The Tories’ front of house team turned up today to try and stoke up a row about Labour’s spending plans. The Tory aim was twofold. First, to try and cement in voters’ minds the idea that Labour would spend too much, pushing up taxes and second to claim that Labour is in chaos when it tries to distance itself from previous spending commitments. The latter is why the Tories are so relaxed about people pointing out that various commitments in their own dossier do not appear in Labour’s official policy prospectus, the one issued after the party’s National Policy Forum.
Osborne, Hague, May, Morgan and Javid all came carrying the same message: that Labour hasn’t changed and would do it all over again when it came to spending too much money, pushing up taxes and sending the economy into chaos. The Tories believe that this is their strongest argument and are desperate to keep the political focus on it.
Another part of the Tory message today was that they have a team. The five out front today will—along with Cameron and Boris—be the people used more often by CCHQ in the campaign. The group does a better job than the Tories could have done in the past at looking like modern Britain. The presence of so many future leadership contenders on the same stage did give the Telegraph’s Chris Hope the chance to ask them what they thought would make them the best leader of the party. This was a question that Osborne and co, predictably, didn’t answer.