When Conservatives in a traditional Tory seat chose a woman to be their candidate, it looked like a victory for David Cameron's drive to modernise the party.
But it has emerged that party activists had a bit of help - from an MP who urged them to select a woman to improve the party's image.
Peter Luff (Con Mid Worcestershire) made the plea as he opened the selection meeting.
He told local Conservatives he was "fed up with opposition and wants to be a minister after the next election".
And he warned: "We need more women and more ethnic candidates."
Shortly afterwards, banker Harriett Baldwin, a member of David Cameron's "A-list" of preferred candidates, was chosen.
The constituency, West Worcestershire, is tradition-ally a safe Tory seat, although the party's majority was cut to 2,475 at the last election when it was targeted by the Liberal Democrats.
It is currently represented by Sir Michael Spicer, Chair-man of the 1992 Committee which represents backbench MPs.
But it is exactly the type of seat Mr Cameron is hoping will select a candidate from his list of potential Tory candidates including women, people from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities, known as the A-list.
Ms Baldwin, a 46-year-old mother of three, had already been runner up in a contest to become candidate in Folkestone and Hyde, where Michael Howard is standing down - but local activists chose Damian Collins, a white man.
This led Labour to claim Mr Cameron's efforts to change the party were failing.
Her success in West Worcestershire, where the final shortlist included one man and two women, is a coup for the party.
But Labour critics claimed Mr Luff's intervention, in a heartfelt speech to the selection meeting, proved the Conservative Party's transformation was "shallow".
Mr Luff told activists: "I can only give you the most general advice - but I do so as someone who is fed up with opposition and wants to be a minister after the next election!
"There are several obstacles to our victory - but one important obstacle is the way other people see us.
"Women in particular - who used to support us in large numbers - have turned away from us. We are still not trusted to be able to govern modern Britain."
The party had to "look and sound different" to win, he said.
Churchill, Macmillan, Thatcher, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I had all taken care to cultivate the right image and the Conservative Party should not be ashamed to do the same, Mr Luff said.
Labour MP Mike Foster, who represents neighbouring Worcester, said: "It confirms that David Cameron's appeal is about image not policies."
But Mr Luff said yesterday: "It is a storm in a teacup, a silly season story.
"Mike Foster has lost the plot. Everything I said was entirely in keeping with what David Cameron has said."