James Forsyth

Lord Ashcroft’s warnings about David Rowland

Lord Ashcroft's warnings about David Rowland
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Here in Westminster, the David Rowland story is the talk of the hour. It seems that Lord Ashcroft and Michael Spencer had both warned Cameron that Rowland would come in for unfavourable coverage from the media if appointed and that they worried that other donors would not want to deal with him. I’m informed that they feared that his appointment could undo much of the work they had done to strengthen the party’s finances.

The media’s attention tonight is turning to the question of why David Cameron ignored the warnings about the controversy that this appointment would cause. Some senior Tories are questioning his judgement over the matter pointing out that the stories that have appeared about Rowland were entirely predictable. Cameron’s decision seems particularly odd when the strong state of the party’s finances mean that he could have afforded a far safer choice as treasurer.