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Tory councillor's seaside ambitions are put on hold

PUBLISHED: 11:11 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:12 07 September 2010

By Katie Davies HAMPSTEAD councillor Mike Greene s bid to become MP for Bournemouth West has stalled at the last hurdle. The Camden Tory was one of two candidates to go head-to-head for the seat, when his opponent dropped out. But rather than gifting Cl

By Katie Davies

HAMPSTEAD councillor Mike Greene's bid to become MP for Bournemouth West has stalled at the last hurdle.

The Camden Tory was one of two candidates to go head-to-head for the seat, when his opponent dropped out.

But rather than gifting Cllr Greene with the nomination, the local Conservative association decided on Tuesday to restart the lengthy process to find a candidate. The disappointment has left him unsure about continuing his bid and could mean that he remains in Camden.

He said: "It is disappointing - but it is up to the association how they decide they want to select candidates and I have complete respect for that.

"The process will start again and the decision will now be taken some time in the autumn. I want some time to digest this. But at the moment I think I will put my hat into the ring again. I am disappointed but philosophical."

Many people in the seaside resort town were critical of Cllr Greene's selection because he was working at such a distance from the constituency.

The politician, who is in charge of the environment department in Camden, currently spends his weekdays in London and weekends in Bournemouth.

He works in London as well as being a councillor here and travels to spend time with his wife and children who are based in Bournemouth.

He grew up in Bournemouth and his wife is a councillor there.

But many residents vented opposition to his appointment on the local party's internet forum.

One wrote: "Camden? That's in north London. Why on earth does he want to be the MP for Bournemouth?"

Another said: "That does beg the question, if he's so committed to Bournemouth, why didn't he want to serve as a councillor in Bournemouth?

"Is it the case then that he thinks he's too good to be just a councillor in Bournemouth - that it's somehow beneath him?"

Eyebrows were raised when Cllr Greene made the final two alongside Rebecca Harris - ahead of two Bournemouth councillors.

Ms Harris dropped out on Tuesday after being selected for another seat nearby and was replaced by back-up selection Caroline Dineage.

But that evening the association decided to start again.

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk

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