X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Big catch for Tory reconciliation team as rebel gives up anti-Cameron fight

7 April 2014

2:53 PM

7 April 2014

2:53 PM

Mark Wallace has a fascinating post on ConHome reporting that Andrew Bridgen has written to the Prime Minister withdrawing his letter calling for a leadership contest. Bridgen, if you remember, is the only MP to publicly confirm that he has written a letter to 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady calling for a contest, and while he was flayed by the whips at the time, his letter stayed firmly in Brady’s desk drawer until this week.

One letter doesn’t make a happy party, of course, but that it is Bridgen who has withdrawn the letter is significant. As I mentioned last week when covering his latest HS2 mischief, this is an MP who knows how to corral colleagues into troublesome rebellions. He has been renowned in the Conservative party as a Cameron-hater whose troublemaking activities are as much personal as they are about principle. He could have caused the Prime Minister a great deal more trouble, too, had he been left to wander further into the wilderness.

[Alt-Text]


I understand that there has been a significant effort to bring Bridgen back into the fold in the last few months, with key Number 10 figures working to understand what it is that the Conservative MP wants, rather than dismissing his ideas out of hand. That the government eventually agreed to Bridgen’s proposals on the BBC licence fee was a sign that the Tory leadership has realised that not every suggestion from a backbench rebel is automatically without foundation or wisdom.

Further work is taking place on other similarly troublesome backbenchers, I understand, with a number of meetings designed to work out what exactly it is that needles them. Meanwhile the PM has mentioned to ministerial colleagues his joy that Stewart Jackson appears to have gone from being very cross with the leadership to being quite tribally loyal. Bernard Jenkin, who co-ordinated the letter calling for Parliament to have the power to veto EU laws, would be another troublemaker who Number 10 would be very pleased to bring back into the fold. But Bridgen is a big catch for the Tory reconciliation team.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close