James Forsyth

We await the beef

We await the beef
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The Tories have been briefing heavily that this would be a policy heavy conference. Indeed, I’m told that every shadow Cabinet member will have at least one substantive announcement to make. But there is relatively little that is genuinely new in the Sunday newspapers. One explanation for this is that the Tories accept that Lisbon is going to crowd out any other story. One senior source told me on Friday that CCHQ thought that nothing other than Europe would have cut through until Sunday afternoon.

So far, the Tory containment operation on Europe appears to be just about holding. There is, though, grumbling about Boris’s comments in the Sunday Times which are seem as being distinctly unhelpful and threaten to reignite the stories about tension between him and the leadership. While Eric Pickles' line that he is confident that the Czechs won’t have ratified before the election appears to contradict what William Hague told The Times yesterday.