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If UKIP put up a candidate they could well do quite well, the possibility of someone pro extending limits on detention without trial standing as an Independent Conservative. Someone such as Andrew Hunter standing for the DUP there.

Clearly Labour have no chance there. Some smaller parties may use it for a big of publicity - the Liberal Party (under Steve Radford), Green Party, the 2 Respect Parties, Veritas, Popular Alliance, with the BNP not standing the National Front may well seek to stand.

I am sure that there will be candidates, by-elections just don't go uncontested these days.

David Davis could have been kept on as Shadow Home Secretary and the Minister of State could just have covered for him in the Commons until his return, this is what normally happens and unlike a government minister because it isn't a formal position there was no need to appoint a successor unless he didn't win the by-election.

Nice summary. (5) is the killer point - does DD really think there will be more of a debate in an unchallenged by-election than there has been over the past week (as he bizarrely seemed to claim today)?

At some point, you all should stop the analysis and speculation and simply take DD's stated intentions at face value. He's obviously appalled by 42 days of detention without charge, and he's doing all he can to stop the bill in the Lords. Good for him. Britain was forged by such heroes. Hip! Hip!

It's extraordinary that Cameron didn't keep the job open for Davis.
That he didn't not must mean he opposes what he has done today and doesn't want him back.

Chancellor Alistair Darling should do the first sensible thing he's done in office so far and reject David Davis' application for Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, and tell him to stop being so silly.

David Davis may be principled but there's also something mad about this.

The cost of living and crime and bad schools are the issues that will get rid of this terrible government. Not 42 days.

I wouldn't be surprised if this whole thing had been planned by the inner core of the leadership months ago.

The plan goes like this:

DD takes the radical, disgruntled, right off into a quiet corner for a by-election. He spells out the old, hard message (bringing in the UKIP, BNP, radical lib AND radical left, big tent crowd as well) then returns and delivers them unto the new Smoothie Cameron government.

Smart move IMHO.

Perhaps we should put up an opponent for DD to help expose the depravity of Fuhrer Brown. The National Security Party or the Presbyterian Surveillance Party or the Lock 'Em First And Ask Questions Afterwards Party?

Any volunteers?

1) the general public won't applaud it when they find huge amounts of literature pumped through their door for the sake for an abstract principle.

2)He's not certain to be elected. If a pro-42 days type stands, why should DD succeed when he's promised to run on only liberty - which is always behind on the polls?

3) Quite right. Apart from the HRA.

4) He's going to try and disrupt the party from the backbenches.

5) DD won't keep his campaign in the news for long - it will just be stories of tory turmoil.

It was a stupid decision with little regard for the party's members, its supporters or its voters. Stupid.

Maybe the Official Monster Raving Loony Party should run on a single pledge too: "We will lock up MPs who call unnecessary by-elections for 42 days!"

Alastair Campbell and David Davis are best buddies aren't they?

Perhaps Campbell, now that he's kicking his heels in front of daytime TV, has taken it upon himself to devise a career masterplan for Davis? Maybe this is the first step in a fiendishly clever campaign to snatch the premiership from Cameron's grasp.

If I were Dave, I would be worried. There's definitely a whiff of sulhpur in the air...

I'm not sure today has been a good day for our party. Our leader has been undermined - unfairly - and Labour are delighted. That will probably be the lead story in tomorrow's and the weekend's papers when the cheap hollowness of the PM's pyrrhic victory last night should have been the main focus. In the longer term, David Davis may need to answer this simple question: has he thrown Brown a lifeline? Was this the moment when Davis allowed the PM to present himself as a strong leader in tune with public opinion on this one, specific issue? It's way too early to say and tomorrow's strike makes this unlikely, but it's not impossible. I hope I'm wrong.

Quite right Chuckles. Britain WAS forged by such heroes. Go for it DD, we are right behind you.

@ Henry Mayhew

No, we're not. This is plain old bonkers. Narcisstic and onanistic.

Apologies, that's probably tautologous,..

The only person right behind DD is Alan Duncan.

And it has nothing to do with 42 days.

I noted the reasons DD gave were not only the 42 days. He also cited the various ways that freedom and justice have been undermined, including:

The threat of ID cards,
DNA database,
CCTV surveillance,
‘database state’,
exposing our personal data to criminal hackers,
so-called hate laws that stifle legitimate debate,
those who incite violence get off scot-free,
intrusion of the power of the state into our lives,
loss of privacy,
loss of freedom, and
steady attrition undermining then rule of law.

This demonstrates just what is going wrong: the oppression and erosion of freedoms of the law abiding general population, while crime and lawlessness continues to rise.

However I didn’t see the 42 days in quite the same light. I thought it was aimed at those who police have specifically investigated and feel could pose a danger to the public (and these types of terrorists aim to kill as many as possible, not just do economic damage or make a point) but need to be brought in before they could put a plot into action, while evidence is continued to be gathered. Therefore 42 days could affect a few terrorist suspects, while the list above affects the liberty of the general population.

But of course the danger is that such a law could be used for purposes Parliament didn’t intend (as has happened with the 1967 Abortion Act, and public order laws – the latter has been used against street preachers!) therefore strong safeguards are essential.

Totally agree with the Editor that Grieve's support for HRA is not good news. I also think he may be a bit of a weak liberal with a tendency to blame 'alienation' etc for terrorism and crime, rather than the perpetrators. So I wonder if this appointment brings into question the leadership's commitment to a tougher law ‘n order policy that is tough on the criminal rather than the general population.

Exactly Chuckles @ 23.47!!!

DD will keep his campaign in the news because we are entering the summer silly season were not alot else politically will be happening.

Alexander King - just because you are right behind Brown on 42 days doesn't mean you shouldn't support the official Conservative candidate for H&H.

Now that he's resigned, give Davis a peerage so he can fight 42 days again in the Lords. If he wins the by-election, he can disclaim the peerage. If he loses, he can stay in the Lords until a safe Tory seat in the Commons opens up for him at the next general election.

Will B, naturally I will support David Davis in his bid for re-election.

I put the party first, even if Mr Davis does not.

The more and more I think about it, the insanity of Davis' actions seems on parallel with the ridiculousness of Tom Makepeace's march through the country following his resignation from the government in Michael Dobbs' "Final Cut". Admittedly his stunt worked, but I wouldn't bank upon it as a sure fire route to success.

I still admire Davis sticking up for his convictions, but I'm beginning to worry that the party will end up looking divided despite Davis' claims to the contrary.

Quite right, Chris. It is entirely ridiculous.

I fear that, as George Pacoe-Watson implies, Davis has a teenage crush on Shami "Banshee" Chakrabarti.

I would put Chakrabarti on trial for treason. She is an odious presence in British public life.

My main problem is identifying exactly what Davis is seeking from this. Standing up for your principles is important, but sacrificing your chance to further your ideals through becoming Home Secretary in return for a soapbox seems bizarre at the very least.

The idea of a leadership challenge is fantasy from those who have been willing Cameron to fail from the outset. The party is riding high in the polls, the leader is personally popular with the electorate and on paper at least the leader agrees 100% with the prospective challenger. It would be as insane as if Gordon Brown had challenged Tony Blair for the Labour leadership in 1996.

Ultimately I doubt we'll ever discover what Davis really envisions coming from this by-election. He has however proven to me that he is a great man of principle, and I shall always hold him in respect for that. I voted for Cameron in 2005 and would readily do so again if called to, but Davis has shown that he is the competent right hand man that every good leader needs.

Chris, I agree that it is bizarre. I disagree that Davis has shown himself to be a ready right hand man. I think that this self-regarding decision has marked him out as precisely the sort of man who does not deerve high office.

Let us be clear: The House of Commons (like Conservative Home) is full of egotistical individuals who are each convinced of their own righteousness. It is party discipline that keeps these people in check. When a chap like Davis undermines the party in such a manner, I think he displays precisely why he can never be considered as a potential leader of our party.

Politics is a messy business and it needs so-called control freaks like Dave to crack the whip in order to achieve the wider goals of the party.

I would urge all party members to get fully behind Mr Cameron - the greatest Conservative leader since Mrs Thatcher - and to remain unswayed by silly sunts like that of Mr Davis.

Iain Martin:

"By triggering a wholly unnecessary by-election and resigning from the shadow cabinet, he is responsible for one of the more bizarre interludes in recent political history. His actions will be viewed by those who always disliked him as proof of vanity and egotism. For Labour, it brings delight as well as proof that the Conservatives are more fragile and less united than they have

Davis's strange decision is monumentally wrong-headed, counter-productive to the causes he expounds and most likely doomed to failure. Even if he is acting on principle, he risks being left to look a complete idiot".

I entirely agree with Clearbluewater above. At a time when the Party was doing so well this was a big tactical error, unnecessary and selfish. I feel sorry for DC, for those who worked so hard at the local elections and at Crewe and Nantwich.

I can't help feeling that Davis did this to counteract the fallout from this site's editorial on Wednesday. It might be the nuclear option to prove that the views of the editorial supporting 42 days were not the views held by the party (a point upheld by the ConHome poll yesterday)

I think if DD planned to resign over this issue he should have waited a day or so in order to allow full media attention to be given to the questioning of Brown on his pork barrel dealings.

Nonetheless, we are where we are and have to make the best of it so full support should be given to Davis and the principles of his campaign. However, in so doing, I would like to make a suggestion, speaking from the perspective of one who is not a party member but who has voted Tory recently in disgust at Labour. Could we have less talk of 'civil liberties' and 'human rights' and more of standing up for 'long cherished British Freedoms' please? DD could deliver some serious damage on Labour if he plays this right. The terms human rights and civil liberties have been debased by lefty lawyers and champagne socialists whereas generations of British people have fought and died in defence of the ancient and historic freedoms this corrupt Labour government are happy to set aside.

All he had to is wait. He probably would become Home Secretary soon enough and would then have had the wherewithall to offer parliament the opportunity to put his views and opinions into UK law. As it is he will now be consigned to rant from the back benches with the rest of the has-been bores... Silly man. When your principles start costing you, change them!

Entirely agree with the five points. The prospect of a politically independent DD on the backbenches is Fascinating!

With the news agenda zipping along nicely this story could fade from the headlines if, as it seems likely, the number of serious contenders fades away (Kelvin McKenzie threatening to stand will not turn this into any more or less a credible by-election)

I support DD's decision, even if it does strike me as one of those "momemt of madness" issues. I can't see DD sitting (or contesting) as an independent, he has probably caused enough trouble as it is with relations to certain Conservative members.

The one party who should stand against him is those who are in favour of 42 days detention - but we all know Labour won't stand, so I wonder if this won't end up being less of an event than DD wanted?

As an activist who initially supported DD in 2005 before switching to David Cameron, I am naturally pleased to have had my judgement vindicated.

I am less pleased on behalf of the many millions of OUR people in this country who NEED a Conservative Government, because by his selfish, indulgent and quixotic actions yesterday, Davis has made this less likely.

Tim, you are entirely right about how different the public response is from that of the Westminster village.

Out canvassing last night (we've got a by-election in Ilford South, offers of help much appreciated!) the reaction was, without exception, very positive.

Why did Davis have to do it at this time when the polls are so good or were. The PARTY has nothing to gain from this and I am not sure Davis does.

He says it is a single issue by election. We are told that the majority of the public are for 42 days so in theory he should lose. We know he won't and he knows he won't because of his constituency work etc but he will claim it as a vindication of his actions.

I do wonder if he had put as much passion, effort and energy into his famous or infamous Party Conference speech a few years ago then he may have been leader.

I still maintain I would rather see a few undesirables held for a few months rather than read headlines like 'bomb in Harrods' or 'carnage at Kings Cross' Please do not let us have sqealing for compensation to be paid if undesirables are held and then not charged. It is just tough as it was for those who were killed in bomb blasts in London.

Do the libertarians who have problems with ID cards also baulk at needing Driving Licences and passports. Are they offended that their car has to have an MOT and details are held.

If you behave yourself you have nothing to worry about.

VOTE MCKENZIE on the grounds that Davis wants the by election to be SINGLE ISSUE.

There it goes. All the hard work, all the rejuvenation, everything goes out the window because of a nutcase who thinks he is too important. Now we can look forward to the entire press concentrating on nothing else for the next month. God how Brown is laughing.

I hope tories who are supporting him will be content to remain another 10 years in opposition. Enjoy!

Why oh why is cameron not prepared for CCHQ to pay for any of the by-election costs? It just makes it look like a split

I am sure I don't need to say this, but it is Council by-election in Ilford South! A shame - I wouldn't mind Mike Gapes testing what local voters think of his support from 42 days...

I suggest that we the Great British Public generally admire Mr D's action, irrespective of whether it makes political or career sense.

So refreshing by comparison with the lobby fodder (all parties) that shuffle obediently according to instructions, whether or not they had been in the House listening to debates.

Anyway, must be more to it. Telegraph says DD was not party to DC's daily meetings with senior shadows. If so, then it is beyond belief that the major position of shadow home secretary was not invited.

Recently you cited the Independent's report that Clegg had been earmarked for Home Secretary, if there were a hung parliament with LibDems holding balance of power. Whether or not true, must still have undermined DD's position.

"I would put Chakrabarti on trial for treason. She is an odious presence in British public life."

What has she done that is treacherous?

My impression is that Davis isn't being truthful. Clearly something else is going on here -- whether Glegg was earmarked as Home Secretary or there was other tension with DC. In any case, his political career should now be over.
No return to the front bench and no Cabinet post in the next Cameron government. Really, Davis should just quit politics altogether and join a civil liberties organisation.

So will Conhome be backing Kelvin?

There is nothing wrong with having principals but to be on either a front bench or a shadow front bench it is necessary that you act as a united party. David Davis has forfeited that right. Dominic Grieve whilst not against having a human rights act has always said that you cannot have rights without responsibilities. It is this that needs changing and he is an advocat in having such changes made and it is interesting to know that Liberty also agrees that responsibilities are part of having rights.
David Matthews

Here's reflection number 6: you're still at it, despite what Brown did at PMQs . . . What will it actually take to get you to stop making claims like, "65% of Tory members 'inspired' by David Davis' move"? You don't know whether they're Tory members or not.

Quote: Most of the public is simply applauding a politician who has resigned his seat on an issue of principle. They're impressed."
Absolutely wrong. Davis is wrong. Cameron is wrong. "Most of the public" support an extension to 42 days - they believe that if this helps lift the threat of death and destruction - especially if they have, as I do, children working in London and using the capital's transport infrastructure every day - is worth supporting.
A well timed bomb killing and maiming scores of people during the by-election campaign will make Davis look incredibly stupid and will knock back the Tories revival in the polls.
Should he win - and why does everyone assume he will - he should not be hailed as a conquering hero. The damage he has done to Cameron and the Conservatives is beyond calculation - Brown and his smug entourage must by literally pi..ing themselves with laughter.
As the leading article in my region's morning paper the East Anglian Daily Times said:
"It was not part of his (Davis's) manifesto that he would propel them (the voters of Howden & Haltenprice) into a by-election when he felt like it.
"No matter what the circumstances, the United Kingdom thrives on the primacy of the House of Commons. While there may been a case for a referendum on the redrafted European constitution, we elected MPs to make decisions on our behalf.
"The proper time for debating monumental issues is a general election campaign. There should be no place for throwing the toys out of the pram just because a vote on legislation goes against the beliefs of a particular MP>"

"does DD really think there will be more of a debate in an unchallenged by-election than there has been over the past week " - Alexander King 23.40

I'm sorry but I missed the debate on the issues last week - all I heard was a lot of discussion about whether or not Brown could win the vote and what it meant for his leadership.

I whole heartedly applaud DD's stand and it can only do good for the Conservative Party which, as a 'real' Socialist, gives me little joy. However, if I resided in his constituency I would give him my vote.

I'm wondering if there are any legal ways to oppose DD's stunt as being a waste of taxpayers' money. Otherwise it sets a horrible precedent. Who knows which other MPs in safe seats will be calling unnecessary by-elections to support their favourite causes?

Since when has throwning your toys out the pram been regarded as 'principled?'

Let's take this for what it is - ie self-indulgent political posturing. It is nothing less.

David Davis! What a cunning stunt!

Amongst the many nocturnal emissions from one "Alexander King" were two very unpleasant posts at 00.14 and 03.05, the first as homophobic as the latter was racist. Both such elements were entirely gratuitous and the treason accusation probably libellous. Red mist at night, red pen in the morning, editor?

On the substance, my main thought on the morning after is the fear that DD's actions could well prove counter-productive to his cause (which I strongly support). Not only has he seemingly thrown away the chance for his convictions to be applied at the highest level as Home Secretary, but by making this a personal campaign he risks making defence of our ancient liberties (or civil liberties if you prefer) a fringe issue rather than a key part of an incoming Government's appeal and mandate. It will not help the cause for this to be seen an interesting sideshow like hunting or water fluoridisation.

The only redemption would be if he manages to turn around national opinion poll ratings on these issues by his passionate campaign, so dramatically that DC has no choice but to bring DD back immediately into the Shadow Cabinet with a renewed mandate to make this a central (and popular) line of attack on the Government. But is this really a likely outcome?

Finally, should DC start asking now when Gordon Brown is going to stop dithering about whether to put up a Labour candidate, or should he wait until lunchtime? "What is it about this Prime Minister that he is so frighened of the ballot box?"

This such a huge opportunity for Cameron et al to seize the initiative and put Brown on the rack, but they appear to lack the courage.

Thatcher turned round the view that Trade Unions were untouchable by courage and leadership. The settled view of the public over the benefits of EU membership were overturned by vigorous public debate.

An unhappy Labour Party breathed a sigh of relief after the vote on 42 days but, thanks to DD, it has come back to haunt them and we have the chance to expose Brown for shifty, bullying meglomaniac he is

Come on Cameron, just because it wasn't Steve Hilton's idea or part of the 'grid' doesn't mean you shouldn't back it to the hilt; your voluntary party will anyway so you may as well cash in on DD's courage or risk looking sulky and split

"Mr Grieve's support for the Human Rights Act may mean trouble ahead, however."

As a liberal (but not libertarian) I support Dominic Grieve's stance on the HRA. It is not a bad piece of legislation, it is poor interpretation and implementation. Responsibilities in every sense are not negated by the HRA. I can't believe the hysteria of some anti HRA types.

As for McKenzie, when it comes to the fact that the BNP are more liberal when it comes to detention without charge than either the Sun or Brown, the world does seem an odd place. McKenzie is a big mouthed, knee-jerk reactionary who looks for cheap laughs and unthinking nods of ignorant consent on the back of the dreadful "I've done nuffing wrong guv, so I don't care if a bunch of darkies get locked up" brigade.

Davis IS taking a stand. The reactions such as "moment of madness", etc are indicative of how cynical we have become and of how rare it is for someone to do something off script, or out of the grid. Davis has shown what real politics can be.

His moves is totally bizarre and crazy. He gets three weeks of headlines in a campaign in just one small area of the country over the issue and that's it. As shadow home secretary he could have led a much more high profile long run campaign leading up to the next general election.
And what is so surprising about what Brown did anyway, why is DD protesting about it? That's how whipping and politics works. Everyone can see through the vote and knows how it was won, it does not take a by-election.

According to ITV news last night, the holding period without charge in the US is 2 days. Makes our 28 days or 42 days both seem rather arbitrary to me.

Well, if your life is dominated by opinion polls, focus groups and Westminster gossip, and bounded by London SW!, then I agree, Davis looks silly.
But compare Davis to Michael Heseltine: he walked out of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet over a bloody helicopter company!
This isn't a hissy-fit over nothing, and it's not the 'eye on the main chance' manoeuvrings we are all too used to.
So reset the moral compass, people. This is equivalent of Chamberlain and Imperial Preference (and Ireland); and Churchill crossing the floor over free trade.
It really is that important. Otherwise, Brown gets away with it.

Everyone I have spoken to outside the Westminster bubble has applauded David Davis. He, and the Conservative Party by extension, are getting a hearing from quarters that would never previously have considered it. The Party should get behind him and capitalise on the goodwill Davis has been getting on the ground.

This is one instance where the MSM have completely missed the point.

I do think we need to start refocussing on what the issues here are. Political Journos love to scrabble around in the gutter sniffing out whatever trivial detritus or smug arrogant personal opinons they can but the issues at stake here a far too important for this matter to be allowed to be dragged down to that level.

Right or wrong David Davis has done what he has done. If it was over 42 days alone I would agree that it is overkill. But it is not. Not only is this about the erosion of our freedom but the very integrity of our Parliament. In that Davis is right.

The squalid debacle of Labour and DUP MP's selling their souls in backroom deals for a bunch of promises that Brown will probably not even keep his word on was an insulting shameful act of contempt for the Parliamentary process and our democracy.

How long are the people of this country going to have to suffer this extended attack on the very democratic fabric of this country from Labour?

Brown may chunter his condemnations but it is his Government who turned the 42 day extension debate into a farce. It is Labour, in riding roughshod over our democracy time and time again who are turning Westminster into a farce.

Labour are the greatest threat to our way of life and in supporting David Davis it may well be we can finally flush Brown out and expose him for the cowardly, tin-pot third rate dictator he really is.

The debate is not whether the Conservative party is split but whether the Labour Party has any courage or any convictions and will fight their position against a man of principal!

If Labour don't, then they are just a squalid cowardly arrogant bunch of power-seekers and money-grubbers.

David Davis has given one small part of the country the opportunity to condemn Brown and Labour for their disgraceful political machinations. We should do all we can to help him do it!

It is time to draw a line in the sand and say - NO MORE!

Is it yet too late for DD to reconsider?
The electors could resent an unnecessary election, with the waste of resources which is so unConservative.
We have nothing to gain, as a party, and we risk losing our hard won reputation for pragmatic responsibility.

I do not want to be locked up without charge for one week, or 4 weeks, let alone 6 weeks, so why should anyone else face that possibility?
Human and technological error are so routine these days. It is no longer safe to assume that the law abiding have nothing to worry about.
It is not just our enemies who are a danger to us, but also our servants and our systems.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Brown's victory is mistaken, but the issue is not concluded, and DD is misguided in this tactic, however much I agree with his views.
I am disappointed with his actions and he has tarnished his record of distinguished and effective service to our party.
As a huge fan and supporter of this site, I am also disappointed with their contribution to the interests of our opponents.
On balance, we have not benefitted from the actions of either DD or CH in a week when we should have been exposing this Government rather than ourselves.


Is this guy serious!? Looks like DD has competition

"Chancellor Alistair Darling should do the first sensible thing he's done in office so far and reject David Davis' application for Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, and tell him to stop being so silly."

That would certainty be in keeping with the general trend of ignoring rights. Vicount Chelsea was the last MP to be denied and that was way back in 1842. I suspect that blocking Davis would be far more trouble than its worth. As it is lets enjoy this interesting political ploy and see what comes out of it.

i am fed up of everyone criticising david davs do you all read the sun and times or something, this is guy who is taking a principled stand - principles are more important than his CAREER so stop having a go at him and get behind him.

One can almost imagine a new dawn of the political elite genuinely reconnecting with the feelings o& interests of the ordinary people.

Is this a catalytic moment or, more likely, will everything be back to ordinary, unresponsive politics by this time next week?

Rupert Murdoch's influence is massively overrated, and his intervention in the latest by-election is a splendid opportunity to rid this country's political life of him once and for all.

Just how many people on the Henry Jackson Society/Euston Manifesto Group circuit are on Murdoch's payroll? And now he is even finding a way (which he will, foreign national or no foreign national) of bankrolling those great intellectuals' preferred candidate for a seat in the Mother of Parliaments, Kelvin MacKenzie. They must be very proud.

Most Times and Sunday Times readers have no idea that they are buying Labour-supporting papers, and would switch to the Telegraph if they ever cottoned on. However good Sky News might be, hardly anybody watches it. No one ever bought the News of the World for the politics.

And as for the Sun, half of its readers always did vote Labour, while most of the other half had already decided to do so a period of years before it followed suit (or, indeed, before anyone other than political anoraks had ever heard of Tony Blair) in order to preserve its privileged access to Ministers.

There are all sorts of excellent reasons to vote for David Davis. They include that his victory would kill off, once and for all, the Murdoch Myth in Britain. And once it has fallen in one country, in how many others might it collapse rapidly thereafter?

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