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A letter complaining about Team Cameron's power is circulated to all Tory MPs

Letter A letter on House of Commons notepaper - purporting to come from anonymous Conservative MPs - has been circulated to every Tory MP.   I don't know if it is genuine or a complete counterfeit but one MP told me yesterday that any one of hundred of his colleagues could have written much of the letter.  Morale in the parliamentary party remains at rock bottom because of the whole expenses saga.  Here is a PDF of the full text but below is a key section:

"We all know that the expenses crisis is a massive problem, but it has brought out clear evidence of what all of us had sensed and feared, namely that the party in parliament has ceased to be a team effort and is now just run and dictated to for the personal advantage of David Cameron and George Osborne. We are concerned that the parliamentary party is just being used and abused by the leader and his inner circle. They are treating the party as if it is their private property. Action is being taken to respond to the expenses scandal but its main purpose actually seems to be to build up a position for themselves of permanent power. Colleagues are threatened with expulsion, older members are being forced out, untested candidates are being invited to apply from nowhere, and all of it is designed to assert a Stalinist hold over the party. The importance of parliament is being sacrificed to help them."

My own view is that David Cameron's handling of the expenses crisis has been the high point of his leadership.  The Middleton letter reminding Association Chairmen of their deselection powers - attacked in the above letter - was something ConHome recommended.  The overall negativity of the letter about the Cameron project suggests it is written by unrepresentative malcontents.

But the letter shouldn't be completely ignored by Team Cameron.  David Cameron is making renewed efforts to build better links with the parliamentary party - Nadine Dorries MP blogged about a dinner he held with some colleagues last week - but a lot of Tory MPs are very unhappy at the power that they see concentrated in the leader's office.  This is something for all of us to watch.

Tim Montgomerie


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