Posts Tagged ‘Graham Brady’

How serious are the threats to David Cameron?

22/01/2013, 03:25:24 PM

by Kevin Meagher

Last weekend, the Sunday Times ran a fairly extraordinary piece speculating that the pin-striped vultures of the Tory backbenches were eyeing up David Cameron’s carcass:

“For the first time, discussions about ousting Cameron before 2015 appear to be spreading beyond the so-called “usual suspects” – a hardcore of about 20 backbenchers who are hostile to his leadership.”

Europe and gay marriage are cited as concerns. There is also talk of a “rebel reserve” of “about 55” who would write to the backbench 1922 committee chairman, Graham Brady, demanding Cameron quits if the polls look so desperate that a change of leader becomes “urgent.”

Of course it’s not unusual for prime ministers to develop a cabal of detractors. On the way up, most senior politicians rub enough people up the wrong way to do that; but to learn that Cameron now has a nucleus of twenty hostiles against him, with dozens of “conditional enemies” is still significant.

Most obviously it seems Cameron simply isn’t conservative enough for many of his party’s faith and flag crowd. While Europe remains a celice truer Conservatives choose to punish themselves with, it is Cameron’s personal advocacy of gay marriage which is said to be the focal point for much of the current grumbling; percolating up from his party’s grassroots and through to his MPs. To them, he is a typical metro-liberal wet.

On the other hand though, Cameron is a son of privilege who doesn’t really gel with those earthier, cash-toting arriviste Tories either, the ones who had to buy their own furniture. Remember when Michael Howard said he was a grammar school boy who would take no lessons from public school-educated Tony Blair? It’s not a boast many on the Tory frontbench could make now. Nevertheless representing smart, hard-working people who have made their own money is an important part of the post-war Conservative identity.


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