Steerpike Steerpike

Tories talking to themselves

If Grant Shapps and John Major gave a speech but no journalists were there to cover it, did it really happen? That’s what happened today. The Tories invited one pooled camera into their headquarters to see the former prime minister stand next to the party chairman in a belated attempt to prove that at least two senior Tories did not go to Eton.

Loyal MPs and spinners delivered the speech line-by-line on Twitter; but the only interesting bits were briefed out to the Daily Mail last night. Apparently, Sir John could only afford half an hour off from watching cricket, so there was no time for a Q&A – nothing at all to do with his off-message comments that have generated plenty of column inches over the last year.

There is trying to control the narrative, and then there is just wasting everybody’s time. If this is a glimpse of how the Tories plan to run a general election campaign, then count Mr S out.

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