A new Tory MP has made a scathing attack on David Cameron for promoting women and people from the ethnic minorities over ‘white, Christian, married’ men.
John Glen, the party’s former head of research, said his background effectively ruled him out for a ministerial job under Mr Cameron.
He said: ‘I don’t anticipate any early calls to Government. I’m a white, Christian, married bloke from the Home Counties so I probably don’t fit the description of what the leadership wants at the moment.’
The Salisbury MP, one of 147 new Tory MPs elected in May, should on paper be a potential high-flier in the Commons after running the respected Conservative Research Department following the 2005 General Election.
Previous Tory research chiefs who have gone on to top posts include Andrew Lansley, now the Health Secretary, and Chris Patten, who served as Conservative Party Chairman under John Major’s Government.
Mr Glen, 36, also accused Mr Cameron of ‘vetoing’ his bid to be Tory candidate three years ago and complained how he was initially left off the party’s controversial ‘A-list’ of fast-tracked candidates. And the Oxford-educated MP appeared to lash out at new Tory colleagues trying too hard to get noticed and ‘racing around and annoying everyone’.
Mr Glen said: ‘What is important is that you don’t lose your soul along the way. I’d rather be a damn good constituency MP and be known to speak the truth than someone who has got on the ladder too soon and is not experienced or able enough to deal with the pressure. I’ve noticed some colleagues out to make a name for themselves.’
His remarks, in an article for the Commons in-house journal The House Magazine, will revive the rows over Mr Cameron’s determination to rebrand his party by fast-tracking women and ethnic-minority parliamentary candidates over traditional Tory ‘pin-striped’ men prior to May’s General Election.
It led to the famous ‘Turnip Taliban’ revolt when Tories in South-West Norfolk unsuccessfully tried to deselect candidate Liz Truss over her failure to declare an earlier affair with married Tory MP Mark Field.
After the Election, many local activists who resented the ‘A-list’ priority candidates felt vindicated when a number failed to win. Five openly gay candidates were not elected, two of whom – David Gold in Eltham and Mark Coote in Cheltenham – were standing in seats pencilled in by Tory high command as easy wins.
Mr Glen complained that his political career suffered a ‘blow’ when he failed to be included on the first round of A-list candidates.
But even after he got on to a later priority list, he said the Tory leader blocked his bid to be the party’s candidate in Henley in 2008 – the safe seat vacated by Boris Johnson when he became London Mayor. Mr Glen said he was rejected even though his wife-to-be lived in the Oxfordshire town.
Mr Glen wrote that ‘to his immense credit, David Cameron later apologised for what happened’.
However, he also complained that after Mr Cameron became party leader in December 2005, his career at Tory HQ ‘started to go wrong’ and that he was not appreciated by Steve Hilton, the new leader’s director of strategy and image guru.
‘I sensed that my days would be numbered, and in my early encounters with Steve Hilton and members of David Cameron’s office, I sensed a lack of esteem for what I could bring to the table,’ he said.
The MP also attacked the decision by close Cameron ally Francis Maude, now a Cabinet Office Minister, to abolish the Conservative Research Department as ‘very short-sighted’.
Last night, a fellow Conservative MP privately accused Mr Glen of ‘sour grapes’, saying that out of more than 100 Ministers in the Coalition, only 19 were women and only ‘a handful’ were from ethnic minorities.
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