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Coffee House shots: David Cameron quits backbenches and Witney

12 September 2016

5:49 PM

12 September 2016

5:49 PM

David Cameron chose a rather blustery Oxfordshire afternoon to announce that he was stepping down as MP for Witney with ‘immediate effect’. Cameron had previously suggested that he would stay on in Parliament, telling the BBC it was ‘very much [his] intention’ to continue as an MP. Pundits have linked Cameron’s surprise u-turn to Theresa May’s announcements about grammar schools at the end of last week, which undermined a key feature of Cameron’s social policy. So what should we make of this move? And where does it leave May and the remaining Cameroons in the Commons? In this edition of Coffee House shots, Fraser Nelson tells Isabel Hardman that:

‘I guess he’s stopped caring about what people think about him. He’s checked out from politics mentally. He will have known that he’d said time and time again that he’d stay on, and, as someone who likes, and dare I say admires, David Cameron, I’m disappointed he’s chosen this Blairesque afterlife. It would’ve been great if he’d basically shown that he was not a classic member of the political class, not someone whose interest in politics ended when his government career ended.’

With the recent announcements about educational reform and a lukewarm reception for Justine Greening’s statement in the Commons this afternoon, many have suggested the resignation is an attempt to prevent friction over this policy, but James Forsyth argues:

‘I don’t think this decision is about grammar schools, but I think one of the things that makes it difficult for him to stay on is the extent to which Theresa May is moving away from Cameronism. It’s not just like Brexit is the only issue on which it would be difficult for Cameron to express a view – there are now a whole host of issues because Theresa May has tried to open up clear blue water between herself and Cameron’s government on quite a few things, of which grammar schools is the most obvious example.’

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