“She won’t speak to anyone,” complained a clearly bemused reporter as Maria Hutchings was “escorted” out of the Eastleigh count early on Friday morning.
“Who do you blame? David Cameron or the coalition government?” asked another, as the Tory tried to leave following announcement that she had finished third behind the Lib Dems and Ukip.
After a week of rumours that suggested the Conservative hierarchy had ordered their candidate, the “Sarah Palin of British politics” according to Labour, to be removed from her own campaign trail, Hutchings’ exit from the election was a suitably bizarre denouement to the Tory’s Eastleigh push.
No excuse, no explanation, not even congratulations to the Mike Thornton, Nick Clegg’s bland yet victorious charge. Hutchings offered only silence, yet one that suggested all was not accord between the mother-of-four, viewed as a loose cannon by Number 10, and Tory HQ.
Hopefully the candidate, well known for her forthright views, will return to form and reveal exactly what happened in the small Hampshire town.
“Who do you blame? David Cameron or the coalition government?” The smart money is on the defeated candidate nodding to the former…
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