CONSERVATIVES in Batley & Spen have selected an NHS consultant as their candidate for the General Election – but a rival has already hit out at her lack of links to the constituency.
Dr Ann Myatt, a consultant dermatologist who has been working in hospitals in Cumbria, was chosen by local Tories at a meeting last Friday night.
A press release announcing her candidacy stated: “Ann is from a Yorkshire family and has lived in West Yorkshire for many years.
“She trained to be a doctor at Leeds University and has worked as a skin specialist in hospitals in Wakefield, Bradford, Leeds, Pontefract and elsewhere in the north.”
Eyebrows were raised after it was revealed that last Wednesday night Dr Myatt failed to be selected as the Tory candidate in the South Yorkshire constituency of Don Valley, before winning in Batley & Spen on Friday evening.
She was also a parliamentary candidate in Westmorland and Lonsdale 2015 and Hemsworth in 2010, as well as standing in local elections in Cumbria.
Her sparingly-used Twitter page appears to concentrate on events, issues and elections in Cumbria and the north-west.
The first mention of Batley & Spen is a post from Sunday May 7, when she dropped in to Cleckheaton’s regular farmers’ market. Her Facebook page also has links to Cumbrian groups, festivals and companies, with no mention of Batley & Spen.
Dr Myatt, who is married with two grown-up children, said: “It is a great honour to be selected to stand in Batley & Spen. This election is different; it is not about the future of one political party or another.
“It is about Britain’s future and its relationship with the EU. We must unite behind Theresa May and her team to make a success of Brexit, to secure a strong economy, long-term jobs and individual rights.”
Election rival Aleks Lukic, an Independent Brexit candidate, claimed that the Conservatives’ choice shows they are not taking the area seriously.
He added: “I am sure that Ann Myatt is a nice person, but I am confused about why she wants to stand in Batley & Spen when she is from the Lake District.
“Last week she tried to stand for the Don Valley area in South Yorkshire, but failed to be selected. Batley & Spen deserves to have a local MP who has a track record of supporting Brexit and is dedicated to making Brexit the greatest possible success for our area.”
The Press asked Dr Myatt’s agent, Coun Andrew Palfreeman, for clarification on where she lives presently.
In a statement he replied: “Dr Ann Myatt has lived and worked in the north of England over most of her career as a hospital doctor.
“She has lived in the same house in Yorkshire for 23 years. She took up a hospital post in a Cumbria between 2014 and 2016 and she maintained her family home in Yorkshire throughout this period
“She has put her medical career on hold now, to campaign as Theresa May’s local candidate in the constituency of Batley and Spen in the General Election in June.”
On Dr Myatt’s nomination papers for the South Lakeland district council ward of Hawkshead last May, she gave her address as Outgate, Ambleside. She was convincingly beaten by the Lib Dem candidate.