Boris Johnson’s former ally, Lord David Frost, has been iced out of the upcoming elections on 4 July, according to new reports.

Almost exactly a year ago, the former cabinet minister confirmed his bid to stand as an MP in the next general election – in an attempt to move laterally from the House of Lords to Commons. Yesterday, however, he was reportedly barred from doing so by Conservative party headquarters. 

In an interview with GB News this afternoon, Rishi Sunak, denied the reports, insisting that he has not barred Lord Frost from standing for the party. He added: “The process only opened on Wednesday night and it takes time for the process to conclude for candidates selection. It is not true to say he has been blocked.” The Conservative Party HQ has yet to comment.

Frost played an instrumental role in the Brexit plans of the Boris years, serving as the UK’s chief negotiator during the critical parley. For his dutiful service, Johnson awarded him a peerage and nominated him for the position of UK National Security Advisor. 

Yet Frost was criticised by other party members for lacking adequate military knowledge required for the pivotal role, and was subsequently ushered into the cabinet as a Minister of State instead. Relations between him and Johnson soon turned soured. Frost came to blows with the former PM over his “coercive” covid policies and his indulgence of the “woke crowd”. He resigned nine months into his term. 

If there is truth to the reports, Frost wouldn’t be the only prospective rightward candidate to be barred from standing. David C. Bannerman, a former UKIP MEP, has announced that he has been prevented from a Commons bid by the Tory leadership. Bannerman called the decision “very Stalinist” and went on to directly call out Party chairman Ric Holden and Rishi Sunak to appeal his exclusion.

By binning the bids of Frost and Bannerman, Tory leadership indicates a rejection of its right flank. Perhaps this is a calculated Conservative bet towards the moderate swing vote or, alternatively, maybe the top brass simply finds the personalities of both men disagreeable. 

But is it a sensible move? 

Frost and Bannerman are very unlikely to help the party overturn the daunting odds stacked against it. Then again, the public discord wrought by their banning contributes to the perception of the Tories as dysfunctional and riven with internal fractures, providing Labour with another moment of revelry following Rishi’s tumultuous election announcement

What’s more, this exclusionary approach may also degrade the Conservative’s “broad church” consortium, and drive its rightward contingent towards Reform.

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