A Tory candidate for the Senedd has defended the “inspirational” men in her party against the “gammon” tag affixed to them by their political opponents.
Amanda Jenner, who is standing in the constituency of Ceredigion, said she believes they are “wonderfully brave” and aren’t afraid to “fight for what they believe in, only to be called ‘gammon’” in an article on the Conservative website, Gwydir.
Ms Jenner, a councillor on Powys County Council, wrote about what she called the “fallacy of the typical Tory”, and argued that there are many kinds of Conservatives in the party, and that the way they are perceived is unfair.
She accused people with an “agenda” of spreading an “illusion” and blamed this for “waves of internet abuse”.
Ms Jenner said: “I have started to think more about the perception of a Conservative and the view that we are mostly pale and stale, uncaring or ignorant males.
“Of course, we have plenty of white men in our party and many of these are inspirational men who work tirelessly for things to be better in Wales.
“They are smart, dedicated and give their lives to public service. They are wonderfully brave and aren’t afraid to speak up and fight for what they believe in, only to be called ‘gammon’.
“I have thought for a while that the Welsh Conservatives need to do more to challenge the perception of what some wrongly imagine a typical ‘Conservative’ to be.”
She added: “Still, I am saddened that there are those who consciously wish to spread this image for their own agenda.
“We know that within the Conservative Party we have doctors, nurses and teachers amongst us; that our members include PhD students and academics, armed service personnel, blue-collar, white-collar and no collar.
“We have members with different faiths and sexualities; we have a Senedd Candidate who is the founding director of a food bank trust, members who grew up in care as well as those who grew up privileged and donate and volunteer generously to others in need.
“Despite compassion and variety, many of us conservatives continue to be on the receiving end of comments and commentary, which I sometimes think is designed to continue the fallacy of the typical Tory.
“Thankfully, I am starting to see this fallacy erode, particularly as more and more varied members join the Conservatives.
“I wonder though whether those who continue to seek to spread the illusion are becoming more dogged in their endeavours.
“The side effect of this continued effort to spread their version of a ‘Tory’, whether intended or not, is that it often sets off waves of internet abuse.
“I know we have more to do as a party to continue to encourage people from all backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities and genders to stand for office. That ambition continues and I am proud to have mentored other women with political ambition.”
Ms Jenner also argued for a cross-party commitment to clamp down on activists who send abuse.
She said: “Of course, it isn’t just the Conservatives who receive abuse. There are those on the right who also dish it out and should be condemned for doing so. We must pledge to not stoop to these levels.
“I would like to see a cross-party commitment to drill down codes of conduct to members and activists.
“An effort from each party to deal with unacceptable conduct, so that if we see or hear of comments made by our own activists, which are designed to ignite abuse towards others, that we will deal with those members accordingly.”