David Cameron versus the Conservative Party, again

How close did the Conservative Party come to backing Gordon Brown over extending detention without trial to 42 days?

From the voting figures (only one Conservative MP backed Labour, Ann Widdecombe) you might think that the party was pretty united and firm in its opposition. But that would overlook the disputes within the Conservative Party on their line, which even caused David Davis to talk about quitting the Shadow Cabinet:

David Davis is said to have told Mr Cameron that he would rather resign than support the Government’s efforts to extend the period of pre-charge detention beyond 28 days. George Osborne and Michael Gove feared that the Tories risked being painted as “soft on terrorism” but were overruled after a series of private meetings between the two former rivals. (The Times)

George Osborne and Michael Gove aren’t exactly bit players in the Conservative Party, nor does David Davis seem to be the sort of man who would talk about resigning lightly. The splits seem very deep.

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10 Comments

  • There is an umbilical cord linking Michael Gove MP to the country clubs of Virginia. He is Cheney’s eyes and ears in the Shadow Cabinet. But I think he would be rather wary of saying “boo” to David Davis – a man who(unlike Gove) actually can knock the skin off a rice pudding!

  • And David Davis resigns…

  • Nick Robinson says he understands the Lib Dems will not contest the by election.

  • How many tories are going to follow Davis’ example?

  • Clive Bates 12th Jun '08 - 2:55pm

    No one seems to mention the point why 42 days should be opposed; wrongful arrest and detention. It happens, especially when an incident has occured and the met is in overdrive to produce results. The worst case scenario is lengthy detentions as in Guantanamo, where sheep herders have been turned in by neighbours seeking the financial rewards on offer.

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