ConservativeHome has learnt that there is another hugely controversial dimension to the proposed changes to European candidate selection. In order to address the fact that there is currently only one woman MEP - Caroline Jackson - the National European Forum has proposed a mechanism that will effectively mean that every MEP that is standing down will be replaced by a woman candidate. This way of filling vacant slots will be the first example of an all-women shortlist in the history of the Conservative Party.
In summary what is being proposed is:
(1) Ordinary members lose their decisive say on MEP candidate selection;
(2) Incumbent MEPs - many of them unsupportive of David Cameron's pledge to leave the EPP - will be kept at the top of regional lists if a committee of party appointees and Association Chairmen agree;
(3) All retiring MEPs can only be replaced by women;
(4) Lower slots on the regional lists will be decided by all members.
In the comments stalwart loyalists like Donal Blaney are questioning their faith,
I, for one, am not going to vote Conservative in the European Elections, no matter how good my local MEP candidates might be, if this is the approach the Party is adopting towards my rights as a member.
Seriously I would find it had to think of any Tory friends or aquaintance.