Tories in Blackpool: The week that was

Click to follow

From the figure-hugging DD T-shirts to the Clarke/Cameron Water Wars, every candidate's team (with the exception of Liam Fox) has promoted their man through tat. Even BBC's Newsnight has got in on the act, handing out "I'm backing ..." wristbands to delegates and MPs in the Winter Gardens. Quite why Newsnight printed hundreds of "I'm Backing Theresa May" (pictured right) wristbands remains a mystery.


Young Conservatives are hip. Not only have Conservative Futurites been persuaded to take off their ties at their Future Disco, they have also been seen engaging with the opposite sex and talking on mobiles. And Rishi Saha, (pictured bottom left) the 27-year-old candidate for Brent and a rising star of the party, has admitted that his newspaper of choice is the decidedly un-Tory Guardian. The times they are a-changin'.


Tory grandee Lord Heseltine has advice for the new bucks entering his party. The former deputy prime minister thinks Conservative males should be a bit less, well, conservative.

Mr Heseltine, told The Spectator: "The new generation are there. But why do so many of the men wear black suits, conveying an impression of a hybrid between a masonic conference and a gathering of undertakers' assistants?"

A question perhaps best left unanswered, particularly in the beleaguered Davis camp.


Do we notice a sea-change in Tory attitudes to drugs? At David Cameron's fringe meeting with The Observer's Andrew Rawnsley, the young pretender was asked whether he had taken drugs at university. The answer: "I'm human enough to have done all of these things, but I'm too much of a politician to tell you what they were," That was hardly an iron-clad denial. Pressed further, Cameron said: "Look, I had a normal university experience." The audience, firmly behind Cameron, applauded.


"They say this leadership is about choosing a prime minister-in-waiting. Well, boy, have you kept me waiting." Ken Clarke raises the roof.

"I don't know which is worse, the Blunkett leg-over or the Blair legacy." Gyles Brandreth gets personal.

"It's not just about having a young, vigorous, energetic leader, although come to think of it, it's not such a bad idea." David Cameron blows his leadership trumpet.


It has been a bumper week for The Seafood Restaurant on Blackpool's Bond Street. Deluged by hacks from every newspaper, as well as prominent MPs such as George Osborne, this institution has sold 120 Dover sole, 60 lobsters and 100 sea bass. Stocks in the Irish Sea are said to be holding up for now.


The Imperial Hotel Security Screens. Boozed-up delegates started a competition on Wednesday night to see who could pass through the hotel's stringent security measures in the most outrageous disguise. Blond wigs and Seventies-style shirts sailed through, but the outright winner was the delegate who slipped through with a Zapata-esque fake 'tache.