Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cameron tries to woo Lib Dem MPs

Guido Fawkes points us to an article by Peter Oborne on the Daily Mail website:

Last autumn, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, invited himself into the office of a leading figure in the LibDem Party. Then, without so much as a preamble, he got down to business and presented him with a dramatic proposition, which he made clear had been sanctioned by David Cameron.

Osborne suggested to David Laws, LibDem work and pensions spokesman, that he should consider defecting to the Conservative Party. In return, he would be offered a shadow cabinet job. At this point, Laws politely and thoughtfully explained that he was not a Tory.

David Laws was targeted because he is regarded by Conservatives as the ablest of all LibDems. He is a former banker and stands on the free-market wing of his party, so much so that some of his ideas on the economy would be regarded as dangerously Right-wing by centre-ground Conservatives.

So it is easy to see why he personally should be courted. But the Tory high command is ambitious for the dramatic capture of a senior LibDem and has other key lieutenants of Sir Menzies Campbell in mind.

Veiled approaches have been made to Jeremy Browne, one of the brightest of the latest parliamentary intake, while LibDem health spokesman Norman Lamb is also seen as an interesting proposition.
A year ago Tory websites were confidently predicting that at least one Lib Dem MPs was about to defect, but nothing happened. I trust that nothing more will come of these rumours either, but I thought I would pass the gossip on to you.

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