George Eustice and Oliver Colville have been asked by Conservative Central Office to find alternatives to Cllr Kennedy. According to the Western Morning News:
Mr Eustice, David Cameron's former Press secretary, said the party is keen for non-political figures beyond former MPs and councillors to take part in the primaries.
A senior officer from the Armed Forces was the kind of "independently-minded" candidate the party wants to come forward, Mr Eustice said.
In previous statements about the role, Colonel Tim Collins, the retired army officer likely to be the Tory candidate in Kent, told his party conference that the
role was not suitable for:
"sunset councillors or retired policemen with axes to grind"
At one stage the party even suggested that they would not be standing candidates at all.