute it was Blair and his cronies who concocted a pack of lies about the Iraq war. Would these Tories have voted with Blair if they had known the truth?

    Just a thought!

    I am in despair with politics in the UK just now. We have the worst load of Tories in Government I can remember, the Lib-Dems are ineffectual, UKIP are absolutely repulsive and we have the Labour Pary where my memory is good and I will never forgive them for the lies about Iraq, the banking cock-up and giving us Brown probably the worst PM ever.

    If Screaming Lord Sutch were alive I would probably vote for him.

    For the first time in over 50 years of voting I have not got a clue where to make my mark. Maybe I won’t and my Grandmother an active suffragette will come back and haunt me from her grave.

  7. Unfortunately, I see their environmental credentials as almost wholly irrelevant when I consider the rest of their policies. I wouldn’t vote for anyone who was trying to sort out the harrier issue if they had those other policies above. And I strongly suspect that environmental concerns do not dictate the voting choices of more than a small handful of people.

    In terms of those voting records being typical of tories, you forget who actually got us into the disastrous Iraq War and who actually introduced tuition fees etc – Labour.

    The only socially and environmentally responsible party I could consider voting for is the Green Party, but they have no chance of being elected at the moment.

    I don’t want to clog up your blog with moral, political and philosophical nonsense so I’ll draw a line under this one. Thanks for discussing Mark.

  8. I gather that security levels have been raised at Buck House in the past few hours. Apparently there is an impression that hordes of frustrated folk will be breaking into HRH’s chambers in an attempt to remove assorted ministers from office.

    I further gather that serious consideration is being given to the installation of a revolving door should the situation escalate.

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