What is it about Darlington's Tories and the minor landed gentry? Back in 1997, they picked Peter Scrope, scion of the Bolton Castle family, to contest the seat. Peter of course is fondly remembered by Labour activists for his decision to tow a horse box around the terraced streets festooned with his placards. He also thought that putting a picture of Bolton Castle on his election literature was a great idea - as you can imagine that went down very well in the completely urban constituency.
Now I read on Darlington Future that they have selected Captain Edward Thomas Legard, formerly of the Life Guards. I stand to be corrected, but I'm assuming he's the one and the same character who thePeerage.com tells me is the second son of Sir Charles Legard, 15th Baronet. It's good to see Dave Cameron's drive to make the Tory Party so much more representative of the public at large is bearing such fruit.
Mr Legard does have a political background too, however, and is a Tory councillor in Ryedale. He most recently hit the headlines there for helping to stymie a 33 year old scheme for a sports centre in Malton and Norton. Local campaigner Stewart Frank of Norton added: "It's an absolutely disgraceful decision. These people are supposed to represent our communities. I don't know how they can look at themselves in the mirror after this."
Anyway, the first thing Mr Legard should do is get the local Tories to spell his name right - or is he really Edward Legrand too....?