Matt Chorley of the Western Morning News is running the story that Cornwall's Conservative candidates have spectacularly failed in their bid to raise money from the public using the 'MyConservatives' site. The site was meant to be a mirror of the way that Barack Obama raised money for his successful US Presidential campaign but has instead proved to be an embarrassing flop.
Across Devon and Cornwall, the Tories set themselves a target of raising £13,000 but have in fact raised just £134 - and all of that in Devon.
Conservative candidates taking part in the fundraising drive were Sian Flynn in North Cornwall, Sheryll Murray in SE Cornwall, Sarah Newton in Truro and Falmouth and Caroline Righton in St Austell and Newquay. All set themselves a target of £1,000 and none have so far raised a penny.
So whilst they are so unpopular with the public, local Conservatives are increasingly reliant on tax free cash from Lord Ashcroft which they receive via Conservative Central Office. I wrote to all the Conservative candidates last week and have still only heard back from Sian Flynn. She has admitted that she gets money from Conservative Central Office and that includes Ashcroft cash. I understand from others that the same is true for most, if not all, the Conservative candidates in Cornwall.