The primary reason I’ve been reluctant to heavily back Andrews Mitchell and Lansley (or any other Tory MP) is that I think David Cameron wants to avoid having an unnecessary by-election. My own hunch is that UKIP’s best chance of winning a by-election in this parliament will be in a Conservative held seat, and that may influence David Cameron’s choice when deciding our next man in Bruxelles.
So he may go for some who isn’t currently a Member of Parliament, the original Ladbrokes market had a few non MPs, but there was no one who ticked all the boxes. The next Commissioner needs to be a heavyweight, experienced, with unimpeachable Euro-Sceptic credentials.
Michael Howard fitted the criteria, from his previous roles on the Conservative front bench, which culminated in his coronation as Conservative leader in 2003. he additionally has very warm relations with David Cameron, whom he anointed as his successor as Conservative Party Leader.
Last month it was said he spoke for Mr Cameron when he said: “We are now 15 months away from a general election, and as we know from past history, elections don’t favour parties that are divided.” He added: “What is needed is a degree of self-discipline from Conservative backbenchers.”
I asked Ladbrokes to price up Lord Howard for me in this market, and offered what I consider generous odds of 25/1
When I mentioned Lord Howard on a thread earlier on this week, long standing PBer, EdmundInToyko, said this was a good suggestion, but that his age might be an issue, he will be 73, this summer. But I don’t see that being an issue, he’s only a year or two older than the current Business Secretary and the US Vice-President, and if she’s elected in 2016, Hillary Clinton will be 73 at the end of her first term as President.
The Ladbrokes market is available here.
If you have your own sensible suggestions, tweet @LadPolitics, and they may price up your suggestion, like they did for me with Lord Howard.