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« "Hopeful" Mail endorses X-factor Cameron "with some trepidation" | Main | "The Cameron campaign are kicking themselves" »


Kate Castle

There is going to be a huge debate on who gets which jobs, but if Hauge & Ken Clarke return to the front bench then some will have to take a step back. But rather than see being moved from say Shadow Chancellor to Shadow Education we need to make it a promotion of the job, not a demotion of the person. Oliver Letwin is a case in point, he has improved the standing of the environment job. To be in government we need a strong front bench that looks ready to govern and that will include high profile MPs for Health, Education, Work & Pensions, Environment and Social Justice (possibly linking it with the Family job and seperating off C.M.& S). Hauge as Shadow Chancellor could cause damage to Brown ahead of his corination, then again he could out-debate Charles Clarke or Jack Straw as well. It would be good to have him back on the front bench.

Alastair Matlock

I don't think KC would agree to return to the Front Bench in any capacity except that of leader as doing so, particularly as Shadow Chancellor, would mean relinquishing all of those lucrative City directorships. He may agree to intervene more often during important debates, but I suspect that is as formal as it is going to get.

As our Editor says, difficult to see how DC can demote Osborne after the excellent leadership campaign that he's run on DC's behalf. If he is moved from the Treasury to make way for Hague, it will have to be to the Foreign or Home office, unless there is something else that isn't occuring to me. Perhaps DC could move Davis from the Home office, make him Deputy leader and give him a roving brief to tackle issues of interest to him across the spectrum - he could then put his fellow moderniser Osborne in place at the Home Office and make Hague Shadow Chancellor? I expect Fox will be kept on at the Foreign Office.


Goodness... the more I think about it, the trickier a new shadow cabinet could be... Clarke and Hague should be welcomed back somehow, Fox and Davis have strong positions after the leadership contest, Willetts made some impressive speeches at the beginning, Rifkind was solid and is an impressive character, Osborne has run the campaign so can hardly be demoted, Spelman must be in the mix somewhere, Lansley has performed well in health, Letwin has been strong in his new position... this is a hefty headache and there are some other names I haven't mentioned (Yeo, May, Maude) who may well be disappointed... also does anyone know Howard's intentions after he quits? I, for one, think that IDS should be welcomed back too... good luck DC!!

henry curteis

One poll and it's all over - or that's how it seems from the day's comments. I'm always still surprised how easily everyone finds it to believe what the media wants them to believe after all the evidence of manipulation over the years.

The best thing to do is to ignore the media and its prognostications and just look at the cases on their merits. Hague's endorsement will be huge for Cameron.

And yet there are still plenty of conservatives who believe that david davis' tax and european referenda policies are superior to Cameron's. Owen paterson has found that Cameron is watering down Michael Howard's fishing policy. Eurosceptics might still find Davis preferable on many counts. Conservative members are above all eurosceptics. UKIP will have an easy run if Cameron doesn't take action to repatriate powers and challenge Brussels corruption. That alone could keep the Conservatives from winning power. UKIP blocked 26 Conservative seats at the last election. If UKIP's support doubles, they could block 100.

James M

But Henry,

A lot of the euro-sceptics like Cash and Redwood are backing Cameron. He is the one who has promised to leave EPP and this is classified as Euro-sceptic.

I do not think either Davis or Cameron will aid UKIP at all.

Jack Stone

The party needs to worry about attracting votes from Labour and the Lib/Dems not about a one issue party like UKIP who are full of the sort of extremists that would make me feel very uncomfortable if they were at all attracted by the Conservative Party.

John Coulson

I am a Davis supporter, I have voted for him. However, at this point I declare defeat. I don't want DC to win but there is no way back.


It seems strange that no amount of opinion polls could make DD's supporters admit defeat but an endorsement from a failed leader can.


Demoting Osborne will be the most difficult decision to be taken by DC, but he will clearly need a more experienced Shadow Chancellor to compensate for his own relative youth and inexperience (imagine a snap election called in three years' time by newly-elected Labour leader Brown with Chancellor Straw by his side ...). Smart money must be on Hague getting the job but personally I think Redwood is the man to demolish Brown's increasingly shaky reputation. My hunch is Osborne for Home Sec or party chairman.

Richard Allen

I think that declarations of defeat are foolish. Sure it looks like DC is going to win but at this stage declarations from MP's are of little use and can we really be sure that opinion polls of party members are all that accurate?

It looks bad for DD but we won't know for certain until the result is announced.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"It looks bad for DD but we won't know for certain until the result is announced."

I agree Richard. The Cameronites, John Coulson, the Editor and anybody else conducting a census of unhatched chickens should remember that just because the fat lady is clearing her throat, it doesn't mean she will be treating us to a song just yet. Just sounds like she's got a nasty cough to me.

John T

Daniel - from your description it sounds like chicken flu !

Henry Cook

Fox declares for Cameron - there's only one winner from now on in. He has well over half the support of the parliamentary party and virtually every senior figure on his side. Now is the time to start negotiating the Shadow Cabinet. Osborne has said he respects Hague the most out of every current politician of all parties - if he had to make way for him, then I don't think he would mind too much, recognising the need to balance freshness with experience. The prospect of Hague as Shadow Chancellor makes my mouth water, literally.


Cameron has all but won.

Important, I think, to be clear.

For now, attacking Cameron is legitimate. Soon, it will be tantamount to trashing the brand.

It's up to the anti-Cameron people to decide when they think that is. The party as a whole will, at some point.


I would agree that it looks like cameron will win. From the perspective of someone from outside the Westminster bubble it is critical that the Shadow Cabinet includes all the talent available and looks to oppose Labour effectively and looks to the future. When the range of talent is looked at, the potential is exciting. It is critical that all the factions support him and make themselves available. It is also critical that Cameron is tough enough not to over reward his friends and supporters and appoints people solely on the basis of who is best qualified for the job, who will most effectively expose and oppose labour (the "New" bit died in the votes last week)and who is going to be able to win and command public confidence in government. The first test of whether he is his own man or a "Blair" clone will be whether he does this or just rewards a small clique of friends and cronies.

Henry Cook

Wholly agree with Gawain. The Shadow Cabinet should be appointed on merit, not on who was DC's best buddy. Osborne is good, very good indeed, but not good enough yet for Shadow Chancellor.


Osborne has said he respects Hague the most out of every current politician of all parties

It gets ever worse ! Hague is a disaster. I looks as if Conservatives are on a suicide-run. They will become tainted by Blair's "Conservatism" and corruption and Gordon Brown or whoever succeeds Blair can turn on the Tories and Labour's Ramsay MacDonald and romp home to another election victory.

Hague ? wasn't he Welsh Secretary under John Major ? Wasn't he that little chappie who made cringing speeches when 16 ? Didn't he give Tony Blair a superb majority in 2001 ?

I don't know what Osborne's day job is but he won't need to worry about government office with his opinions on Quentin Davis and William Hague.

John Coulson

I have to agree with many previous post that state Osborne is not quite ready to be the full-time Shadow Chancellor. Maybe Trade and Industry? DC will struggle to bring Hague into the fold, Clarke certainly not. It will be a re-hash of previous Shadow Cabinets, but he needs to stamp his authority. The Shadow Chancellorship is the biggest job available - it needs to go to Fox, Willets or Letwin again. I must admit I would like to see Howard take it up again!


Hague for shadow Home Secretary.

James Maskell

So the news is out, Hague and Fox declare for DC. Not exactly a suprize really. The election is basically all over. the members will now fall into line and vote for DC.

Well done to David Cameron. He won by not playing the media's game and by not explaining himself. Maybe we should all take his lead in future and discuss in vague manners what we believe...


I've just seen DC on the Politics Show being interviewed by John Sopel. He was caught out by a quote from a few years back in the Local Witney paper in which he criticised Blair for wasting parliamentary time repealing Section 28. Here's an example of a politician getting caught out by giving an opinion, which he now wishes he hadn't! How I wish politicians would keep to their views, so we could be sure of where they stand.

Does he now believe that homosexuality should be promoted in schools? I hope not, but he clearly seemed to be worried about upsetting the gay vote.


Hague for shadow Home Secretary.
David Waddington MkII

John Coulson

I think NickB has hit the nail on the head. John Redwood being brought in as Shadow Chancellor is a good idea. This man has had a terrible press in recent years (for no good reason at all). He is very intelligent, eloquent and is actually a good media and Commons performer. Michael Howard won his reputation (after Widdey destroyed it) with an excellent performance as Shadow Chancellor. Lets start a campaign:
John Redwood for Shadow Chancellor!!

Selsdon Man

If you read Hague's column in the NoW, it appears that he is looking for a new career outside politics. He certainly ruled himself out as a future leader. I would be surprised, but delighted, if he returns to the shadow cabinet after the leadership contest.


This: "Hague for shadow Home Secretary.=David Waddington MkII" And this: "It gets ever worse ! Hague is a disaster. Hague ? wasn't he Welsh Secretary under John Major ? Wasn't he that little chappie who made cringing speeches when 16 ? Didn't he give Tony Blair a superb majority in 2001 ?" is offensive rubbish.

William Hague is a highly talented politician whom David Cameron should try very hard to bring in should he emerge successful. How many other Conservatives did a sitting Prime Minister decide it necessary to bring into the cabinet at age 34? And not even David Cameron could have got himself elected leader of the Conservative Party at age 36. Yes, the 2001 general election was a big defeat for the Conservative Party--but since the party began flat-lining in the polls, Michael Howard and John Major were not able to do any better, and it was thought wise by a majority of the parliamentary party not to allow IDS to try. Polls show that both David Cameron and David Davis would get the same result in a match up against Gordon Brown.

Ask yourself how effectively the other candidates who ran against William Hague in 1997 would have handled the divisions in the party and gigantic Labour lead in the polls? Think of the "dream team" of Ken Clarke and John Redwood. Michael Howard hesitated to stand himself without having Hague signed up as his deputy. Peter Lilley didn't even have the support for standing a second time that Clarke or Howard were able to find. While it is true that Hague's considerable political skills were not sufficient to direct him to a more vote-rich result in 2001, he has learnt from many of the mistakes of that period which is a mark of strength, not weakness. While both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair had the wisdom and good fortune to be able to learn from their mistakes and that of their respective parties before they became leader of the opposition, William Hague should not be written off as an unsuccessful politician. Blair became leader of the opposition seven years older than Hague did, Thatcher, thirteen years older. If he hadn't already done the job during the Tories' darkest hour, who will now say that he wouldn't be the strongest leadership candidate either now or in a few years' time?

It is his party that would lose out most if he decided not to return to frontline politics. When you look around at the 'talent pool' the next leader has to draw upon who can honestly say that the Conservative Party front bench can afford to ignore his considerable intelligence, communication skills, loyalty and capacity for hard work?

In the leadership election of 2005, we could have used a candidate with a (learned) commitment to modernisation and a (longstanding) commitment to conservative principles who could perform effectively at the party conference or in a Question Time debate.

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