Peter Hoskin

Has Cameron given Kirkbride the kiss of death?

Has Cameron given Kirkbride the kiss of death?
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The pressure sure is mounting for Julie Kirkbride, the wife of the disgraced - and discarded - Tory MP Andrew MacKay.  A ConservativeHome poll this morning showed that 81 percent of the grassroots think she should step down as an MP.  While Guido's also on the case, asking: where's Julie?

David Cameron was quizzed about Kirkbride on the lunchtime news earlier, where he said that "the best thing to do" is for her to meet with her constituents.  Hm.  If you remember, that didn't work out too well for her husband - who received an absolute kicking in a meeting with voters, before getting the boot from CCHQ only a matter of hours later.  Is Cameron gearing up to ditch Kirkbride too?  After all, there's little reason to think that her tête-à-tête with the public will go any better.

If so, you've got to wonder what the Tory leadership's thinking is here.  I agree with Cameron that the receipt offenders should have to confront the folk who voted them in.  But, if it's used as the prelude to a sacking, then it risks the appearance of the Tory leader lagging behind the public mood, rather than pre-empting it.