It is hard to overstate the fury with Ken Clarke in the Cameroon circle today. One
well-informed Tory source just told me, ‘they [Cameron and Osborne] just can’t wait to see the back of him’ before pondering whether Clarke was now just too old for frontline
politics. Another bemoaned that Clarke had managed both to deepen the party’s problems with women and further undermine its reputation as the party of law and order. While one more
couldn’t believe how on a day when unemployment fell, two men were charged with the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the Queen and PM were marking a new era in Anglo-Irish relations, the
coalition had managed to get a series of bad news stories to top the bulletins.
The one thing Clarke is getting credit for is his exit from the Daily Politics. By leaving carrying a mug, he avoided the impression
that he was storming off. It was ‘the mark of an old pro’ as one disgruntled Cameroon grudgingly remarked.