Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle Of Wight MP Andrew Turner survives no confidence vote

Andrew Turner - MP for the Isle of Wight
Image caption Opponents said Mr Turner caused "turmoil" over his personal arrangements and past expenses

The Isle of Wight's Conservative MP has survived an attempt by his own party to force him to stand down as a general election candidate.

The Island's Conservative executive council voted against a motion of no confidence in Andrew Turner.

Opponents said Mr Turner caused "turmoil" over his personal arrangements and past expenses.

Mr Turner, who has been the island's MP for 14 years, said he was "very pleased" at the vote.

The Isle of Wight's Conservative Association Executive Council met for over three hours on Friday evening to debate whether they should "rescind" their choice of Mr Turner as the parliamentary candidate.

Mr Turner, who had a stroke in 2006 and now suffers from the speech disability known as aphasia, said he won over members of the executive by "telling the truth, as I always do."

"The truth is that we're busy working towards the election and we're very pleased about that," he said.

Image caption Members met behind closed doors for three hours at Newport's Conservative Club

The motion which had been submitted by an association member, proposed: "The executive council can no longer have confidence in Mr Turner's candidature and requests him to stand down as the candidate with immediate effect."

Two Conservative Association trustees had written to Mr Turner saying he was "in thrall" and "totally dominated" by his parliamentary aide and former partner Carole Dennett. Concerns have also been raised over his past expenses claims.

Earlier this month, Mr Turner told the BBC: "In the end, I make the decisions".

By designating his home in Newport as a second home, Mr Turner was able to claim £103,000 in allowances in 2004.

The MP has said he "can't remember" what happened around that time, in terms of why he was spending more time in London.

After Friday night's meeting Chairman Allan Wells said party rules prevented him giving a breakdown of the vote about Mr Turner, but said it had "secured his future".

"It wasn't an easy meeting, there were lots of different opinions. There was no unpleasantness. The party will move forward in a united manner," he added.

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