Conservative party chairman objects to Independent using photo of MP on election leaflet

Independent candidate Vanessa Churchman is confused as to why Conservative party chairman Alan Wells is trying to dictate what photos she can use on her campaign leaflet.

Vanessa Churchman's Leaflet:

Thanks to Vanessa Churchman for this Letter to the Editor. In her own words. Ed

I received a phone call from Andrew Turner’s office last week asking whether I had printed my election leaflets.

Apparently Alan Wells, Chairman of the Conservative Party, objects to the picture portraying me receiving my Walk the Wight medal last year from our MP.

This photo was taken on my Blackberry by my husband and as our MP is a public figure I fail to see what it has got to do with the Tory HQ.

Apply scrutiny closer to home
It is a pity that Mr Wells did not apply the same scrutiny to Cowes Enterprise College, where he is Chairman of the Board of Governors.

Funnily enough I would have thought they would be delighted to see such a picture in any Councillor’s leaflet.

Party Politics is such fun!

Message from the editor
OnTheWight contacted Alan Wells offering him the opportunity to explain the reason behind his objection. He advised, “I don’t wish to comment on this internal matter.”

Andrew Turner’s office also had no comment to add. Ed

Monday, 15th April, 2013 4:51pm



Filed under: Election, Havenstreet, Isle of Wight News, Politics, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. ‘Played’, well and truly PLAYED.
    Nice one VC.

  2. What utter arrogance. Candiates can choose to include a photo of whomever they like on their election leaflets. It is nothing to do with him.

  3. Andrew Turner if I’m not wrong is the Elected representative for all Island residents,I didn’t realise that his “Brand Name”was only available to paid up members of the Tory Party.
    What arrogant TOSH from the thoughts and mouth of Alan Wells.
    My son was presented with a Cricket Shirt by Mr Turner,should I destroy the Photo now ,so that he is not tempted to use it in the future should his political ideals come to fruition?
    Good answer Vanessa,stick to your guns.

  4. I note that Mr.Wells did not wish to comment on this “internal matter”. Therefore may I direct him to his local chemist shop where,I am sure, he will find the appropriate remedy for the flatulence from which he seems to be suffering…you see putting your foot in your mouth has never been the right cure for this persistent problem…

  5. If Alan Wells wishes to avoid a strong whiff of hypocrisy accompanying his request , perhaps he will confirm that his intention to remove Andre Turner’s photo from the Islandconservatives website? Or perhaps not!

  6. Black Dog

    15.Apr.2013 5:57pm

    Alan Wells your priorities as Chair of the IW Conservative Party is to ensure that your party is returned to power. The best way to achieve this is to deselect Councillor Pugh immediately.

    I give you the same advice as I gave to your friend the Boy Blunder – “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”

  7. Mason Watch

    15.Apr.2013 6:13pm

    Does Alan “look at the fireplace not the mantlepiece” Wells actually listen to the drivel that comes out of his own mouth? If he and the Boy Blunder aka “don’t tell him your name Pugh” get reelected we only have ourselves to blame.

  8. Davy Jones

    15.Apr.2013 6:47pm

    Vanessa is dead right – Andrew Turner is her MP until the next General Election is called – whether Whiner Wells likes it or not.

    Perhaps he should look closer to home – there is at least one person saying he didn’t give permission to appear in Pugh’s leaflet that has gone out in Shanklin – and he is a private person, not an MP in a public place. There is also a pic of Pugh glad-handing in a Council owned building – and that is defo against the rules.

    If I was a new Conservative candidate I would be rather worried if Wells was my agent – he clearly doesn’t understand the rules. He moans about things that are perfectly OK but lets the Boy Pugh do what he likes.

    The Boy Blunder is even worried about keeping his seat on the town council. He has been calling another candidate asking them to stand down so he can get in uncontested.

    Is it possible that even Pugh can now read the writing on the wall?

    • Black Dog

      15.Apr.2013 7:19pm

      @ Davy Jones’s – Do you have evidence of this flyer/poster of Pugh in a council Building? It is definitely against the rules and the matter should be reported to the electoral commission as it could result in the disqualification of the candidate.

      Perhaps you can pass the information to OTW who I am sure will look into the story to ensure fair play.

      • Davy Jones

        15.Apr.2013 8:36pm

        It’s a pic of Pugh with a fireman receiving an award – taken in a council building. I’ve seen it but haven’t got a copy.

        What will be really interesting is which tory candidates have photos of our MP on their literature. I’m told (by a tory) that Pugh has discouraged it. We will soon all know who are the Pughites and who is batting for the Turner team….

  9. DownwinResident

    15.Apr.2013 7:00pm

    Has this person also written to Sothern Vectis asking them why they have put a pretty big picture of Andrew Turner on the side of their buses as an Island Thinker?

    I’m so grateful I’ve never seen David Pugh categoriised as such!

    How pathetic can the IW Tory party become?

    Having voted for them since I was 21 I can hardly believe what I am hearing from the Tory council and party.

    Mr Turner you have served us well and I will continue to vote for you as. Good person but NOT the bunch at council.

  10. But the man hasn’t explained why he is objecting! I would have thought that the context of the picture puts AT in a good but benign light.
    If this is the level of intellectual debate from the grandees of the island Conservatives then surely it’s time to move on!
    All Mr Wells has succeeded in doing is to demonstrate the paucity of Conservative debate, raise the Independent’s game and highlighted the quality of Vanessa’s flyer which is the best I’ve seen during this campaign.
    Good on you Vanessa!

    • Davy Jones

      15.Apr.2013 8:58pm

      But Darcy – Wells/Pugh are determined that nobody should see Turner in a good light. My tory friend says they have been working hard to bring Turner down. The depth of their hatred is hard to stomach – and torys mostly have strong stomachs.

      You would think Boy Pugh could find the maturity to see that his dislike of the MP is going to damage all the tory candidates. Or maybe not.

      Roll on May 3rd.

      • You’re right. Divided they shall surely fall. And of course, as Enoch Powell once said, all political careers end in failure. It seems that in this case island Conservatives are engineering their own failure.
        No doubt, when they leave office they too will leave a note in County Hall saying “sorry, there’s no money left…!”

  11. Notwithstanding bydaway’s explanation, I don’t see how Wells can call this “an internal matter” when he is in the Conservatives and Vanessa is an Independent.

    I take it that while the County Hall lot have burned their bridges with Turner, they resent seeing anyone else gaining any advantage by associating themselves with this (certainly relatively) popular person.

  12. I wouldn’t want a picture of Turner, or any Tory Councillor/MP on my litrature.

    I’ve got Tories voting for me in the election, totally dissatisfied with the current bunch at County Hall and the selected candidate locally (Sandown North)

  13. Wells has added a good few votes to Vanessa’s total by doing this.

    • wightywight

      16.Apr.2013 7:34am

      Yes..I think you’re right.

      What this also touches upon, of course, is the disgraceful inability (due to Cllr Pugh almost entirely) of this administration to work with AT our MP.
      It’s actually quite a stark message and does indicate the failings of the ruling group who really should be able to put aside personal disputes for the benefit of the Island in total. The nonsensical approach to the Ferry Companies by this administration whilst at the same time another group led by Andrew Turner was making representation is an alarming piece of mis-management and inefficiency that sends exactly the wrong message to the Ferry owners. Bad judgements built on bad judgements…..


  14. Victor Meldrew

    16.Apr.2013 1:26am

    Being a failed councillor and a failed high school governor has obviously left Pughs representative on Earth with a bad case of sour grapes. Instead of making himself and his boss look even more foolish, perhaps he would be better off making sure all candidates abided by electoral law. He really should come out and deprecate any attempt at gerrymandering by any candidate and also call for completed honesty in all election publications including Wikipeadia entries by all candidates of whatever political persuasion.

  15. I do not believe it

    16.Apr.2013 8:08am

    This whole Wells affair reflects, yet again, the current IW Council Tory led well known trademark, featuring cock-up after cock-up and the motto they should adopt is:-


    • Is this feasible? From what we’ve seen over some considerable time now is that the entire tory cabal don’t seen to have a brain between them to put in gear- and when they try they usually manage to find reverse!

  16. Robert Jones

    16.Apr.2013 3:33pm

    On what possible basis can the chairman of the IW Conservative Association complain to an Independent candidate that her election bears a picture of the Member of Parliament for this constituency? It isn’t defamatory; it isn’t misleading – and it’s not any kind of “internal matter”, either, unless Mr Wells thinks Vanessa Churchman is actually one of his candidates; even if he did, it would be pretty stupid to object to a picture of the Conservative MP; so I can only think that he believes that by showing Vanessa C with Andrew T, the latter is somehow endorsing the former.

    Frankly, it’d be hard to blame Andrew if he did, given the ineptitude of the present council leadership – they must be a constant embarrassment to him. But as he hasn’t, and Vanessa Churchman hasn’t claimed otherwise, this just looks to me like a party chairman in a panic – I’m feeling quite nostalgic, remembering the days when Conservative election campaigns were run by professionals….

  17. Robert Jones

    16.Apr.2013 3:34pm

    Election material,that should have read in the 2nd line: sorry, I’m having a few eyesight problems.

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