Tories to meet over ‘wrong result’ claims

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Conservatives will hold an emergency meeting amid claims the wrong candidate was announced as winner of a parliamentary primary last month.

London-based barrister Lucy Frazer, 41, was chosen as the prospective MP for South East Cambridgeshire, which includes Soham and part of Newmarket, during an open primary held at Ely College on December 7.

But it has since been claimed that the real winner was businesswoman Heidi Allen, also from London, after ballots for Ms Allen were allegedly incorrectly allocated to Ms Frazer.

The primary had already been marred by controversy due to all four candidates - Ms Frazer, Ms Allen, Charlotte Vere and Paul Bristow - living outside the South East Cambridgeshire constituency.

A private meeting of the local party will take place tomorrow, attended by national nominating officer Paul Mabbutt and head of candidates Gareth Fox, where it will be decided whether to re-verify Ms Frazer or re-open the ballot.

A graduate of Cambridge University’s Newnham College and specialist in commerical law, Yorkshire-born Ms Frazer is one of the youngest QCs in the country.

If she is re-verified as Conservative candidate she will contest the seat currently held by Sir Jim Paice at the next General Election in 2015.

In March, the former Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, 64, announced he would be standing down as MP for South East Cambridgeshire, having represented the constituency since 1987.

He was appointed farming minister in May 2010, but lost the role to David Heath last year in Prime Minister David Cameron’s first Cabinet reshuffle.

A Conservative Party spokesman told the Journal: “This is an internal party matter which is currently being investigated.”