Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Is László Andor spinning for the Tory party?

Tory MPs are in a funny state of mind this morning. They’re pleased that the Prime Minister has started to give some meaty details of what he wants from an EU renegotiation. But they’re also confused that there seems to be no media operation to ‘soak up’ this new line. There aren’t any ministers hogging the microphone in broadcast studios, beyond an exclusive interview that the Prime Minister has given to the BBC. The whole operation could do with a bit more punch.

This might change in just under ten minutes’ time when PMQs kicks off, followed by an urgent question on the policy. But before then, here’s another theory. The Conservatives didn’t need to send out any minister to drive home the importance both of their plans to restrict access to welfare for new migrants and of their renegotiation aim because László Andor, EU commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, did it for them. His interview on the Today programme did a pretty good job of underlining why the rise of parties like Ukip across Europe has been inevitable: eurocrats have dismissed the concerns of voters about immigration as ‘hysteria’ for too long rather than bothering to engage. Mind you, so did Westminster politicians in this country until recently, but now they prefer to give oblique speeches about how it’s OK to worry about some of the effects of immigration while offering very little in terms of policy because of the EU’s power.

Here’s his attempt to spin on behalf of the Tory party:

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