In preparation for tomorrow's meeting of the Conservative Future executive at the Carlton Club (apparently CCHQ refused CF a room!?) there has been a flurry of speculation about bids for the Chairmanship coming together.
TB has spoken to a lot of people close to Owen Meredith this afternoon and can confirm that he has approached some big CF players in his search for a campaign manager. Rumours have circulated in the last week that Mr Meredith
recently failed his Parliamentary Assessment Board test and now seems to be looking to fill some gaps in an already
One of the names thrown around tonight in relation to becoming Meredith's campaign manager is Cllr Ben Howlett who denied he had been approached and indeed confirmed speculation that he is considering running himself - "Yeah I'm thinking about running, but not yet."
Tory Bear got in touch with Owen to give him the chance to go on record to confirm the speculation but instead he chose to deny the fact he has been building a team "No I’m not actively doing anything at the moment. I've just started a new job and not sure what my work commitments are going to be like or when the election even is."
Only time will tell but the sources TB got this story from have not been wrong before and another senior member of CF was adamant that Owen "had his heart set on running."
The dates for the election remain a mystery and this time last year the campaigns were well underway. Things seem to be shifting up a gear though tonight and the flurry of anonymous briefings is well underway. This election could get pretty tense given the previous hiccups in the relationship between Meredith and Steve Ricketts, another NME member apparently planning to run. A few months back a botched attempt at an anonymous briefing by Owen against Steve caused some red faces. Tonight it seems Mr Meredith has not been too cautious in selecting who he reveals his plans to and will have to sharpen up his operation a considerable amount if this bid is going to gain any ground.
You know where you will read your election news first.
UPDATE 20:00 Seems there is no proof in the PAB rumour. He didn't fail it, this week.