Peter Hoskin

The Tory grassroots deliver their verdict on Alan Duncan

The Tory grassroots deliver their verdict on Alan Duncan
Text settings

The Tory grassroots have spoken, and they want Alan Duncan out.  Here are the main results from a poll which has just been published over at ConservativeHome:

"A poll of 1,622 Tory members carried out today finds 65% want Alan Duncan to resign and 55% think he should be sacked.

A massive 91% think he should be moved from his current job where he has a role in deciding Conservative policy on MPs’ expenses and allowances.

61% are dissatisfied with Alan Duncan's performance. 31% are satisfied.  This makes him the least popular member of the shadow cabinet.

38% agreed that 'Alan Duncan was telling the truth - the antagonism toward MPs has gone too far.'  52% disagreed.

65% agreed 'There is now a real problem of high calibre people being discouraged from entering politics.'  32% disagreed." Myself, I can't see Duncan resigning or getting sacked over his infamous comments; at least not immediately.  However stupid he was - and, make no mistake, it was a big error of judgement on his part - the misdemeanour isn't a sacking offence in and of itself.  After all, the jury's still out on whether he was joking or not, and plenty of other MPs utter similar sentiments in private anyway.

But this isn't to excuse Duncan.  The verdict from the grassroots is compelling, and this is hardly the first time that he's embarrassed both himself and the Tory leadership.  Like James, I suspect that whatever chance he had of featuring in a Cameron Cabinet has now just evaporated.

CoffeeHouser NorthernJohn picks me up for writing that "plenty of other MPs utter similar sentiments in private anyway."  I should have been clearer: I wasn't meaning that this makes Duncan's sentiments right, but rather that it shields him from being sacked - or might dissuade him from resigning - immediately.  I doubt Cameron will want to rile up all the MPs who agree with Duncan - if not the way he expressed it - by deeming this a sackable offence.