Supporters of the Prime Minister are calling for a Roman-style “praetorian guard” to publicly defend him in the face of criticism if the Conservative Party fails to win the general election.
At least two 1922 Committee members are planning to remove David Cameron from leadership if Labour wins. Loyalists are being told to form a “grassroots movement” to back him up via the airwaves prior to the meeting, according to The Guardian.
The 1922 Committee executive talks, planned for the Monday after the 7 May polling day, could discuss the immediate resignation of Mr Cameron if Ed Miliband pips him to the post.
The 9 worst car crash interviews in recent politics
The 9 worst car crash interviews in recent politics
1/6 Chloe Smith on Newsnight
George Osborne was enjoying a good day as he scrapped a planned 3p rise in fuel duty in June, 2012. But then someone had the bright idea of putting Chloe Smith, a junior Treasury minister and then something of a rising star for the Tories, on Newsnight. But she was unable to convincingly answer a single question posed to her by Jeremy Paxman, even the ultimate killer blow: “Do you ever think you’re incompetent?”
2/6 Boris Johnson on Andrew Marr
Eddie Mair, standing in for Mr Marr during his stroke recovery, might have been seen as something of a soft touch in March 2013 before he destroyed the London Mayor on the BBC’s flagship Sunday current affairs show. Mair presented a series of anecdotes about the harsher side to the fluffy-seeming Mr Johnson’s rise to power and concluded: “You’re a nasty piece of work, aren’t you?” Boris didn’t quite seem to know how to respond.
3/6 Ed Miliband on Good Morning Britain
Labour’s leader faced some slightly inevitable accusations of being “out of touch with reality” from ITV’s Susannah Reid after she surprised him with a “how much does X cost question”. This time it was during an interview on how much he knew about his much-vaunted “cost of living crisis” – and Mr Miliband underestimated the average household grocery bill per week by about a third. He admitted he was wrong – but later tried to wriggle out of the situation by claiming he was only referring to “basic groceries” not his “overall shopping bill”.
4/6 Rachel Reeves on Daily Politics
The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary got very mixed up on whether Labour were promising “a freeze or a cap” – when energy prices actually stopped rising and fell. Refusing to accept that her party had enacted a u-turn on policy, she said: “It wasn’t us who changed – it’s the world that changed.” She later couldn’t give any examples of retail prices being successfully fixed by governments – stumping for “the minimum wage – the price of labour”.
5/6 David Cameron on Gay Times
Grilled on his MEPs’ voting records on gay rights in the European Parliament, a pre-prime ministerial Mr Cameron suggested they could vote any way they liked. But he also said the right not to suffer discrimination based on sexuality was a fundamental human right – meaning it should not be subject to an open vote. The former PR man got so flustered he had to ask for the cameras to be turned off because he was getting “distracted”.
6/6 Nigel Farage on LBC
Nigel Farage’s image as a plain-speaking, not-like-that-lot-in-Westminster politician suffered one of a number of dents in May 2014, when a tense 22-minute confrontation with LBC’s James O’Brien had to be cut short by his spin doctor. Patrick O’Flynn – who is now an MEP for Ukip – had to step in when Mr Farage was repeatedly questioned on his views on race and why he would be uncomfortable if a group of Romanian nationals moved in next door to him.
A Conservative MP told The Guardian: “There is an attempt to form a praetorian guard round David. We are being asked to speak up for continuity and to say that our best option is to keep our leader. It is a move to counter the malcontents.
“It would be extremely foolish to replace David. He outpolls our party. The right just obsess about their issues and never look to the bigger picture.”
Praetorian guards are bands of elite soldiers that were used by Roman emperors to physically protect them as well as their interests. This was done by sabotaging or executing those who posed a threat to an emperor or his policies.
However, the Prime Minister said this month that he would consider resigning if there is another hung parliament. Even those who are “loyal” are now speculating as to who could replace him – such is the cut-throat nature of politics.
Mr Cameron also mentioned those who he believes could succeed him, referring to Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson by their first names.
He told The Evening Standard: “If my party decided to move on without me I won’t put the mark of Cain on anybody.
“All I will say is that I think you see a group of very strong competent leaders behind me. Boris is a huge talent, George, Theresa May, Michael Gove, Philip Hammond.”
Apparently, Mr Johnson is the most popular choice with four out of 10 Londoners favouring him to leave his post and become leader of the Tories if the election ends in deadlock, according to the Standard.
The Independent has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.Reuse content