Fraser Nelson

A show of Cameron’s adaptability

A show of Cameron's adaptability
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Great to hear that David Cameron has decided to keep the 1922 committee reinstated. This is a significant, unexpected development – and sign of strength, not weakness.

Interestingly, I hear that George Osborne had not been properly consulted about last week's events: ie the way in which MPs were asked to vote into effectively abolishing the 1922 committee of backbenchers and being strongarmed, Blair-style, by the leadership. Cameron had not intended things to turn out as they did and Osborne, in particular, was dismayed.  

I always suspected that last week's fracas was a simple misjudgment, easily explained under the chaotic events of coalition. Cameron is, I fear, being poorly advised about party management (and Patrick McLoughlin, the Chief Whip, should have seen this coming).

Tonight, Cameron has said the 1922 Committee will vote without ministers, thereby reinstating the status quo ante. Here, Cameron has demonstrated his greatest strength: adaptability. He recognises mistakes, and corrects them quickly. Tonight's developments are a signal that Cameron does see his own MPs as valued coalition partners, and does respect their various strands of opinion.

Welcome news, which bodes well both for relations with his party and, ergo, success of the coalition.