Tory defections a slap in the face
Monday, January 15, 2007
The Welsh Conservatives didn't choose the best day to welcome a former senior Labour councillor into their ranks.
It was supposed to be a kick in the teeth for Labour, as the shadow Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, greeted the Tories' latest convert - Giles Howard (previously a cabinet member for Labour on Monmouthshire county council).
But the event has been somewhat overshadowed by the announcement of two major party figures that they will defect to UKIP unless the Conservatives change their attitude towards Europe.
Stuart Wheeler has thrown money at the Tories in the past, and Lord Kalms is a former party treasurer. Today, they both revealed they'd consider voting UKIP.
It makes little sense for the Tories to trumpet defections in the present climate, as they obviously have no guarantee over the loyalty of their own followers. Just last week two peers, Lord Pearson of Rannoch and Lord Willoughby de Broke, also switched allegiance to UKIP.
Meanwhile, a leading think tank has renewed its calls for a cap on donations to political parties in response to today's events. Director of Unlock Democracy Peter Facey said:
"The implication to the Conservatives of Stuart Wheeler and Lord Kalms switching allegiance is clear: they will lose a major source of income and possibly see a political rival boosted by millions of pounds in extra revenue. This is a transparent attempt by a couple of rich individuals to use their chequebooks to influence the policy of a political party."
posted by Blamerbell @ 3:01 pm,
- At 2:37 pm, said...
Fancy losing Lord Kalms.
Still, as long as they have Lord Quiet-Life it should get the Tories through those moments of worry.