CALDER Valley Tories are in further turmoil after Central Office bosses revealed they would choose the shortlist for a would-be MP.
Angry members said it would do nothing to boost morale after this month's ousting of Sue Catling.
Three candidates will be chosen by the party's Central Office for a list to be voted on by local association members.
The move stunned Calder Valley activists who had been expecting to draw up their own shortlist for a meeting on February 5 at Lightcliffe Club, near Brighouse.
One member said: "This has caused a bit of consternation and it's somewhat doubtful that there will be anyone to our liking on it.
"Unless there's a local candidate on the shortlist, we've got no chance of winning."
Candidate Sue Catling was deselected at a bitter internal meeting a fortnight ago after a two-year wrangle.
The former Cheshire Businesswoman of the Year complained of a "witch-hunt" against her.
Mrs Catling, 46, said she had been deselected by "the sad, the mad and the bad".
Tory Party bosses said their move over the shortlist had nothing to do with the Calder Valley row.
There was simply no time for lengthier procedures when a General Election was expected on May 5, they insisted.
A shortlist of candidates will also be imposed on other constituencies.
Party leaders said Labour operated the same system.
Front-runners for the job had been expected to be Calderdale Council Cabinet member Amanda Byrne, who represents Sowerby Bridge ward, and former councillors Craig Whittaker and Martin Peel.
Mrs Catling reduced Labour's majority to 3,000 in the Calder Valley seat at the last election.
A challenge for the seat is being mounted by the British National Party, which has picked Calderdale councillor Adrian Marsden as its candidate.