APPC chair plays it safe after grabbing a good-looking Tory seat
Paul Bristow has struck a different tone to the last Tory MP for Peterborough.
Things were looking a bit rocky for Paul Bristow a few weeks ago. After facing some flak for the way he had handled the APPC-PRCA merger plan, he resorted to issuing something approaching a mea culpa.
“I don’t think everything has been done in the way that perhaps it should,” the chastened APPC chair told a Q&A event chaired by PAN’s editor.
But what a difference a few weeks makes!
Earlier this month, Bristow’s masterplan got the green light when APPC members voted for a merger with the PRCA.
And now the PB Consulting boss has achieved his goal of becoming the Conservative party's parliamentary candidate for the marginal seat of Peterborough.
The seat is especially winnable for the Tories as it is currently held Labour’s Fiona Onasanya, who has been charged with two counts of seeking to pervert the course of justice by allegedly blaming someone else for speeding offences committed by herself and her brother.
So how does Bristow plan to regain the seat for his side?
In an anodyne comment for the Peterborough Telegraph, the Tory lobbyist sounded like he had been programmed by Conservative HQ. He said: “I am delighted to be selected as the Conservative candidate for Peterborough. I understand the values of hard work, schools and our NHS and the security of a good job. Every day I will fight for the people of Peterborough locally and at Westminster. Only the Conservatives can build a country that works for everyone with a stronger, fair economy and a more caring society.”
It’s a rather different style to former Tory MP for Peterbrough Stewart Jackson (aka David Davis’ ex-chief of staff) who lost the seat in 2017. After getting the heave-ho, Jackson blamed his defeat on the Conservative manifesto which he described as "electoral poison" and he went on to tell a former constituent that he was enjoying "not having to engage with thick chavs like you".
Tuesday AM update:
The charmless Jackson has just prompted a barrage of criticism after lashing out at over a photo of child with cancer on social media, apparently angry that his stepfather is an ardent Remainer...