Guido bumped into his old friend Tim Yeo last night who had ‘absolutely no comment to make to you’ about his dying career. He did however confirm something rather interesting about last week’s Observer. Political Editor Toby Helm penned a vainglorious piece about Yeo’s deselection, claiming it was all part of a wider conspiracy to turn back the clocks on Tory modernisation and silence the green agenda:
“It is known that some local Tories in Suffolk dislike Yeo’s enthusiasm for green issues and his support for gay marriage. He is also less strongly Euro-sceptic than some in the party, and makes the argument that the UK’s best interests lie with remaining in the EU.”
The flaws in the piece were immediately obvious. As a former Major minister (of the back to basics variety) Yeo was hardly the poster boy of Dave’s new model army and he only really cares about green issues that feather his nest. Had Helm picked up the phone to anyone in the South Suffolk constituency he would have known the reasons behind the deselection were to do with Yeo’s absenteeism. So who did Toby Helm speak to?
Well Yeo confirmed to Guido last night that he ‘regularly’ plays golf with Toby Helm. How cosy!
Curiously Yeo was an accompanied by a young lady who he introduced to people as his ‘Special Adviser’. Which is an oddity for a backbench MP…