Duncan Smith 'personally to blame' for briefings, says sacked Tory chairman

David Davis, the sacked Conservative chairman, yesterday made it plain he holds Iain Duncan Smith, the party leader, personally responsible for damaging briefings against him.

Despite an attempt by the party yesterday to draw a line under the bitterness surrounding the humiliating demotion of Mr Davis by telephone, he has told friends of the difficulties in working for a man he believes has deliberately undermined him.

In a statement outside his Yorkshire home yesterday afternoon, Mr Davis said it had been a "bad fortnight" for the Tories. And, in a stinging attack on those who briefed newspapers that he was lazy, opposed to modernising the party, a "square peg in a round hole" and had designs on the party leadership, he said: "Anyone who knows me will recognise that the orchestrated campaign of character assassination was a tissue of lies.

"It was intended to harm me but the real victim has been the Conservative Party. The impression of unpleasantness and division has destroyed us in the past. Vendettas and character assassinations have wrecked the last three Conservative leaderships.

"We cannot let this happen again. It is time to draw a line under these things. That is what I intend to do and I will say nothing more about it."

Privately Mr Davis is livid about the way he has been treated. His first impulse on being demoted to shadow the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott – news he heard over the telephone while on holiday in Florida – was to resign.

A friend said: "His dilemma was simple. Resign and become a permanent focus for dissent or stay. He didn't want to be the new Michael Heseltine. His heart was telling him to do one thing and his head told him to do the right thing."

But Mr Davis, who is determined to knuckle down to his new job when he returns to London tomorrow, privately admits it will not be easy.

A friend said: "The problem for David is that he knows Iain Duncan Smith was briefing against him. When you have a party leader willing to engage in that sort of activity it is very difficult."

Mr Duncan Smith is thought to have been influenced by a number of Central Office aides, including his director of strategy, Dominic Cummings, who clashed with Mr Davis in June after the then party chairman publicly disowned his remarks that the Tories should not lead the anti-euro campaign because they were so unpopular. The relationship never recovered.

Allies of Mr Davis said last night: "There is a Jo Moore figure in CCO who thinks he is above elected politicians and has taken it upon himself to poison Iain Duncan Smith's mind against David Davis – and a very successful job he has done of it."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Network Infrastructure Technical Lead - up to £45k DOE - Surrey

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 2 Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Technical Architect - Surrey - £35k-£45k DOE - Permanent

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Year 3 Teachers needed for supply roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week