Strong sales in East Devon for former MP’s wife’s political diaries

Carl East at Winstone's bookshop with a copy of Sasha Swire's book. Picture: Maria McCarthy

Carl East at Winstone's bookshop with a copy of Sasha Swire's book. Picture: Maria McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Sasha Swire’s book Diary of an MP’s Wife, published last week, is a gossipy account of the inner workings of the Conservative party, and in particular, David Cameron’s time as Prime Minister.

Although mainly focused on London, it also covers the political scene in East Devon and in particular, the activities of the Independent General Election candidate Claire Wright, who stood against Sir Hugo in 2015 and 2017, and against Simon Jupp last year.

Mrs Swire describes her husband’s campaign to save Ottery hospital from closure, which she said he launched in a deliberate attempt to anger Cllr Wright, as she had been campaigning on the issue for many years.

The book covers the visit of the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, to Ottery in September 2018.

It also mentions meetings with local Conservative party branches in West Hill and Budleigh Salterton, and the canvassing for the Tory candidate Simon Jupp in the 2019 election campaign.

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The East Devon references have ensured healthy sales of the book in the area.

The manager of Winstone’s independent bookshop in Sidmouth, Carl East, said Diary of an MP’s Wife is one of his top five sellers at the moment.

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He said it is drawing level with Captain Tom Moore’s autobiography, and outselling the latest book by JK Rowling under her pen name of Robert Galbraith – which he was ‘quite surprised’ about.

Sales assistant Pete Roberts at The Curious Otter bookshop in Ottery St Mary said: “It’s selling fairly well, there’s quite a lot of interest in it and people are asking for it.

“I haven’t read it myself though, so I can’t comment on it.”

Among those who have commented on the book locally are Cllr Wright, who said she will be interested to read it, but has no intention of spending money on it.

The Labour candidate in the 2019 election, Dan Wilson, has also commented on it, with a strongly-worded post on Twitter.

He has hit out at a claim in the book that he told the Tories he hoped they would beat Claire Wright to win the East Devon constituency, which he says is completely untrue.

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