BREAKING NEWS: Deputy leader dumped by Horsham Tories to stand in Henfield

Jim Rae and Helena Croft pictured last year
Jim Rae and Helena Croft pictured last year
  • Helena Croft picked as candidate in Henfield by South Downs Conservatives
  • Dumped as a candidate by the Horsham Conservative Association last month
  • ’Delighted’ at being selected as a candidate in the village almost 13 miles from her home

The council’s deputy leader, dumped by the Horsham Tories as an election candidate last month, has been selected as a Conservative candidate for Henfield for May’s elections.

Helena Croft, still Horsham District Council’s deputy leader, was deselected as a candidate for her current Roffey North ward last month by the Horsham Conservative Association.

Just one month on the Arundel and South Downs Conservative Association, which covers the southern half of the Horsham district, has picked her as one of its two election candidates in Henfield, which is almost 13 miles from her home in North Horsham.

Henfield, along with Steyning is currently represented by a Conservative and independent councillor, but both Sheila Matthews in Henfield and George Cockman in Steyning are standing down this year.

Mrs Croft said: “I was recently asked by Arundel and South Downs Conservative Association if I would like to consider a vacancy in the ward of Henfield for the May district council elections and I am delighted to have now been adopted as one of their candidates.

“I would be proud to represent Henfield on the council of Horsham district which has been my home for the last 26 years.

“Having worked extremely hard over the past four years to represent residents at the highest level on the council and with a solid track record of delivering results in my ward, if I am fortunate enough to be elected by the residents of Henfield in May, then I will offer the same level of time, commitment and support, in voicing and delivering on the issues that are important to them.”

A spokesperson for the Arundel and South Downs Conservative Association added: “Following a meeting of party members in Henfield, Henfield Conservative Branch are pleased to have selected Brian O’Connell and Helena Croft as their candidates for the Horsham District Council elections on May 7.

“Both Brian and Helena are experienced, hard working and committed councillors who have worked tirelessly for their residents.

“Helena is looking forward to representing Henfield. She and Brian will be strong voices for Henfield if they are elected.”

The news that Mrs Croft had joined the Arundel and South Downs Conservative Association was not welcomed by readers today.

One wrote on the County Times website: “Cllr. Croft having been deselected by her own conservative association, the one that covers Horsham town, is cabinet member for Horsham town.

“If elected in Henfield, another town entirely, will Cllr. Croft continue in this role? The mind boggles.”

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