Writing in The Times Mary Ann Sieghart sheds some light on matters and hits the nail on the head for the modernisers. Who to do it, not what to do, is their problem.
My new source was correct apparently about a meeting of the modernisers on Monday. Sieghart says Maude, Dorrel and Andrew Tyrie discussed who they should support. She says they opted for Andrew Lansley. Dorrell told Alan Duncan and Damian Green their views. If Sieghart is correct it seems very unsporting that Francis Maude, party chairman, is getting involved in intra-factional infighting. Her judgement however has to be questioned since she backs Willets.
Guido has a simple suggestion, it will bring increased involvement in the party, and it would emulate the most successful right-of-centre political party in the world, the Republicans. Hold primaries, let the membership choose two leadership candidates who would be voted on by their MP colleagues. In the twenty-first century, democratic parties require democratic procedures, any attempt to edge out the membership’s primary role is ridiculous. If you want to be leader, communicate your message around the country to party members at hustings, get their support, don’t get yourself foisted on the membership by the parliamentary party.
Yes, IDS was a disaster chosen by members, but Major was chosen by MPs. You don’t want a leader in this day and age who is not trusted by the party membership. Unless you are Tony Blair of course.