Conservative Diary

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Closing the deal 6/10: Big regional roles for the big beasts

Sometimes the Conservative Party looks like a one man band. It isn't. The Conservatives now have most of the big talents. We've got Boris, Hague, Clarke, Osborne, Eric Pickles, Chris Grayling, Sayeeda Warsi, Caroline Spelman, John Major (who has had some terrific media hits recently), IDS, David Davis.

We should make a virtue of that broad team and use all of them in the election campaign, giving David Cameron some rest from the limelight and ample space to prepare for the all important debates.

FourBBs If I had to pick the four biggest beasts that will be helpful on the campaign trail I'd put Boris as our big hitter in London, Hague as a big hitter in the South West (with Liam Fox) and Yorkshire, Ken Clarke (with Caroline Spelman) in the Midlands, and Eric Pickles* as lead man across Lancashire and Yorkshire (supported by Sayeeda Warsi). Local newspapers and regional broadcasters enjoy high trust levels from their readers, listeners and viewers. The regional media war will be less noticed by the Westminster class than internet activity but invisibly will sway more votes (at least for this election).

One of my favourite Conservatives is Lord (Michael) Bates. Former MP for Langbaugh and the brains behind Campaign North he's a super talent. He should lead for the party in the North East (with Greg Clark).

Tim Montgomerie

* Chris Grayling should be lead attack dog from CCHQ.


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