Fraser Nelson

Cameron’s secret meeting: live blog

Cameron's secret meeting: live blog
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As I type, David Cameron is in the Boothroyd Room, in Portcullis House, addressing Tory MPs who are anxious to hear if his Big Sorry on Friday amounts to a change in direction. True in the Cameroon spirit of open information, I'm being sent some dispatches in real time. Whether it's interpretation or verbatim quotes isn't clear: I'll just pass it on to you raw. 

The party, Cameron is saying, must reassure the public that they value public services.  Internal polling (which is the basis for the presentation - basically about party aims in 2009) has shown recently that the Tories are still vulnerable to being seen as anti-NHS. So care must be taken to combat this.

Europe is bottom of priorities, so they should not get too excited ahead of the June elections. The presentation on the screen pointed out that when you ask the country to list their top priorities, Europe finishes 11th. When you ask likely voters, it's 12th. Stephen Gilbert, campaigns guru, says this has implications in deciding what themes to choose ahead of the June elections. There is no mention of what the party will do if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified (as far as I'm aware, the position is being left deliberately vague - Hague has said it is "unacceptable" in the same way that North Korea's nuclear weapons are "unacceptable"). More updates as they arrive.

UPDATE: Those not concerned about Europe say that Cameron is in Mr Motivator mode, firing everyone up for the election, trashing Brown, saving Britain etc. But he's - so far - stopping short of a Kinnock style "well alright!"

UPDATE 2: Another attendee says Cameron has struck exactly the right balance, optimistic but not triumphalistic. He left them thinking the new phase has begun - the "government-in-waiting" phase rather than the "opposition" phase.

CORRECTIONS: Cameron said "value" public services, not expand them.

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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