Tory MP defects to Labour

by Stephen Tall on June 26, 2007

The MP for Grantham and Stamford, Quentin Davies, has today announced he has crossed the floor from David Cameron’s Tories to Gordon Brown’s Labour.

Mr Davies explained his decision in an open letter to Mr Cameron:

“Although you have many positive qualities you have three, superficiality, unreliability and an apparent lack of any clear convictions, which in my view ought to exclude you from the position of national leadership to which you aspire and which it is the presumed purpose of the Conservative Party to achieve. Believing that as I do, I clearly cannot honestly remain in the party.”

Intriguingly, Mr Davies pledges, “I do not intend to leave public life.” His majority at the last election under the Conservative banner was 7,445. Perhaps he’s hoping a Parliamentary vacancy in Sedgefield might open up?

Last week, Mr Davies voted against holding an inquiry into the war in Iraq so it does seem like he might have now found his true spiritual home with Labour.

As Will Howells notes here, Mr Davies’s switch does rather re-inforce the point Ming Campbell made in his speech this morning:

“David Cameron says he wants to provide an alternative to what Gordon Brown will offer. But the Tories cannot provide that alternative. The Conservatives and Labour are in shameful collusion.
“On council tax, nuclear power, City Academies, Iraq and student finance they have formed a shabby consensus. It is ironic that of the few areas where the Tories actually have policies, they share so much in common with the government.
“It is [the Lib Dems’] duty to expose that consensus and, yes, to oppose it too. We’ll do it by rattling the cage of British politics and challenging the cosy consensus of the centre right.”

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6 comments

Labour minister Hazel Blears said: “I welcome Mr Davies to the Labour benches.”

Ouch – kiss of death!

by Joe Taylor on June 26, 2007 at 4:25 pm. Reply #

Wonder if Brown’s now got his minister-from-another-party…

reactions on ConservativeHome ranging from “this is a disaster” to “we need to get rid of Cameron before we self-implode” and “an extremely heavy blow against Cameron”.

After all, I always thought it was supposed to be failing governments MPs ran from, not failing opposition parties…

by John Smith on June 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm. Reply #

This defection puts the events of last week in a different perspective.

If we can hold our resolve during the instability of the current transition period, we will strengthen public perception of our principled position.

Cameron’s conservative resurgence may be based on the recruitment of more ‘centre-ground’ voters for now, but they are very tentative and won’t accept a swing to the right. I also don’t see Brown reclaiming this territory any time soon, as he can still be identified as ‘damaged goods’ from the Blair years.

There is a big opportunity right now to make friends with all potential floating voters and this as the crucial battle which will determine the outcome of the next election!

by James S. on June 26, 2007 at 7:14 pm. Reply #

Hmmm. All this smugness but nothing yet about your 12% poll rating?

by PassingTory on June 27, 2007 at 9:19 am. Reply #

That’s cos LDV tries not to react to every single poll – which would be as tedious as it would be dubious.

In any case, it now appears the YouGov poll wasn’t a standard voting intention poll, according to http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/998

by Stephen Tall on June 27, 2007 at 9:25 am. Reply #

Just goes to show what little clear space there is between Labour and the Tories.

Both at heart authoritarian and paternalistic. Both have strong moralistic, socially conservative elements.

Good campaigning material in Labour areas for us though.

by Tristan Mills on June 27, 2007 at 11:43 am. Reply #

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