Is Liam Fox being lined up as the stop DD candidate?
According to the Sunday Telegraph this morning the last three Tory leaders who failed to make it to Number 10 are considering giving their support to Liam Fox in what the paper says would be “a co-ordinated stop David Davis campaign”.
Melissa Kite, the paper’s Deputy Political Editor, notes that William Hague “….. has expressed privately his admiration for Dr Fox but will demonstrate it publicly when the pair jointly stage a champagne reception at the Conservative Party conference in October on the day that Dr Fox launches his candidacy.MPs last night suggested that Dr Fox might also have the backing of Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard in a co-ordinated “stop David Davis” campaign. All three former party leaders have made no secret that they found it difficult to work with Mr Davis, and might be taking their revenge by backing his Right-wing challenger, senior party figures said. Mr Duncan Smith has invited Dr Fox to speak at his Centre for Social Justice think-tank this week. Mr Howard, meanwhile, has appointed Dr Fox, and not his deputy, Michael Ancram, as his envoy to Washington for a meeting with Republicans this month.”
According to Kite the current second favourite, David Cameron, has upset Michael Howard by “..his recent criticism of party strategy and his attack on the policy of scrapping university tuition fees. Mr Howard was said to be “furious” with Mr Cameron’s suggestion that the party had been criticising Labour for the sake of it.”
Whether this will help or hinder Cameron only time will tell. Certainly being seen as Michael Howard’s preferred choice had both positives and negatives.
The best betting price on Liam Fox is currently 18.5/1 on the Betfair betting exchange and 16/1 with a conventional bookie. At that price it might be worth a few bob.