25 OCTOBER 1930, Page 2

The South Paddington Farce

The by-election campaign in South Paddington has passed from comedy into broad farce. Lord Rothermere, the creator of the United Empire Party, had already disavowed Mrs. Stewart-Richardson,. the candidate of

that Party. But now the local branch of the United Empire Party has disavowed Lord Rothermere. What Lord Rothermere has lost upon Mrs. Stewart-Richardson he might be supposed to have gained upon Lord Beaver. brook, as the two Press Lords after a period of divergent policy have conic together again in their support of Admiral Taylor as the representative of the Crusaders. Only for a few hours, however, did Lord Rothernicre seem to have gained anything. The announcement of his reason for rejecting Mrs. Stewart-Richardson caused roach the loudest laugh since the farce began. Here are a few sentences from his private secretary's letter :- " Let me say at the outset that neither Lord Rothermere no myself have for one moment questioned the ability or public spirit of Mrs. Stewart-Richardson, who has very courageously come for. ward and offered herself as a candidate in the South Paddington election. The reference in one of my telegrams to the impossibility of Mrs. Stewart-Richardson winning the seat was based on the very firm conviction which I held that in' Conservative ranks high titles are much more sought after than in any. other of the political parties, and that apart from her own merits no woman candidate seeking to secure Consersative votes would have any chance unless, like the Duchess of Atholl or Viscountess Astor, she had a high title:'

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