‘Cameron cutie’ Joanne Cash quits on eve of poll
Mystery as future Tory star, married to Cameron friend from Eton, resigns
One of David Cameron's favourite candidates in the upcoming general election - Joanne Cash, standing in Westminster North - has unexpectedly pulled out amid reports of internal tensions in the local Conservative party. Cash, dubbed a 'Cameron cutie', was expected to have a good chance of winning the newly created seat, which has a projected Labour majority of just over 3,000.
A powerful barrister married to Old Etonian Octavius Black, who was at school with Cameron, Joanne Cash was seen as just the sort of high-profile female candidate the Tory leader was desperate to get into the Commons. She was expected to be fast-tracked through to a ministerial post, possibly housing.
Her resignation is a mystery the Tories seem unwilling to discuss. A Conservative Party spokesman confirmed today that she had resigned, but would say only: "This is a local association matter. We don't have anything further to add at this time."
It is reported that Cash resigned following a row with Eric Pickles, the Tory party chairman, over the promotion of Amanda Sayers to the role of president of the Westminster North Conservatives. According to local Tories, Cash had a long-running dispute with Sayers while she was party chairman and was unhappy at her being promoted to president.
However, on the political blogosphere it was being speculated this morning that Cash might have left - or even been forced out - because she was pregnant. Cash herself tweeted: "Lots of rumours flying around distracting from... electing new govt! Go go go people!"