Peter Hoskin

Two approaches, same result

Two approaches, same result
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It's typical, isn't it?  Coffee House decides to stop working for a couple of hours and, in the meantime, two MPs confirm that they're going to stand down.  You've probably caught the news elsewhere on the good ol' blogosphere but - yes - Margaret Moran and Julie Kirkbride won't be running for Parliament in the next election.  Hardly surprising, really.

With these two delayed resignations coming at the same time, the contrast between the Labour and Conservative approaches is even more striking.  We've barely heard a squeak from Moran over the past couple of weeks, as Labour MPs are subjected to behind-closed-door meetings with the "star chamber".  Whereas Cameron is encouraging Tory MPs to air their dirty laundry in public, and take their case to voters.  

While I think the Tory leader's general approach is right - and certainly braver - than Brown's, the Kirkbride case has demonstrated the inherent danger of it.  The Bromsgrove MP resisted moves to make her speak to her own constituents, instead going on the airwaves and into print to defend her actions in a manner which, I imagine, will just have riled the public even more.  In the end, CCHQ had to put a brutal end to it before things got even more embarrassing.  Let's just hope it doesn't dampen their enthusiasm for greater transparency.

P.S. You can read Kirkbride's resignation letter here.