Conservative Diary

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Where's the Party Chairman?

By Matthew Barrett
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Since Peter Cruddas resigned as co-Treasurer of the Party in the early hours of Sunday morning, we've had a number of Conservative figures try to defend the government. By my count, we've had Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, making, by all accounts, a car crash appearance on the Today programme, we've had Chris Grayling, a Minister at DWP, on 5 live last night, Hugh Robertson, the Sports Minister, on Sky News yesterday morning, and we've had David Cameron, very briefly, announcing an internal inquiry into the Cruddas allegations. Michael Fallon, the redoutable and efficient Deputy Chairman, and the main Conservative attack dog, appeared on the Sunday Politics show, and Sky News.

That number of voices speaking for the Government can only lead to a muddled message being presented to the media, and the public at large. It would be far better to have a full-time attack dog to take the lead on difficult issues for the Conservative Party. That attack dog should be the Chairman of the Party, currently Sayeeda Warsi. Baroness Warsi was nowhere to be seen yesterday.

David Cameron needs to appoint a good media handler as Chairman so we can have a very clear message the next time the Party needs some help managing a bad news story. He could appoint Michael Fallon to the full position, or he could, as Tim Montgomerie has suggested, appoint someone with a view to recreating the role in the style of Norman Tebbit or Cecil Parkinson, to help plot victory in 2015. Michael Gove, a candidate Tim suggested for the position, would have been a very good attack dog for the Party during a period like this.


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