Page last updated at 19:40 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Tory deselection meeting begins

Liz Truss
Elizabeth Truss had an affair with an MP four years ago

A meeting to decide whether to deselect Tory parliamentary candidate Elizabeth Truss because of her affair with an MP four years ago is under way.

About 200 members of South West Norfolk Conservative Association have attended the meeting at Swaffham.

Ms Truss has been criticised for not revealing her much-publicised affair with Tory MP Mark Field in 2004/05.

She says she let the national party know about the affair but it was not passed on to the local party.

Ms Truss arrived for the meeting about 10 minutes before the scheduled 1900 GMT start time.

The decision to call a deselection vote has caused tensions with the national party, as Ms Truss is on David Cameron's A-list of would-be candidates.

'Water under bridge'

Ms Truss, who is a councillor in Greenwich, south-east London, and deputy director of the centre-right think-tank Reform, was chosen as the constituency's parliamentary candidate last month.

Some South West Norfolk Tory members say they are angry that she did not mention her affair during a selection interview.

They say that, when told of this unease, the national party responded that the panel could have found out about it by putting her name into the Google search engine, because it had previously been reported in the press.

South West Norfolk Conservative Association's chairman David Hills is understood to support Ms Truss, who stood for the Conservatives in Calder Valley in West Yorkshire at the 2005 election.

Speaking about the affair earlier this month, Ms Truss said: "It's been public for some years now.

"I am really sorry about that [affair]. It's a mistake I made and as far as me and my husband are concerned it's water under the bridge.

"It's more an issue about communication within the party."

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