Tory MPs “Despairing” at “Disastrous” No.10 Spin

Number 10’s spin operation today after the McDonald letter has, unsurprisingly, gone down like a cup of cold sick with the Tory benches, including amongst Boris loyalists. Guido’s spoken to several MPs following the lobby briefing and Michael Ellis’s Urgent Question response, and they all agreed it was a “disaster“. One said it was “the last days of Rome”…

ITV’s Paul Brand reports that rebels are now sending in fresh letters to the ’22, even though Boris is immune from challenge until next year without a rule change. Guido’s heard the same – the mood is so “downbeat” that even “despairing” loyalists are tipping over the edge, with one Red Waller describing the situation as “an absolute sh*tshow”. Although as usual, only Graham Brady knows if that’s feeding through to his in-tray… 

There were also raised eyebrows – and that’s putting it mildly – over No.10’s decision to allow cameras in to the Cabinet meeting this morning. “Who the f*ck thought [that] was a good idea” said one MP to Guido…

Where, one might ask, is the counter-attack? What is Downing Street doing to get on the front foot? What is CCHQ doing? MPs who are hardcore supporters of the Prime Minister are fed up. Trying to push the “biggest tax cut” talking point today won’t work to set the agenda when you put up the same taxes only a few months ago. If the government wants to shift the media’s focus on to the economy, what will they do that Starmer won’t? Tory MPs want a sense of purpose and direction, rather than constantly ricocheting at the hands of the media from one minor negative process story to another, that the general public doesn’t really care about… 

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