Tories want 'big beasts' back
Tuesday 30 December 2008
David Cameron is under pressure from Tory activists to bring back "big beasts" including Kenneth Clarke and David Davis to give his Shadow Cabinet more gravitas.
The Tory leader will consider shaking up his front-bench team in the new year as he tries to give the Opposition a sharper cutting edge on the economy. One option being canvassed in Tory circles is to offer Mr Clarke, a former chancellor, the post of shadow Business Secretary, setting up a heavyweight contest between him and Lord Mandelson.
Tory insiders believe the Shadow Cabinet needs more heavy-hitters as it tries to combat Gordon Brown's pitch as a "serious man for serious times". Appointing Mr Clarke to an economic brief would add experience to Mr Cameron's front bench, countering the Prime Minister's jibe that the Tory leader is a "novice".
Some Tory MPs also worry their frontbenchers appear "too well-fed" in difficult times. They believe the return of the beer-drinking Mr Clarke and the plain-speaking Mr Davis, who was brought up in a council house by a single mother, would address its image problem.
A survey of 1,800 Tory members by the ConservativeHome website found that 72 per cent want Mr Davis to be reappointed to the Shadow Cabinet, with 22 per cent against the idea. Some 50 per cent believe Mr Clarke should be recalled, with 41 per cent opposed.
Party members want George Osborne to stay in his post of shadow Chancellor by a margin of 55 to 31 per cent. He has recovered after a rocky patch last autumn and is expected to keep his job in the reshuffle.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...
£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...
£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...
£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...