CONSERVATIVES in Fareham have said they felt "deeply concerned" after being "turned away" from voting for a candidate in the new Hamble Valley constituency.

Following proposed changes by the boundary commission to split up the Eastleigh constituency, the selection process for the new Hamble Valley constituency took place on May 11.

As reported, Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes was selected as the Tory candidate for the new constituency.

However, a statement from the Fareham Conservative Association expressed "deep concern" and "disappointment" at the selection process.

It said: "The FCA believes it is necessary to bring this matter to light as it raises questions about the integrity and fairness of our party’s internal processes.

"During the selection process, the FCA identified several irregularities and a lack of transparency.  Executive Council Members of the Fareham Conservative Association were unexpectedly turned away, depriving them of the opportunity to participate and represent the interests of our members. 

"Additionally, individuals without the entitlement to vote were allowed to cast their ballots, undermining the legitimacy of the selection.

"Furthermore, it has come to our attention that a significant number of FCA Executive Council members, who have consistently supported our party through active participation in campaigns, donations, and contributions, were denied their right to vote.

"This denial raises concerns about fairness, inclusivity, and the democratic principles that our party upholds.

"The Conservative Party must maintain the highest standards of transparency and fairness in its internal selection processes.  

"The actions taken by Area Conservatives during the Hamble Valley candidate selection, including the exclusion of our Chairman from observing the process, run counter to these principles and cast doubt on the integrity of the outcome. Therefore, we call for a thorough review of the selection process for the Hamble Valley Parliamentary Candidate.

"We urge an expedited resolution to this issue by conducting a revote that guarantees every eligible member in the Hamble Valley constituency an equal opportunity to cast their vote and have their voice heard.

"It is concerning that even the counting of votes was conducted without any observers present."

FCA chairman Tom Davies, who was refused entry on the day, said: "The regional party made up some rules which meant we couldn’t adjust our attendees, and some of our selection council were unable to attend on the day so Eastleigh had a clear majority to select Paul.

"It was the will of the Fareham Conservatives that the selection should have gone to a member vote but alas, Paul was selected and we will back him. 

"It was nothing he did wrong. There was also a clear lack of oversight and transparency that we would normally expect at such meetings, including verifying the ballots cast."

The Eastleigh Conservatives and the Conservative Campaign Headquarters was approached for comment by the LDRS.