How damaging is Conway to Cameron?

How damaging is Conway to Cameron?

    Will there be few tears shed for David Davis’s rounder-upper?

This lunchtime’s news that Tory MP Derek Conway faces a 10-day Commons suspension after the standards watchdog said he paid his son too much from parliamentary allowances. Freddie Conway, received a salary as a researcher while he was studying at Newcastle University.

The only problem was, according to the report “.. no records appear to exist of either actual work that Freddie did for his father, or of the work he was required to undertake”.

So while all the focus has been on Labour, Peter Hain and the donations issues Conway has given Labour a rod to beat the Tories with. Not good particularly at this time.

We last discussed Derek Conway during the Tory leadership battle in October 2005 when his job was to try to ensure that those MPs who had gone public in their support for David Davis stuck with their decision.

At the time I wrote: “He (Conway) built a fearsome reputation as a whip for the final three years of the 1992-1997 Tory government stopping a seepage of votes following the Maastricht treaty. Now his style of “charm” is at the disposal of David Davis and all those on the list are going to be under enormous pressure to stick by their man. Their phones are not going to stop ringing until the first ballot is over.”

At the time someone who had experienced Conway first hand called me to say how fearsome he was and suggested that all those had had gone public for Davis would stick with him. It didn’t quite work out that way but most stayed on board.

Mike Smithson

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