The Tories will be happy with their start to the week. David Cameron’s speech this morning has succeeded in highlighting how Labour had not suspended the whip from the three MPs charged by the CPS and drawn one of the Tories’ favourite contrasts, decisive Cameron versus dithering Brown. It was also refreshing to hear Cameron take a tough line on lobbying, proposing to double the waiting period before ministers leaving office and taking private sector jobs to two years.
Lobbyists already have far too much influence on our politics. But there are risks to Cameron in this Obama-style play. As one Tory insider said to me just before party conference, ‘we’ve very vulnerable on the lobbying front.” Their concern stemmed not only from the number of candidates who were working for lobbying and PR firms but the social connections that link some of those at the top of the party with lobbyists.