Somerset

Somerset Tories use open primary to pick PPC

Conservatives in Somerset are using an open primary to pick their candidates ahead of the next general election.

An open primary to select a prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC) for Taunton Deane is due to be held later.

David Fothergill, from the Taunton Conservative Constituency Association, said: "It allows everybody in the constituency to have their say."

Open primaries have been used in three English constituencies and another is due in Yeovil in two weeks' time.

A maximum of 250 people who live in the constituency can vote, but must have pre-registered in advance.

They will choose from three candidates, who will give a presentation before the vote is held.

Once a candidate is selected, the final choice will be ratified by the party members.

The idea of open primaries was put forward by Prime Minister David Cameron, who promised 200 of them nationwide as part of the coalition agreement.

Sam Crabb, the leader of the Liberal Democrats at County Hall, has said the party was not planning to adopt this new system, as PPCs were selected by party members.

The Labour party in Somerset has said it would consider the idea for future elections at all levels - for councillors and for PPCs.

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