Davis: I quit to stop Tory U-turn on 42 days

by Stephen Tall on June 15, 2008

In the first hour after David Davis quit as an MP last Thursday, I suggested the reason underpinning his decision:

Mr Davis recognised that the Tories’ influential neo-cons in the shadow cabinet, George Osborne and Michael Gove, would much rather have backed the Government over 42 days: only tactical considerations of defeating Labour in the Commons persuaded they and Mr Cameron to rally behind Mr Davis’s stand. But none of them, it seems, wanted to fight the proposal through the House of Lords, and try and defeat it again when it returns to the Commons.

Now David Davis has come as close as he is ever likely to do publicly in admitting this was the case:

‘I thought, that means Gordon Brown will take it to the Parliament Act [to force 42 days through], and I won’t be able to stop it because it will be closer to an election – his party will be more disciplined. There are those members – and there are some in my party – who worry about it … It would be harder for us to maintain the line. There is only so much you can do in politics.’