In this week’s issue of The Spectator, Will Heaven reports that the beleaguered Tories in London mooted formally breaking away from the national party and become a separate entity with their own brand and leader, like the Scottish Tories under Ruth Davidson, in a bid to avoid electoral catastrophe in the upcoming local elections. Although the majority agreed it would create clear water between them and a ‘very provincial’ Theresa May, central command disagreed and vetoed the idea.
Still keen for some help, the Conservative party then asked Ms Davidson if her team — after their outstanding performance at the general election — would consider heading south to mastermind the London campaign. Alas, the answer was a polite but firm ‘no’. But if they’re in need of some expert advice, Mr S would advise them to look no further than the 10/10/17 issue of the Evening Standard where Davidson wrote a piece arguing that Conservatives in London need to copy her by showing ‘real differentiation’ from the national party – with a separate manifesto and bespoke election campaign:
‘With a city that is more liberal, diverse, constantly growing, younger and more multi-cultural than the UK as a whole, the Conservative message needs to reflect the aspirations of Londoners. The message carriers need to reflect those whose votes they are courting.’
The next question: did London Tories simply read the Standard and get thinking or did Davidson decide her requested advice would be best served with a healthy dose of self-publicity?