Revealed: the truth about Evening Standard’s Conservative MP ‘defection’ letter

Revealed: the truth about Evening Standard's Conservative MP 'defection' letter
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Future Sex: A New Kind of Free Love

Emily Witt

Faber, pp. 210, £

Although the Conservatives have managed a successful expectation management campaign ahead of the local elections, were the Tories to lose control of Kensington council, it would be hard to spin it as anything other than a total disaster.

So, a letter from a former Conservative MP in today's Evening Standard declaring his intention to vote Labour in the borough appears to be a taste of bad things to come. Keith Raffan – the Conservative MP for the Welsh seat of Delyn from 1983–92 – says he was left with no other choice after meeting two less than ideal Tory candidates:

However, before the Tories get too worried it turns out Raffan's 'defection' isn't such a scandal as the paper suggests. He has a history here – a staunch Remain-er, this isn't the first time he has gone off the Tories.

In fact, after working as a Conservative MP, Raffan later defected to the Liberal Democrats – where he was elected a Lib Dem MSP. After leaving the Lib Dems he joined Labour.

Not that this seems to have bothered the paper's editor George Osborne when deciding to publish the letter in its current form...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

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