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This is a silly article. Almost as silly as Bercow and Mercer must now feel.


All fair points Louise but if they are as principled as I'm sure they are, they would resign as MPs on defection.

If there's one thing worse than the defections we've seen over the last few years, it's the pathetic site of such individuals hanging on to their cushy seats until a new berth is found for them on the other side.

These three individuals I would hope would have the self-respect to resign immediately. If not, they would be following the same, well trod path.

Birmingham Tory

I'm sure our PPC will be delighted to read this article. Presumably you'd be just as happy if someone suggested your Labour opponent defected to us, putting you out of a job?

John Lindley

I did meet Frank Field once. I thought him a true gentleman, a man of integrity. He is a Christian whose faith leads him to honest politics, what a rarity! My only comment about Louise Bagshaws suggestion is that it would be out of character for him to cross the floor except in the most extreme circumstances; but then perhaps such circumstances are here.

Louise Bagshawe

I would be delighted if my Labour opponent changed his mind on just about everything and defected to the Conservatives!

But I fear it's unlikely.

John Craig

If a defector resigned and then came over, they would still have to prove themselves before being given the opportunity to join our candidates list.

In my opinion, you cannot trust defectors, despite being well principled.

It would be like marrying an adulterous mistress - could you ever trust them 100%


EDM 670


Field, Frank

'That this House notes that those polls that have questioned the English report a clear majority in favour of an English parliament; and further notes that it is this issue, and not Scottish independence or even House of Lords reform, that is the issue that voters now put at the top of their priorities for constitutional reform.'


29/09/2007 The Times

'The Tories are in fact an English party in all but name and their leader doesn't seem to realise this. All bar three Tory MPs sit for English constituencies. Making the English question his big idea could give Mr Cameron the kind of electoral launch for the general election that he gained last time he was in Blackpool seeking the Tory leadership.'

Frank Field

Sounds like a useful sort of a chap.

Derek Johnson

Birmingham Tory wrote:

"I'm sure our PPC will be delighted to read this article. Presumably you'd be just as happy if someone suggested your Labour opponent defected to us, putting you out of a job?"

Fair point. However, I would expect our new member to endorse our excellent PPC, whilst campaigning in a seat elsewhere in the country. Like Louise, I am big admirer of both Frank and Kate. But Gisela has fought against the badly needed reforms the Conservative Party has had to make in Birmingham, in housing in particular. Housing is a major success story in Birmingham.

She needs to recognise the achievements of the Birmingham Conservative Group and make friends with certain Edgbaston councillors before she could even be considered the outgoing Conservative MP for Birmingham Edgbaston.

We have a fine PPC in place, and I want her to take the oath as the member for Birmingham Edgbaston. Gisela would be welcome of course...but somewhere else. That of course is a problem for the party nationally to resolve.

Tony Makara

I don't think its in good taste to invite defections. A defection must be a decision of conscience and made by the individual of their own volition. In a democratic society every MP has the right to change their political allegiance in just the same way as the electorate are free to change their vote. However that decision cannot be encouraged from the outside. For the record, a certain person, I won't name my source, once told me that Frank Fields has been thinking about a volte face for some time.

Ken Stevens

Great idea.
Those brought up in 1950s Old Labour households would feel very comfortable having such folk in a Tory administration. With similar nostalgia, couldn't you brainwash Gwynneth Dunwoody into a more Tory frame of mind. Now there's a real politician. Pity about her politics!

David Lindsay

Field and Hoey are too conservative for Cameron anyway. Stuart might be another matter.

James Cleverly

Lovely idea but isn't it better having three "Conservatives" on the Labour benches giving us a notional 6 votes rather than have them cross the floor and have them replaced by clueless Labour loyalists? We'd end up with just the 3 votes.

Malcolm Dunn

I think it extremely unlikely that any of these 3 would ever defect to the Conservative party nor would I really want them to. Whilst they are obviously principled people who have sacrificed their career advancement for their beliefs all three have voted on for measures which most Conservatives would oppose. Far better that they follow their consciences and vote with us on the rare ocassion when we are in agreement.
The actions of people like Quentin Davies and Shaun Woodward are an absolute disgrace and apart from a few days headlines have brought little benefit to the Labour party.

Tony Makara

"The actions of people like Quentin Davies and Shaun Woodward are an absolute disgrace and apart from a few days headlines have brought little benefit to the Labour party."

Malcolm Dunn, very true. Those who defect ought to be made to fight an immediate bi-election. Davies was elected on a Conservative platform and it is a violation of voters wishes to have him representing them as a Labour MP. Would Davis have crossed the floor if he had to put his case before his constituents first? Of course not! Such naked opportunism should not be encouraged.

Simon R

I'd love to have Claire Short in the party. Is she even still an MP? She reminds me of when a few Ministers had some redeeming qualities. It's been such a long time that you can forget they weren't always the utter shower they are now.


No I think the 'citizen juries' are a horribly Marxist idea, and it goes against the grain of my Englishness that its like someone dragging their fingernails down a blackboard. But this need for Citizen Juries is really an admittance by Brown of Labour’s corruption of Parliament, for Brown’s Stalinism has so corrupted our 'representatives' in Parliament that he needs to stage some ‘consultations’ in order to find out what people think. But as we know, Brown only seeks advice to fit with the views he already has, so making these loathsome Citizen juries as useless as our so called representatives who sit on the Labour benches.

I also loath the idea of ID cards, which seems to be little more than needing a passport to walk down your own street, and again is the sign of Labour Government failure. For we only need passports to walk down our streets because Labour have failed to ask travellers to this country to present their ID’s at the border, and our border controls having collapsed, it means we all have to carry our papers. It also changes the relationship between citizen and state, where the state rather than being the servant of the people, now takes upon its self to license us, which again my Englishness rebels against.

As for 90 day detention, it again goes against my English culture of Habeas Corpus

Everything this Labour government is goes against the grain of who I am, as an Englishman I loath it, it seems we have some more Norman rulers ruling us again.

As for Kate Hoey, Frank Field etc, I have a lot of time for them, but crossing the floor of the House diminishes the person doing it and all they may stand for. It would be better if the Conservatives supported any Labour rebels to become independents, in that way the Conservative party could work with and support them, but their views, which are important, won’t get diminished by the resigning the Labour party whip, in fact it might just give them a much better platform to advance their views.


A poor article, weak subject and badly written. Not up to usual conhome standards.

Derek Johnson

I for one won't criticise Louise for writing this article/open letter. Thousands of people are seeing through the sham that is Gordon Brown's Labour Party on a daily basis and are very much examining their beliefs in light of the shambles this country has become.

Labour politician are no different in my book. If the likes of Frank Field decided that it is the Conservative Party that best reflects the solutions and aspirations he holds for Britain, we will know that this is a serious and credible politician who has done a lot of soul-searching in reaching such a view. One certainly couldn't compare any Field defection with that of Davies or Woodward. Frank Field cannot be described as a naked opportunist like those two individuals.

Since being dumped on the sidelines for a decade by a Labour Party that bottled welfare reform, the last ten years in Frank Field's life constitute the biggest waste of political talent I can ever recall.

There is a job of work to be done to clear up the mess this country finds itself in. As a Conservative, I for one won't turn away people of ability to complete this task.


Is there not some irony in describing Jane Ellison as excellent and then slagging off Labour as Europhile.

MPs are elected to represent their constituencies, if they switch, they should resign and restand. These guys like being MPs so not much chance of that then.

What's perhaps more concerning is that fine independent minds like Stuart, Field and Hoey won't emerge on Tory benches when CCHQ seeks to impose candidates on constituencies.


To be fair to the author though, Frank Field's views below look very Tory to me!



Those people are all socialists. They may ooze common sense, and I know it's depressing that we don't have a monopoly on that sort of thing, but they are still too far from the party on crucial issues.

Richard Calhoun

Your request to three in question is rather silly.
Such a request should be done confidentially, you put them in an impossible position to respond to such a public invitation

Chris Buckwell

I have always admired Frank Field, and, were he to join us, I am sure he would do so for genuine reasons. I also know "Conservatives" who vote for Kate Hoey, although her fans in our party appear to be mainly obsessive pro-hunt supporters. Whilst I cannot comment on Gisela Stuart, Frank Field would be a great defection to us.

David Lindsay

Really, TaxCutter? "He says that the 'mega rise' in young single parents started after Thatcher's destruction of male manufacturing jobs." He's right, of course.

Annabelle Thomson

Louise after reading that article I wouldn't be at all suprised if you remained a ppc after the election.

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