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« Who has put £500 on a Ken Clarke leadership? | Main | The Return of The Big Beast »


Selsdon Man

That is a very important letter that will carry a lot of weight with constituency chairmen. I think that it could kill off the leadership voting changes.

Some chairmen may vote against them merely to stop Ken Clarke. The activists are annoyed that he has not done more for the Party since 1997.

Note also that the Telegraph says that Liam Fox has promised to reverse the changes.

Wat Tyler

Is it possible that democratic ideals will win through? I do hope so.

Although I for one will not easily forgive those 120-odd MPs and assorted apparatchiks who are trying to disenfranchise us. I'm afraid they have confirmed all my worst suspicions about the self-serving exclusivity of the Westminster village.

Selsdon Man

Note that all the Presidents since 1999 have signed.

Those involved in the Davis and Fox`camps ought to invite these key people, who have excellent contacts in the volunatary party, to write to those who will vote in the constitutional college.

That could scupper the MPs plans to take back control - and the Clarke campaign.


I think Selsdon Man is 100% right on the significance of this letter. These are serious people who would not have written this letter without careful consideration of the consequences. Their voice will be listened to amongst the grassroots. I understand from excellent Central Office sources that there is considerable concern in the Chairman's office about this intervention.


This the moment for Liam Fox to start taking a few risks and campaign hard on this issue.At the moment his campaign as thoughtful as it often is is being drowned out by others.If he can get himself noticed by having 'Trust the members'pitch then I think he might do well.If he plays safe I not think he will have a chance.


You're right Malcolm. We need to hear more about The Telegraph's reference to "Liam Fox, one of the leadership candidates, made it clear that he would reverse the change if he became leader."

Selsdon Man

Liam Fox's best chance may be to lead the opposition to the voting changes - now!

That would give him the chance to overtake David Davis as the darling of the grassroots.

Selsdon Man

It is also significant that the Six are calling for an electoral college - a reasonable compromise in the circumstances. I hope that this option can be put before the constitutional convention. It could save a lot of time and money (or even raise it as the last members ballot appears to have been profitable).

James Hellyer

Liam Fox should run with this issue. It's about time one of the leading candidates displayed the courage of their supposed convictions (other than Ken, who basically said "disenfranchise the bastards").

It could give his campaign some badly needed momentum, as well as helping me keep the vote! it would be offer welcome differentiation from both Davis, Clarke and Cameron.

Michael McGowan

A very interesting development. Let's hope it has the desired (democratic) effect. The electoral college proposal was also thoroughly sensible and probably an improvement on the current rules.

The Telegraph does of course report unnamed Cassandras scaremongering that unless Chairman Maode's stitch-up is adopted next month, "we're all doomed" because there will be no effective opposition for "six months". As we haven't had an effective opposition since 1997, this doesn't exactly petrify me. In any case, if these people got their finger out, the whole process could be sorted in a democratic, civilised manner well before Christmas.


As the ballot papers are already issued to vote on the current proposals, there cannot be any new ones on the table, unless we are going to go all through the process again. I agree with Michael, there is no reason why the current process could not be speeded up. If telephone voting was used it could make a profit as well.

I congratulate the six who have been very courageous in speaking out.

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