Political

Government scraps plan to fund primaries for Westminster candidate selections

The BBC’s Michael Crick has the scoop about the ending of plans to fund open primaries:

A very senior Cabinet minister has told me that the Coalition has now scrapped its radical plans to pay for primary elections to choose party candidates in 200 safe seats.

The full Coalition Agreement last May said: “We will fund 200 all-postal primaries over this Parliament, targetted at seats which have not changed hands for many years.”

The money would have been allocated to parties which now have seats in Parliament, according to their shares of the vote in May 2010.

Primaries, tried out in Bracknell and Totnes, have been very controversial. So the need for the government to economise has provided a helpful supporting argument for those opposing them on grounds of principle.

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