Wheels are Coming Off the EPP Climb Down

The Cameron-Hague spin on the EPP was brilliantly done. The issue that most motivates Tories is Europe, to somehow kick the issue off the agenda until 2009 was incredible. Guido was surprised at how quiet and well behaved the Euro-obssessives were being. The issue is now back on the activists’ agenda and Guido suspects will be front and centre at party conference. The undeniable fact is that Cameron promised leaving the EPP would be the first thing he did. The de-whipped MEP Roger Helmer writing in the right-wing Freedom Association pressure group’s Freedom Today says Dave

…was very clear on timing. It would be immediate. It would be a first-week task. It would be “during his honeymoon period”. Later, the timescale changed, but it became “Months not weeks, months not years”. Now, it’s years. Three of them.

There is no getting round this, no spinning, we all read his lips and he has failed to deliver on one of the only things he could deliver outside government. It is all very well deliberately “picking a fight with the right” on modernising issues, but a fight with the right where you have failed to keep a promise and on an issue which is popular with 90% of the activists is a big mistake. Dave may have squared it with career minded MPs and MEPs, but there could still be grassroots trouble ahead…



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John McDonnell tells the Gallery/Lobby lunch what the priest told him to do…

‘He persuaded me to do this. He said you need to soften your image. So do Mumsnet and do this…. I’m trying to soften my image.’

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