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Ancrams support for Rifkind does surprise me. I saw Ancram nodding all the was through Dr. Fox's speech and was sure he would support Fox. I am glad that Rifkind has some more supporters, i think he is an excellent speaker and i think the party needs him, although not at its head. I hope Rifkind and his supporters transfer their support to Cameron with Ancram going to Fox.


It is interesting to see how MPs give support to candidates who do not appear to be closest to their own views on major policy issues. It is hard to see how he reached this decision.


"It is hard to see how he reached this decision."

So that he can publicly transfer his support to the winner without having to work out who it is in advance.


The thing about Ancram is that he is not much of a tombstoner, but he really did want to be leader. His choice of Rifkind is understandable because they are quite similar similar ages, both scottish and one nation.

A shot in the arm for camp rifkind.

Gary Monro

Well, being conservative and supporting the war in Iraq are hardly synonymous are they?

I made a conservative case against the war a short while ago.

There's not much to be said for a view that believes meaningful democracy can be created and enforced by the barrel of a gun.


I'm pleased to see Rifkind pick up a few more backers - he may not win, but certainly doesn't deserve a heavy defeat either.

James Hellyer

I saw Ancram nodding all the was through Dr. Fox's speech and was sure he would support Fox.

I've always had Ancram pegged as a Fox man too. I suspect that some of these people are just trying to make sure that although Rifkind's campaign will fail, that failure won't be totally ignominious.

Hugh Field

Does anyone know who David Tredinnick is supporting? He is a pasionate pro-European but I have not really heard his name in connection with Clarke.
Ken has 19 declared MP's. Can we reasonably assume he will take Hurd, Key, Jack, McIntosh and Milton with him to take the number to nearly 25?
I have heard 30 as the number he will probably get. My calculations suggest it will take a good 50 to be knocking on the door come the penultimate round - can Ken manage it? I hope that Rifkind does the decent thing and when he comes last in the final round he throws his weight behind Ken - it would be an opportunistic ploy not to.

Jack Stone

I have a feeling that the campaign as now moved on and the only person who can stop the right winning the election and making the party unelectable is David Cameron.
The sooner Ken Clarke and Malcolm Rifkind pull out and urge there supporters to back David Cameron the better it will be for the party and its chances of unity after we have finally elected a new leader.


I think it all depends on how the first ballot goes and who falls. If it's Rifkind (which is very likely) who he declares for will be pivotal in the whole race.

If he does declare for Clarke, that could give him the extra support he needs. If Davis has surplus MPs when it comes to the final MP ballot (surely between Cameron, Clarke, Davis) do you think they'd attempt to keep Cameron off by voting for Clarke?

James B

Ancram stood in 2001 as a one-nation tory so it may not be so surprising that he's backing Rifkind.

Any ideas if Leigh or Cash are going to stand? Based on the list of Cornerstone supporters on Leigh's website, Liddell-Grainger and Lee Scott have declared for Davis and Swayne for Fox.

James Hellyer

Harper and Crabb have also opted for Dr Fox.

There's also an interesting crossover between the Howard '97 campaign team, Cornerstone and Team Fox.

Richard Allen

Good to see you back Jack.

Let's get this straight shall we. First you backed Cameron, then you backed Clarke and now you back Cameron.

It's good that you don't worry abour losing credibility isn't it.


Do you think the public, and especially the tories' key target constituencies, will vote for unlimited top-up fees, road tolls, drug liberalisation, compulsory pensions...?

Paul Marks

I have been an active member of the Conservative party since I was 15 (I am now 40), and I still do not understand how some of my fellow Conservatives think.

I am not saying that I do not agree with them - I simply do not understand them.

M. Ancram says (again and again) that he is horrified by the endless power grabs of the E.U. that is leading to more and more of people's lives being under its control.

Sir Malcolm says (again repeatedly) that if people want to bang on about "Europe" they should not support him for leader (I heard him say this in serveral interviews).

And M. Ancram supports Sir Malcolm to be leader.

"Oh, but people do not handle politics in this way - it is not a matter of following principles into action".

Well then bugger politics.

Simon C

On Any Questions last night Ancram said that he was supporting Rifkind out of loyalty to an old friend. I guess he wouldn't expect to support him into round 2.

Selsdon Man

"A 4.45pm postscript: Camp Clarke have just announced that John Greenway will be supporting Ken"

Greenway had previously declared for Davis - the defections have started already. Ian Taylor and other ex-Clarkites could follow soon.


No he hadn't

James Hellyer

On Any Questions last night Ancram said that he was supporting Rifkind out of loyalty to an old friend. I guess he wouldn't expect to support him into round 2.

That's pretty much what I thought. Ancram probably doesn't want his old friend to have an embarrassingly low showing.

Ronald Collinson

Poor Rifkind.

After David Davis's admittedly very poor showing last week, and because I cannot overcome my doubts about the very Americanised Fox, I have begun to wonder – unfeasible though the suggestion is – whether he would not be the best leader.

He is experienced, but not too old; he speaks brilliantly; he is a nice 'one nation' fellow without Ken's divisive Europe problem; he could unite the party. In short, everthing Crispin Blunt says about him is true.

Further to that, I must confess that I found the highlight of election night, on level even with the conversion of all Shropshire constituencies (Telford doesn't count) to the Conservative Party and the unseating of the abominable hypocrite Peter Bradley, to be Rifkind's return to the Commons. Everything seemed to be right with the world; the hurt of the last four years of infighting were erased by the vision of his triumphant grin and the strange headphones he was wearing.

All that said, we can be pretty certain that he's not going to win. He wrote to the Independent the other day, on the matter of foreign affairs, and I think he might be angling to get his old job back. It would certainly be a tragedy of the highest order were he not to serve in the Cabinet.


Cameron is certainly looking good, but can he really perform under pressure against both Blair and Brown ? Does he have the strength of character and political strength to keep the parliamentary party in line ?.

My choice was between KC and DD, before the party conference, now I can't see anyone else being able to take the fight on to Labour territory and besting Blair and Brown.

It's got to be Clarke.

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