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Tory Chair Richard Holden endured a humiliating interview over the weekend, in which his aide had to step in and cut short the questioning.

Holden was involved in a fiery clash with Sky News’ Chief political Correspondent Jon Craig over the way he was chosen as an electoral candidate for the Basildon and Billericay constituency at the last minute.

There has been anger among Tory party members and accusations of a ‘stitch up’ after Holden was selected for the safe seat 300 miles from his former constituency, and after he was placed as the only candidate on the list.

Members of the local Conservative association were outraged and Andrew Baggott, the Conservative group leader on Basildon council, said this week he would refuse to campaign for Holden. A member of Holden’s new local association told the BBC his selection was a “slap in the face” for members in the area.

Holden was being grilled by Craig on Sunday over the way he was selected for the safe seat, however he refused to answer questions.

Craig asked him: “So you can’t justify the way you have been parachuted into Basildon and Billericay? You’re not deciding it’s a stitch-up and it’s anti-democratic?”

Holden answered by turning his attention to the Labour Party and said: “Emily Thornberry today has admitted…”

He is cut off by the journalist saying: “I’m going to stop you now. This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous! You said in an interview earlier this year you were bloody loyal to the North East. What happened to that?”

A Tory aide can be heard saying in the background ‘this wasn’t agreed’, before saying that ‘that’s not what we agreed to come here today to discuss’.

A clip of the interview was shared on social media, with one user posting on X: “Richard Holden here with the latest Tory campaign car crash. They are daily now, even with Rishi hiding in a bunker somewhere.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

The post Tory chair Richard Holden in car crash interview as adviser steps in to save him appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.


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