Conservative Diary

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David Cameron's use of allowances was entirely appropriate

6a00d83451b31c69e201156fbdcf9b970c-200wi I don't think the story about David Cameron's mortgage will go very far despite the Mail on Sunday splash.  A wealthy man like the Tory leader needs to be careful how he presents himself but his claims have neither been excessive and he used the allowance in exactly the way it was intended to be used.

David Cameron's overall positioning during this crisis has been correct.  He has overseen a cleaning up of the parliamentary party without it becoming a witch hunt.  This has resulted in a strengthening of the Conservative Party's opinion poll position.  Unlike Labour - that will still have the likes of Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper in place at the election - the Tories most likely to face a Martin Bell-style challenge will be off the stage.

Iain Dale reports that Mr Cameron has just told Sky News that he is ready to order reselections.  Good.  ConHome called for this nearly three weeks ago.  But Iain is also right to warn that are MPs are close to boiling point.  Eurosceptics are particularly angry at the way Bill Cash was "undermined" - as they see it - on Friday.  I personally support Cameron's tough line and don't agree that Bill Cash was treated unfairly.  Cameron's behind-the-scenes order to Andrew MacKay to go was a necessary sign that friends-of-Dave aren't going to get special treatment.  I don't expect shadow cabinet ministers to go but I have been told authoritatively - and not for the first time - that Alan Duncan will not sit in Cabinet.

Tim Montgomerie


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