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« Davis seeks Hague as Shadow Chancellor | Main | Former Labour MP Jane Griffiths endorses DD »



I've always promoted marriage to my friends and colleagues and it's amazing that those girls that were the most anti-marriage, keep my independence, maintain my own bank account, etc. have finally started to pay attention when it comes to making a decision to start their families.

Two married this year, so my chats about the commitment to have a child together is far more onerous on both parties than a formal joining and legalising of their partnership have sunk in.

Part of the problems for the CSA is that unmarried partners actually did believe they could just walk away - so when they discover an attachment of earnings order can be applied to their salary it's amazing how many go self-employed (try applying an aoeo to that - and then you might understand why the CSA is failing). Of course divorced dad's do this too but many understood their contractual commitment to their families.

I think that the Conservatives need to talk carefully on this issue - as people prize their independence and single status until the time comes to start thinking about family.

James Hellyer

It's hardly a surprise now, is it? The support of Cornerstone's members would put Dr Fox in second place among MPs.


The big thing Liam brings to the table is that he can take the legitimate views of the Cornerstone group, but put them forward in a moderate, considered and intelligent manner. His ideology may be right wing, but his approach is not that of the patronising and combatitive wing.

He does need more backers though, as he is so far poorly supported (openly) by MPs and not taken seriously by all members of the press. Both of which are surprising as he has been as high profile as David Davis and far more so then David Cameron in recent years.

The Political Thinker

That’s certainly music to my ears. Part of fixing Britain’s broken society will mean focusing on supporting stable (and traditional if necessary) families. Really have to say that I’m yet to hear anything from Liam which I disagree with.

I also believe it will be very beneficial if Liam can gain the support of all the Cornerstone MPs. Not only would he then have a decent amount of backing within the parliamentary party, but it would show he can attract support from a wide range of people.

He is very much liked by women, and apparently is seen as very moderate (and is actually liked) by the gay community. I also know quite a few ethnic minority Tories who would like him to be leader.

I must say though, some time ago The Times reported the Cornerstone MPs as saying Liam is too socially liberal. I wonder whether or not this is true? Could this hamper his quest in trying to woo the Cornerstone MPs?

Simon C

According to today's Sunday Times, Liam has pushed past Cameron in the polls, and is now in third place, albeit still some way behind Clarke and Davis.

Davis, though, is looking ever-more becalmed, and the Editor's suggestion that he is letting other candidates fight his battles for him is scarcely evidence of the tough leadership qualities that his personal narrators have been so vocal about. "Predatory inactivity" can so easily become stagnation.


More support for married families? I hope the Tories are not going to launch another disasterous 'back to basics' campaign. I think the less interference politicians have, when it comes to whether two people wish to marry or not, the better. People should not marry for tax incentives. Tories should concentrate on tax and crime rather than social engineering. The traditional family unit has long given way to a multitude of different ways people bring up their children.

Selsdon Man

I hear from reliable sources that Liam has got most of the Cornerstone votes - e.g. Des Swayne's public backing. He is also looking to take votes from Cameron. Third place at the moment is not unrealistic


GaffaUK - I agree that politicians shouldn't preach how people live their lives, however, they shouldn't slant the tax system and welfare benefits to single parenting. Many people co-habit but claim as single parents - all sorts from extra child-credit to housing benefit to ema's for their children.

When you hear of benefit payments for single parents far in advance of married couples you can see how the taxation system alters people's choices.

James Hellyer

If that't true that Fox has got the Cornerstone votes, then he could very easily end up as second placed candidate rather than third on the MPs vote. Of the 59 MPs who backed Clarke in 2001, ten stood down at the last election and twelve have already declared for either Davis, Cameron, Rifkind or Fox. Considering some of the new intake's comments on Clarke, it's hard to see where else he's going to get votes from.

Selsdon Man

Clarke could get some transfers from Cameron and Rifkind.

David Davis is in danger of leaving it too late.

James Hellyer

I think Rifkind is a blocking candidate. As long as he is in the race, he denies Clarke votes. I has assumed he'd withdraw in Clarke's favour, but instead he's banged the eurosceptic drum.

I wouldn't be surprised if Cameron and a few of his supporters went to Clarke, but the likes of Osborne and Gove are never going to switch their votes to Clarke for ideological reasons (and the Iraq factor).

Certainly the public polls show Davis has a problem. He's losing support not to Clarke, but to the other candidates. His "predatory inactivity" appears to have become inactivity.

Selsdon Man

I agree James. But how many votes will Rifkind take from Clarke? Not many IMHO. BTW, Rifkind has never been a Europhile.

James Hellyer

I know Rifkind's never been a europhile. My point is that his continual references to the need for a eursceptic leadership has ndermined my original thought that he'd fall behind Clarke. There's only one candidate he really can be criticising with those remarks.


From people I have spoken to in the last few days, the key behind the comments of Rifkin, Ancram et al is not to suggest that the Tories need a Eurosceptic leader. Rather there appear to be some manouvering to be placed as senior Eurosceptic members of a Clarke shadow cabinet. and a reminder to Ken that under his leadership the Tories must retain their Euroscepticism and have a largely Eurosceptic shadow cabinet.

Also Fox has a surprisingly liberal voting record. This will surely not endear him to the Cornerstone Group. I also severely doubt whether, when it comes down to the crunch, Cornerstone will vote as a bloc.

Selsdon Man

Agreed James. There appears to be some tension between Rifkind and Clarke.


I think Liam is only going to win if he gets the anti Davis votes of MPs who voted for IDS in 2001. So far this hasn't happened with that from the looks of it he be closed out before the second round?

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