Thursday 23 October 2003

Troubled Tories

I am beginning to believe that Iain Duncan Smith may indeed be on the way out:
Mr Duncan Smith was granted a stay of execution by Tory back-benchers yesterday after learning that plotters have still failed to secure the 25 names they need to trigger a leadership election.

David Maclean, the chief whip, told him earlier that his attempts to crush the rebellion are set to fail as the dissidents are too numerous. Mr Duncan Smith responded with a warning to his shadow cabinet.

"I am the leader, I was elected leader and I will take the party through the next election and win," he told them yesterday. However, the faces of Tory MPs were uniformly bleak at Prime Minister’s question time.

One possible replacement is David Davis. I seem to recall reading that Mr Davis strongly believes in cutting Scotland's share of UK expenditure. If Davis became leader and were to campaign in favour of a reduction in Scottish spending he may well find considerable support among Northern English labour MPs. Perhaps fiscal independence will be thrust upon us.