While last week’s Labour conference felt like a wake, the mood is a little better here in Birmingham for Tory party conference. There is a certain amount of gallows humour in the bars, with regard to both the resignation of Brooks Newmark, and – more significantly to Tory fortunes – the latest defection to UKIP. From the very top down, the word Reckless is a dirty one.
The Prime Minister toured the regional receptions getting steadily more pumped up in his anger about Reckless’s duplicity. Rumour is rife the words ‘effing Reckless’, ‘fat arse’ and ‘dick head’ were blurted out in various versions of a tub-thumping turn by Cameron. The Tories are going to fight Rochester hard – that was very clear by the time the PM arrived at Conservative Home’s late night reception for the 1922 Committee. By then Dave was in full blown Mr Angry mode, telling activists and media types that Reckless would be punished.