Tory Media Bitch Fight: Peter Oborne v Lord Ashcroft Round II

After round one last year, sometime Cameron loyalist Peter Oborne accuses mischief-making Lord Ashcroft of treachery in an uncharacteristically forthright piece in the Telegraph. Citing twitter, polling and his alleged loathing of Lynton Crosby, Oborne calls for Dave to withdraw the whip:

“This brings me onto the subject of Lord Ashcroft. In recent weeks, the Conservative peer … has been engaged in an open, menacing and extremely public campaign against David Cameron… 

What we can all agree on is that there is something strange about Lord Ashcroft’s conduct. He is, after all, a peer of the realm, a very substantial businessman, and a high-ranking Conservative figure. Yet he is stalking the Prime Minister in a rather cranky way… So here is a word of well-meant advice for Lord Ashcroft: it’s time to quit the Tory party. You are no longer happy in it, and it has never felt entirely comfortable with you. The time when rich men, especially those with a record of (legally) avoiding British tax, could buy a political party has gone. If you want to make persistent, childish and personal criticisms of a Conservative prime minister, it is much better that they should be made from the perspective of a private citizen. And here is a word of advice for the Prime Minister. If Lord Ashcroft carries on using this treacherous and disloyal language, stop pretending not to notice. Strip him of the Conservative whip, kick him out of the party, and set an example.”

Leading to this rebuttal from Ashcroft:

“First, my tweets are occasionally mischievous, and I am sorry if some of them have not been to Peter’s taste. But he overstates their “menace”… if I sometimes link to other articles that make unhappy reading for Downing Street – well, I’m not a Tory press officer. Second, Peter makes the excellent point that Twitter is not the ideal medium for complex or thoughtful arguments.

Quite so – which is why I write at greater length elsewhere, especially on ConHome and my own research and commentary site… I have used my more independent position to conduct political research on a scale which to the best of my knowledge has not been seen before in this country. The results are published for all to read alongside my comment. No doubt some of this is uncomfortable for the Tories but I have often pointed out that it shows Cameron to be the party’s biggest asset – hardly the “vicious and damaging public criticism” that Peter accuses me of indulging in… Overall, my political commentary amounts to a prolonged reminder that the winning party will be the one that pays attention to the voters and their priorities. I hope that party will be the Conservative Party – but I think I’m more use to it as a truth-teller than a cheerleader.”

Seconds out…

Paul Goodman, ConservativeHome editor, says calling the Ashcroft owned-website a “right-wing and often anti-Cameron website” is as fair as calling Peter Oborne a “right-wing and often anti-Cameron journalist”.  There are other similarities; The Telegraph and The Spectator are owned by secretive Tory-leaning offshore billionaires the Barclay brothers. Political publishers DODS, ConservativeHome, PoliticsHome, Total Politics Magazine, The House Magazine, Holyrood Magazine, Public Affairs News, bookseller Biteback Publishing plus a few other specialist political publications and monitoring companies are controlled by the formerly offshore Tory-leaning billionaire Lord Ashcroft. It is little known that Ashcroft was rebuffed by the Barclays when he expressed an interest in buying The Spectator…



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Adam Spiegel, producer of Nazi themed “The Producers” musical says…

“Margate seemed a perfect place to start the promotion. I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised to see that UKIP are trying to hitch a publicity ride on the back of the show.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Happy International Polar Bear Day! Happy International Polar Bear Day!
Met Police Accuse Guido of Collusion With Press Gazette Met Police Accuse Guido of Collusion With Press Gazette
Miliband Speaks on #TheDress Miliband Speaks on #TheDress
Future of Journalism Update Future of Journalism Update
Hacked Off Rally Was Deeply Unpleasant Hacked Off Rally Was Deeply Unpleasant
Nazis Invade UKIP Conference Nazis Invade UKIP Conference

Farage on Course to Win Thanet Farage on Course to Win Thanet
Sadiq Khan Spoke at Jihad John Group Event Sadiq Khan Spoke at Jihad John Group Event
Government Blames Facebook for Lee Rigby Murder Government Blames Facebook for Lee Rigby Murder
The Hysteria of Hacked Off The Hysteria of Hacked Off
Simon Carr’s PMQs Sketch Simon Carr’s PMQs Sketch
Charity Fat Cats on £145,000 Charity Fat Cats on £145,000
Meet the Lesbian Tech Queen Meet the Lesbian Tech Queen
Balls on His Sexual Prowess Balls on His Sexual Prowess
Tory Candidates: EU Bad For Business Tory Candidates: EU Bad For Business
Soubry: I Said ‘Rubbish’ Soubry: I Said ‘Rubbish’
Guido v Hacked Off Guido v Hacked Off
Boris’ Mystery Blonde Boris’ Mystery Blonde
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,776 other followers