Guido’s been speaking to numerous Tory MPs and other prominent candidates up and down the country, and is yet to find one who says the current cronyism/sleaze/flat refurbishment media storm come up on the doorstep, nor in their MP constituency post bags. No doubt to the Lobby and Labour’s irritation.
A few have asked “why the hell did Boris pick a fight with Cummings?” It’s remarkable – assuming they are telling the truth – how much of a disconnect there seems to be on this story between the Westminster bubble and the outside world. One prominent red wall candidate told Guido:
“I’m as interested in politics as the next politician, but even I’m finding it difficult to follow and understand what the actual issue is. Not surprised that nobody up here is paying any attention. Could be wrong, but it feels like another example of Westminster and MSM being completely disconnected”.
The proof in the pudding will obviously be the May elections.
Nevertheless, might Tory MPs be getting increasingly frustrated with the distraction? While there will be outliers willing to give a headline-grabbing gobby quote, it’s worth revisiting Charles Walker’s Newsnight rant from two days ago, where he not only defended the PM with vigour, he will have been echoing the views of the 1922 executive in his role as vice-chair. In normal times, today’s PMQs would give Tory MPs the opportunity to show a rallying behind the PM. The maintained social distancing rules will quash that opportunity however.