Conservative Diary

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Changing one man in a funny black costume for another is not main issue, says Cameron

Speaker's office Just interviewed on BBC Radio 4 (listen again) David Cameron refused to either back or criticise the Speaker but said that "we cannot go on like this".  Mr Cameron promised that he would support a debate on Michael Martin's future if "enough" MPs signed Douglas Carswell's motion of no confidence.  He declined to say how many were "enough" or whether he wanted more to sign the motion.  Douglas Carswell has blogged that he has now got "easily more than 20" signatories to his motion.  Yesterday evening Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg MP said that he would sign it.

Speaking more broadly Mr Cameron said that swapping one man in a funny black costume for another (almost verbatim I think) is not the main issue.  We can change the Speaker he told John Humphrys, apologise, force MPs to repay allowances and deselect some but what is really needed is a General Election.  At the launch of his European Elections campaign yesterday Mr Cameron announced a petition for an early General Election.

The Conservative leader said it was "99%" certain that he would accept the Kelly recommendations on reform of MPs' allowances.

Tim Montgomerie


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