Lib Dems pick candidate as top local Tory quits...

THE unsuccessful Liberal Democrat candidate for North East Milton Keynes at the last general election has been re-selected for the seat.

David Yeoward, aged 35, who works as an accountant, says he will be buying a house in the city and feels optimistic about his prospects after his party gained control of Milton Keynes Council.

Mr Yeoward said: "I think it is quite impressive the way the party has hit the ground running since becoming the administration it does give us additional credibility.

"My re-selection sends a positive message about me personally and the Lib Dems generally about being committed to winning the seat in North East Milton Keynes."

Meanwhile, Paul Bartlett has resigned from the local Conservative group after not being offered an interview for selection as his party's prospective parliamentary candidate.

Cllr Bartlett, who will continue to represent Stony Stratford on Milton Keynes Council, said: "It is a culmination of a number of things, centred around what I consider to be the poor leadership of the group.

"There is a lack of ambition to convince people to vote Conservative and a lack of willingness to put across sound policy."

He also complained that he was sent a "bog standard" rejection letter by second-class post.

"I feel relieved that I am free of being mocked, ridiculed and made ineffective for my electorate," he added.

Conservative Party agent Gordon Williams said the local party had "not lost any sleep" over Cllr Bartlett's resignation.

Mr Williams said: "He has not been a committed person over the last few years.

"And he has been a source of embarrassment to the leadership for not turning up to meetings."

He added: "The only other person to welcome Paul Bartlett standing as a candidate is Brian White.

"He would have loved to have Paul Bartlett as his opponent."

And Tory Leader on Milton Keynes Council, Cllr Andy Dransfield added: "The only person to make Paul a laughing stock is Paul Bartlett.... I'm glad to see the back of him."