Conservative Diary

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Tebbit: Don't vote Conservative

TebbitInMail The Daily Mail has an extraordinary interview with former Tory Chairman Norman Tebbit in which he says that many people should register a protest at MPs' milking of the expenses system by with-holding their vote from the main parties in next month's European Elections:

"Local elections, the great British public should treat just as normal but at the European elections, in my judgment they should send a very sharp message to the leaders of the three national parties by not voting for any of the national party candidates."

His intervention does not go as far as Stuart Wheeler.  Lord Tebbit does not endorse another party and urges voters to shun the BNP describing it as "Labour with racism".  Nonetheless it is an extraordinary act of protest - I would say ill discipline - from a former Chairman of the Conservative Party.  I sympathise with his anger at MPs' behaviour but I regret his intervention.

Tim Montgomerie

8.15am: Lord Tebbit has appeared on the Today programme to repeat his 'don't vote Conservative' message. Interviewed by Jim Naughtie he went beyond his Mail interview and made a wider attack on party selection procedures - singling out the A list for attack.


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