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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Don't come back Ken

It was like a bizarre pantomime, but with the editor of the Telegraph Simon Heffer instead of Widow Twanky.

With his oddly coloured hair darling-of-the-right Heffer got on stage at a conference fringe meeting and bemoaned the handover of power and sovereignty to Europe.

Sitting a little to his right, in both senses, was UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

It was only a few minutes before he mentioned our very own 'big beast' Ken Clarke to grumblings, boos and hisses from a Tory crowd frustrated with Cameron's cuddly Conservatives.

Ken of course is one of the few openly pro-European Tories - and he had, according to Heffer, extracted an assurance from the Tory leadership that the party would not withdraw from the right-of-centre group in the European Parliament.

If in doubt about why the Tories are still in Europe, Heffer's line of argument seemed to be, blame Ken.

The Rushcliffe MP's name, mentioned on at least two other times in Heffer's speech, was met with more grumbles or rapturous laughter.

We'll see whose laughing if Mr Clarke is recalled to the shadow cabinet in the weeks to come.

Joseph Watts
Parliamentary Correspondent

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