Tories told: Don't air our dirty linen on TV

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Indy Politics

The Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin has evidently become alarmed at the number of backbenchers prepared to air the party's differences on television and radio.

In a terse note to his MPs, he has told them to clear all interviews with party headquarters. One – apparently angry over the party's New Labour-style control freak tendencies – retaliated last night by leaking the message to the ConservativeHome website.

Mr McLoughlin explains that clearing interview appearances will ensure MPs "have the most up to date lines to take as these can change throughout the day" and are "not clashing with Cabinet and Ministers".