Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary and former attack dog, seems to have been cast
into outer darkness. As with Oliver Letwin’s disappearing act in the 2001, Labour is toasting this unofficial scalp. Denis MacShane has been adding "http://twitter.com/DenisMacShane/statuses/12037834020">poison to the potion this morning.
The Tories are paying a heavy price for Grayling’s B&B gaffe, but it’s self-inflicted.
Grayling’s comments were cackhanded and I think he is wrong, but they were nowhere near as controversial as was claimed – he was seeking a clarification of the law, not calling for
Sandi Toksvig to be lynched. I doubt Grayling will be Home Secretary but such a senior Shadow minister can’t hide away for ever. The Tories need to have policies on immigration and crime;
they should either sack him or get him out there.
UPDATE: Grayling has appeared on BBC News and defended his record on gay rigths again:
‘If I hadn’t believed ultimately that the current law was the right thing to do I wouldn’t have voted in a free vote in the House of Commons for that law.’
As I wrote above, I’ve never seen his B&B comments as a political problem and I think he is right to question that current unsatisfactory definition of public and private property, though I
disagreed with his initial conclusion. But that is not the point of this post. Grayling and his agenda must be major features of the Tory campaign. Perhaps today will mark a change.