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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Would-be MP Flight's ageism claim
Howard Flight
The 58-year-old wants to be a Tory MP again
Howard Flight, sacked as a spokesman and barred from being a candidate in the 2005 election, has accused a local Conservative association of ageism.

Ex-leader Michael Howard disciplined Mr Flight after he said Tory spending cuts would go much further than admitted.

Now, back in favour on new Tory leader David Cameron's A-list of candidates, Mr Flight said he was rejected by West Worcestershire Tories because he is 58.

The association declined to comment on Mr Flight's allegation.

Mr Flight told BBC political correspondent Mark Sanders he was refused an interview because they wanted a younger candidate who would serve several terms.

Mr Flight said candidates should be chosen on their merits and suitability, not on what he claims is questionable age criteria.

Deputy chairman Of West Worcestershire Conservative Association, Phillip Grove, said: "There is a selection process that is ongoing. We do not feel it appropriate to comment at this time.

"We would be happy to address this issue once the selection has taken place. We would also be happy to speak to Mr Flight about any concerns he might have."

Mr Flight was a key architect of Tory economic policy in the run up to the 2005 election and was involved in setting up the James review into public spending, which identified 35bn of savings.

He was banned from standing as an election candidate after hinting further tax and spending cuts would be possible once the Conservatives were in power.


SEE ALSO
Flight to end battle with Howard
06 Apr 05 |  Election 2005
Howard defends action over Flight
27 Mar 05 |  UK Politics
Flight replacement sparks new row
07 Apr 05 |  Election 2005



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