One of the risks of Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation was that it would encourage other ministers uneasy about the government’s response to the situation in Gaza to break ranks. She is certainly trying to encourage that by alleging that other Foreign Office ministers have been uneasy with the decisions being taken recently. But I’ve just spoken to another Tory minister who is unhappy, and worried particularly about the effects that this will have on the Conservatives’ chances next year. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the minister tells me:
‘Warsi knows that our failure in Gaza will damage any change of our Northern marginals and South East Lutons and Watfords. The Lib Dems will probably now keep Muslim voters who might have switched over to Labour and got us a gain. I fear Dave might have sown the seeds of our defeat at the General Election.’
In her resignation letter, Warsi does drop hints about her support for the Prime Minister being conditional on the Tories being ‘relevant and responsive to all communities that make up today’s Britain’, although she does not make any argument about the electoral impact the government’s policy will have. It will be interesting to see whether she also makes that allegation in her follow-up interviews, or whether others are prepared to put their names to such warnings.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.