Tag Archives: ben gummer

Proof that not *all* Tories are bonkers on Europe (and nor was Mrs Thatcher)

margaret thatcher europeAmidst all the Tory Euro-hysteria (‘Eurotic’, I’ve heard it described as: and I seriously hope I didn’t mis-hear) it’s easy to forget there are a few Tories, a diminishing if stoic band, who have kept tight hold of their senses.

And though it was David Cameron’s desperate last-ditch pitch for the job of Tory leader — his 2005 promise to his party’s Europhobes to withdraw the Tories from the mainstream centre-right EPP alliance, a policy even David Davis wouldn’t touch — which has, slowly but inevitably, dragged the party ever more fringewards, a few of his backbenchers remain hopeful they can persuade him, even now, to do the sensible thing.

Here’s some of what they’ve written to him:

We acknowledge the EU’s shortcomings and understand the desire and, under the Lisbon Treaty the possibility, to repatriate powers. However, we do our nation, as well as Europe, a disservice by not confidently exerting the same level of engagement and leadership as we demonstrate in organisations such as NATO, the G8, the UN Security Council or the Commonwealth.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Five MPs face questions over election expenses – how good are their answers?

Channel 4’s investigation with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism into MPs’ election expenses has raised questions about another five MPs in addition to Zac Goldsmith.

Having already looked at some of the legal questions around Zac Goldsmith, how do the other five stack up? Two raise important points of how the law should be interpreted, one has unclear evidence so far and two appear to involve administrative errors without any actual overspending.

First, the legal issues.

Phil Woolas (Labour), who is already facing a court hearing in the autumn over his election campaign, is accused of not declaring leaflets that …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment
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  • User AvatarMark Argent 22nd Dec - 2:51am
    If we do find ourselves in the position of being the king-makers, might the argument not be partly pragmatism (deciding which party would offer a...
  • User Avatarstuart moran 22nd Dec - 2:04am
    Sarah Noble So there is one based on your (not unbiased) view. Looking at the odds, the best I can see are 5/1 on for...
  • User Avatarmalc 22nd Dec - 1:57am
    Sesenco It really isn't that complicated. I was in Withington when the LibDems won the seat, it has a large student population and nearly all...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 22nd Dec - 1:36am
    Re-train to control the machines!
  • User AvatarSarah Noble 22nd Dec - 1:02am
    This is the thing: people are just looking at David's tiny majority, and the fact it's Bradford, and assuming we've lost already. We still hold...
  • User AvatarChris Manners 22nd Dec - 12:44am
    That was a by-election. A win over Labour by only 365 votes in Bradford East last time looks too small.