According to Mark Oaten’s campaign manager:
“It was Mark’s declaration that he was going to stand that ensured there was a contest. The others came in after him. It was he that ensured there was a choice for the membership.”
Yes, we know Oaten was first off the starting blocks. But then, he’d been planning the campaign for months, so it was hardly a surprise. But if Oaten hadn’t stood on the Tuesday, then the other two would have almost certainly have done a couple of days later. And that isn’t to mention the fact that both John Hemming and Phil Willis had declared an intention to be stalking horses to guarantee a contest.
Lembit: you’ve done so badly over the past week at least in part due to your habit of repeatedly over-egging the pudding. At least bow out graciously now rather than trying to pretend you’ve made some kind of monumental breakthrough.