A CONSERVATIVE MP who was deselected after a bitter row with her constituency association has been dealt a further blow in her battle to retain her seat.
Anne McIntosh, who has served as a North Yorkshire MP since 1997, issued a fresh appeal to more than 200 Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association members to show loyalty to her ahead of a secret ballot to decide the membership of its executive.
Supporters of Miss McIntosh said they were dismayed at the outset of the meeting as officials stopped her from sitting alongside the committee and claimed the association was being run by the landed gentry.
Members of the association said the vote, which went against candidates who declared themselves as supporters of Miss McIntosh, was crucial as the incoming executive will decide both the form of the candidate selection process and the shortlist of candidates for the safe Tory seat.
It is understood the annual general meeting in Malton attracted a record turnout, with more than two-thirds of members voting for Helperby Therapeutics chairman and former media industry boss Kenelm Storey, to take become the association’s chairman.
Mr Storey, 51, of Malton, served as the association's vice chairman as it refused to readopt Miss McIntosh as its prospective parliamentary candidate.
A spokesman for the Conservative Party, which has been forced to intervene in the row between the MP and the association several times, said the executive would be free to decide how its prospective parliamentary candidate was selected after the European elections in May.