Can he move from a party to a national leader?
According to Times’s Danny Finkelstein his old close colleague, the new Downing Street Director of Strategy, Andrew Cooper, is planning to tell Cameron that he should aim to be “be a national leader, rather than a party politician especially in the Commons.”
But how realistic is this? Could Cameron really pull his punches in the way Cooper is said to want? As James Forsyth notes on the CoffeeHouse blog:
“Nearly every session of PMQs has involved the PM hurling a serious of pre-prepared insults at Ed Miliband.
Cameron seems to accept the intellectual case for not using PMQs in this way; he has talked before about ending Punch and Judy politics. But he has not been able to resist the temptations of the Commonsâ€™ bear pit. Whether Cooper can get Cameron to change his approach to PMQs will be a fascinating barometer of the strategistâ€™s influence on the Prime Minister. “
After re-watching today’s session you can see what a challenge Cooper has. When EdM pops an insult across at the PM it is in the very nature of Cameron to respond back and usually in a more biting fashion.
I think Cooper has got something about the national leader positioning but it’s hard seeing how Dave can restrain himself. If the PM is not going to respond in kind then won’t it just encourage Ed?