The Conservatives have had a rather tawdry 48 hours or so in their Westminster North constituency. Their bright, A-listed, media friendly Cameron insider candidate Joanne Cash resigned on Monday night, only to return on Tuesday evening. The dispute was essentially a clash of personalities between two alpha females - Cash herself, and the local Association Chairman. The resolution - Cash's re-instatement as a candidate and the complete removal of the Association Chairman - was a leadership operation, and the whole affair sheds only a little light on the politics of the Conservative Party. There have been suggestions that it represents a widening gulf between Cameron's leadership clique and the party grassroots, although this would hardly be the first local association to present problems to its national leadership. In reality, the Westminster cat fight was an odd diversion, but it probably reinforced the desire on the part of the leadership to have a more complete central control of its wayward constituency organisations. It won't have done Cash any favours either, as she seeks to overturn Labour MP Karen Buck's 3,000 odd majority.
The Evening Standard's Paul Waugh has probably the most thorough and accurate account of the 'evening of mayhem' that led to Cash's resignation.