James Forsyth

Cameron emerges unscathed

Cameron emerges unscathed
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David Cameron’s statement on the European summit just now was an opportunity for pro-European politicians to tweak the Conservative party’s tail about the coalition’s stance on Europe. Ed Miliband told the PM that on Europe ‘we’re here to help him’ and ‘we’re prepared to ignore his previous convictions if he is too.’ Charles Kennedy welcomed the PM as a new pro-European. While Denis MacShane, the very communitaire former Europe Minister, said that there was nothing in Cameron’s statement he disagreed with.

There was some grumbling from the Tory benches. Sir Peter Tapsell asked why if Merkel can get a Treaty amended can’t Cameron do the same and allow the country the referendum it was promised. But on the whole, Tory Euro-sceptics kept their powder dry. 

The statement also contained another example of a politician scrambling for a poppy. Charles Kennedy borrowed one from a female colleague to wear while he asked his question before returning it to her after he had had his moment for the news.