James Forsyth

Ken Clarke in the firing line

Ken Clarke in the firing line
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There’s an intriguing pre-conference story in the Mail on Sunday today. The paper reports that:

“Ken Clarke faces a whispering campaign by allies of David Cameron and George Osborne to move him from Justice Minister because of his ‘disastrous’ views on law and order, it was claimed last night. Conservative MPs say Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne are ‘ frustrated’ by Mr Clarke’s refusal to take a tougher line on key issues such as prison sentencing.”

But the problem for the leadership is not only that Clarke has Lib Dem support for his policies but also that he knows this is his last big job in politics. Colleagues say that Clarke is completely intellectually convinced of his case and isn’t interested in peoples’ objections.