Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lord Ashcroft's hold on Tory party threatens a rift

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Lord Ashcroft has set up a parallel Tory party campaign HQ at Millbank and is issuing decrees, requests for action etc etc independently of Cameron's command HQ.

This is risking a serious organisational rift in the Conservative party, with MPs complaining that Lord Ashcroft is unelected and unaccountable.

Great fun!

Tory concerns at the growing influence of Lord Ashcroft have been heightened by a memo to candidates from the billionaire peer instructing them on how to run their election campaigns.

The former party treasurer has stamped his authority on the Conservative campaign machine with a letter ordering officials and candidates in target seats to be ready for a possible October election.

The mass email has fuelled concerns among some MPs that the tycoon has established an alternative power base in the party. Lord Ashcroft has moved into a large office in Conservative Campaign Headquarters in London's Millbank from where he will run the party's strategy for target seats.

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