There's More Than One Cunning Fox

Once again one of Liam’s little letters has made its way into the papers. Again he is protesting his innocence, and this time he’s not the only suspect.

“A source close to Dr Fox” said “the Defence Secretary fully supports the principle of a 0.7% target on international aid.” Yet his letter will be seen, by the Tory right and grassroots, at the very least, as a rejection of what a growing number believe to be an absurd policy. While we scrap aircraft carriers, we thank Pakistan for all their help recently by sending them hundreds of millions….

But who else would benefit from this row being out in the open? Which ambitious and restless colleague was consulted and is mentioned in the first sentence of the letter:

Dear David Cameron
I have considered the issue carefully, and discussed it with Andrew [Mitchell] and William Hague, but I cannot support the proposal in its current form….

Could maneuvering Mitchell be doing a little fox-hunting?

It’s clear Mitchell would have known the letter was coming and he has a stake in the fight, but could it have been even more Machiavellian? Downing Street don’t want a reshuffle just yet, and this debate has distracted nicely from Huhne’s problems for a couple of hours. Who knows, maybe this is even the beginning of another government u-turn. This time to throw a bone to the Tory-core vote, that held up, rather than the electorally decimated LibDems.




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Quote of the Day

Stephen Bush writing in the New Statesman‘s morning briefing…

“The terrifying truth is that the Opposition is too divided – within the parliamentary party, within the trades unions, within the Shadow Cabinet and even within the leader’s office – to be anything other than a veto player as far as Brexit goes, and the party’s whole gambit is really about trying to make that weakness look like a strength. Keir Starmer saying that Labour is “increasingly likely” to vote down the deal is simply a reflection of the fact that the one thing the Labour party will be able to agree on as far as Brexit goes is that Theresa May’s deal is no good.”

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