Fraser Nelson

Andrew MacKay to step down

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Only this morning, Andrew MacKay said that he would stand for election again - but after a conversation with David Cameron he has now decided to stand down at the next election. The open meeting he held had several calls for him to go, and there was talk of a petition. The grassroots momentum was significant. This, make no mistake, is a personal loss to David Cameron who relied on MacKay to be his eyes and ears in the backbenches.

That Cameron has been prepared to say goodbye to Mackay shows that he's prepared to lose people who matter to him - as well as those, like Douglas Hogg, who don't. Mackay, let's not forget, was rumbled not by the Daily Telegraph but by the Tories' own internal proceedings. They have plenty more MPs to get through, so I very much doubt that Mackay will be the last Tory to walk the plank.

It is often asked which party has suffered most due to all this, and I suspect the party that emerges best will be the one that deals with the problem most decisively. So far, Cameron's swift action puts him ahead in this increasingly important regard.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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