(of course, anyone reading this in Cowley Street can feel free to use the idea as well)
Some MPs fear that a rightwing populist colleague - not John Redwood, who has ruled himself out - might declare his candidacy five minutes before next Thursday's deadline, knowing that party activists, not MPs, would then chose between just two runners. They want an emergency candidate, if needed, to thwart any such plot.I suspect, though, that this explains Michael Ancram's support of Howard 'if he remains the single candidate'. Should another candidate suddenly emerge, Ancram will stand, get enough votes to come second so he and Howard will go forward to the party membership, and then withdraw, or perhaps remain a candidate and not campaign if his withdrawal would put the 'rightwing populist' on the ballot in his place.
It has been an immense honour to lead this great party – and to be the first leader elected by its membership. I profoundly hope that the next leader to be elected in that way will also be the next Prime Minister. (emphasis added)Now, with tonight's momentum seeming to point towards a 'coronation' of Michael Howard, with no need for the party as a whole to have a vote and choose the leader themselves, as they did with IDS. I find it interesting that IDS felt it necessary to make the reference to the next leader being elected 'in that way' - is it a coded warning that the Parliamentary Conservative Party should not take the voluntary Party for granted? There already seem to be some pre-emptive grumblings from party members with one interviewed on Newsnight saying that a general vote was necessary for the new leader to have any respect from the party. One wonders if this story is an isolated report, or more indicative of the mood of the party as a whole.
IMPORTANT NOTICE:Now, I'm pretty clued up on some business news (especially when it affects me), so I know that Halifax and Bank of Scotland have merged to create a corporate entity called HBOS but when I deal with my bank it's through the halifax.co.uk address (and I presume Bank of Scotland customers do it through bankofscotland.co.uk). hbosplc.com is the legitimate address for HBOS as a corporation, but I've never dealt with the bank through that address and I wonder just how many people may have deleted this email, thinking it's a scam and will have contacted the bank to tell them of a new scam? It's a sad sign of just how cynical we've become, I suppose, but surely one should expect a bank to think more about how they warn their customers of this? A notice in with a statement or something else that's incontrovertibly from my bank would probably be a lot more effective.
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