Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cameron's woes: campaign director quits, clashes with party groups and senior MP asks "Is Emperor wearing any clothes?"

Hard on the heels of Mark Field MP's intervention, the Times reports other problems for Cameron:

There was talk of a “wobble”, the first under Mr Cameron, within the parliamentary party and it emerged that George Bridges, the campaign director, was quitting. His departure was agreed two weeks ago but the disclosure yesterday added to the sense of unease in Tory circles.

The Times report also says that "Tory campaign managers had known from the outset that, weeks before his selection, Mr Lit had attended an Asian community farewell dinner for Tony Blair and had had his photograph taken with the outgoing Prime Minister."

This is bound to lead to recriminations. Why on earth did they select the man as a candidate if they knew that?

Tory party "sources" have also been busy:

A leading moderniser said that Tory MPs were questioning Mr Cameron’s direction: “There is a lot of talk about style over substance. There is a lot of talk about it being a PR machine. The accusations that the Labour Party have been making are being regurgitated by Tory MPs. One senior back-bencher has been privately questioning whether the emperor is wearing any clothes.”

It also emerged that Mr Cameron had clashed with traditionalist MPs over his request that statements from party groups, such as the traditionalist Cornerstone, should be cleared through party headquarters. Party sources said there was a real desire to stop the party turning in on itself.

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