Another stunning success for the beleaguered Bow Group. On Monday they announced Zac Goldsmith as the keynote speaker at their summer reception, rather an odd move for a think tank that spends its time condemning Tories who show the slightest ideological impurity as “unconservative“. Three days later, Zac has backed out and pointed the finger at the organisers:
Zac’s campaign chief Nick de Bois says he feels “misled” because the Bow Group billed him as their keynote speaker, telling the Bow Group-friendly Breitbart site:
“Without agreement the Bow group has been misleading attendees and the public, selling the event as a keynote speech – something very different. He will therefore not be taking part.”
Well, was he “misled“? These emails between the Bow Group’s Nic Conner and Zac’s people suggest they didn’t have that much of a problem with it being described as a keynote speech:
From: Nic Conner
To: Team Zac
4th August 12:46
I will call to order at 18:55 with the Chairman’s address at 19:00. We then aim to give Zac a chance to give his keynote at 19:10 for 15 minutes then 10 minuets [sic] of questions from the floor… After Zac has taken selfies and shaken hands I suspect he will be out the door by 20:00.
From: Team Zac
To: Nic Conner
4th August 16:06
Thanks Nic. The timings of 7-8pm look fine. Please could I make some small amends? In short, fine for the chairman to give opening remarks. Could it then go to Nick de Bois as Zac’s campaign chairman to give a couple of short remarks and set the scene as a former MP, and then Zac can give a speech of between 5-10 minutes and chair his own Q&A? If we then aim for 7:30pm for Zac to mingle.
Perhaps someone had a quiet word in Zac’s ear that the Bow Group might not be his ideological allies…