Dirty Tricks Over Tory Contenders’ ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’

Eyebrows were raised  this morning by the appearance of a “Clean Campaign Pledge” signed by just three of the Tory leadership contenders. It opens with the almost biblical “I will not speak ill of my fellow Conservatives”. Yeah right…

Steve Baker smelled a rat immediately, questioning just how many candidates had actually been approached before the pledge went out, given that the same dirty trick was played on Andrea Leadsom last time just as May’s team were busy drawing up attack dossiers on the other candidates. Guido has now spoken to five of the other leadership teams and they’ve all confirmed that none of them were approached at all, which in itself is tricky.

The no “personality attacks” pledge is a joke, as we shall see in the coming weeks when the off-the-record briefing gets going. In any event character is important, the idea that a leadership campaign is only about policy, not the character of the person being elected to lead is silly. More discussion of the personality problems of Gordon Brown and Theresa May before they got into Downing Street would definitely have been in the public interest…


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