By Matthew Barrett
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I have been passed a section from last week's humble Address to Her Majesty The Queen to mark the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. In it, Ben Wallace, the Member for Wyre and Preston North and a former Captain in the Scots Guards, reveals how the Queen may have played a part in his selection as a candidate for the Scottish Parliament in 1999:
"On one occasion I was the officer of the guard at Buckingham palace and I had to accompany Her Majesty the Queen to an investiture. I was at that time seeking a seat in the Scottish Parliament and I had been for the selection meeting on the Monday at Balmoral, in Crathie, to try and stand for the seat of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine in the Scottish Parliament. I was not lucky and did not get through to the final round. However, Her Majesty the Queen asked me what I had done and I said that I had been up in her neck of the woods, but unfortunately I thought that members of the selection board thought I was a bit too young. She said, “I think they should think again.” The next day I got a phone call, to be told that the shortlist of two was too small and would be expanded to five. I was then selected as the Conservative candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, and elected to the Scottish Parliament, and perhaps that is why I am standing here today."
The full session is available in Hansard.