The Windsor, Ascot & Eton Express has dashed former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s hopes of a parliamentary comeback.
An interview in the Trinity Mirror-owned Express was cited by Greg Hurst, parliamentary correspondent with The Times, as the reason Rifkind fell out of favour with fellow Conservatives.
In a piece last week he wrote: “An interview with the Windsor, Ascot & Eton Express appears to be the undoing of Sir Malcolm Rifkindâ€¦ whose comeback hopes were humbly rebuffed by the Tories.”
Rifkind’s interview with assistant editor Francis Batt con?rmed that he was throwing his hat in the ring to replace outgoing MP Michael Trend and that he had been to the town “a few times”.
However, he would not con?rm that he was looking to move to the town and that he would look for another seat if he failed to get the Windsor seat.
The report in the Express was said to have caused indignation among some of the 850 Tory members in Windsor and Rifkind failed to make a long list of 46 hopefuls.
Express editor Paul Thomas paid tribute to Batt, who has been with the paper for 25 years, and who got to Rifkind very quickly during the selection process. Last week when newly appointed chief reporter Sam Matthews asked Sir Malcolm for his reaction on not making the shortlist, he curtly replied: ” I don’t think I should be talking about that with a local newspaper.”
Trend announced he would resign before the next election following a furore over expenses claims.
By Sarah Boden