EXCLUSIVE: Leading Tories say Northampton South MP's handling of Sixfields fallout is '˜damaging party's reputation'
Executive committee members of Northampton South Conservative Association say MP David Mackintosh's role in the bungled Sixfields loan deal and his 'refusal to accept criticism' has damaged the reputation of the local party.
Long-serving Northamptonshire county councillor Michael Clarke has proposed a motion for next Friday’s executive committee meeting expressing “disappointment” and “concerns” over the conduct of the Northampton South constituency MP.
The motion says: “The Executive Committee meeting expresses its disappointment and its concerns over the conduct of...David Mackintosh in respect to the loan made whilst Leader of Northampton Borough Council to Northampton Town Football Club and to Mr Mackintosh’s refusal to accept criticism of his conduct contained in the PwC report.”
The committee, which will meet at the Conservative Association’s Billing Road office next Friday, consists of about 20 senior local party members.
It goes on to say: “The executive further expresses its concerns over the reputational damage this matter is having on the standing of the Conservative party in the borough, with reference to recent election results and forthcoming elections to Northamptonshire County Council.”
The motion is seconded by the person who succeeded Mr Mackintosh as leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Mary Markham.
Councillor Markham resigned earlier this year as leader.
Speaking to the Chronicle & Echo, chairman of the committee, Councillor Suresh Patel, said: “We want some answers from him.
“We said we would wait until the PwC report - but now we can’t wait any longer.”
On the question of whether Councillor Patel felt Mr Mackintosh’s actions had brought the local party into disrepute, he said: “Yes, it’s been a grave concern to us.”
On the issue of whether Mr Mackintosh should stand down as MP for Northampton South, he said: “That’s up to him as an elected member, we can’t rule on that. He should come and answer himself. He needs to consider his position. He has a duty to the party and to its membership.”
Councillor Michael Clarke, who proposed the motion, said: “I think it’s fair to say that the Conservative association has been supportive until there has been a formal report put into the public domain about the events surrounding the loan to Northampton Town Football Club.
“It’s about putting on record the position of the Northampton South Conservative Association.”
Mr Mackintosh, said in a brief statement: “I am happy to answer any questions the local party might have about the loan.”