So farewell then Lord Ashcroft: well, not quite. The former Tory Party treasurer has announced today that he has resigned his life peerage, yet will be able to keep his title for life, under changes to the rules passed in 2013.
Having fallen out with Cameron in 2010, the billionaire one-time Tory backer and in-house pollster is said to have been severely put out that there was no job forthcoming after having kept the party afloat for the wilderness years.
Since then, he has rebranded himself as an independent pollster, though there is still some bad blood with No 10.
The row about Ashcroft’s non-domiciled tax status that blew up just before the 2010 election campaign is said to have severely irritated Cameron, and Mr S witnessed the PM completely blank the once relied-on peer when they passed in a corridor at Tory Party conference in 2011.
Ashcroft may yet have the last laugh, however, upon the publication of his hotly awaited biography of Cameron, written with former Sunday Times political editor and super sleuth Isabel Oakeshott. Of course, he is now free to arrange his tax affairs in whichever way he chooses, without that pesky requirement for members of the House of Lords to be based onshore.