Fraser Nelson

What does it matter if Samantha Cameron voted Labour once?

What does it matter if Samantha Cameron voted Labour once?
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So what if Samantha Cameron has voted Labour in the past? When I saw this story flash up on the wires last night, I wondered what the big deal was. But to splash the Mail on Sunday on it? Everyone knows that she is not the stereotypical Tory wife: she has a tattoo on her ankle, she spent her student years shooting pool and hanging out with musicians. Then she married a politician. It happens. But that the Wife of the Leader come with a pure voting pedigree is not something that even Cameron's fiercest critics would expect.

If the wider charge is that Cameron's social circle is not a pure Conservative one, then that is more reason than ever for wanting him to lead the party and country. It is precisely SamCam's independent nature that marks her out. She is a Tory MP's wife - which is still, in many ways, an occupation in itself. But she is also a working mother and, most impressively, an entrepreneur.

It is untrue, as some CoffeeHousers have suggested in the past, that she just works for a posh company. She joined a management buyout of Smythsons which worked incredibly well - and I hear from my apolitical business sources that venture capital buyers routinely single out her creative direction as being one of the forces that meant it did so well out of WH Smith's control. All told, she did not come out of the Tory Wife's factory production line (if, indeed, it is still operating). If that's front page news, then all the better for David Cameron. This is not something he needs to hide.

UPDATE: She has since denied ever voting Labour - the whole thing appears to have been a figment of Ed Vaizey's imagination. But the reaction shows a voracious media appetite for anything SamCam related. The other day, she was being portrayed as a Yoko Ono type who persuaded Cameron to use the phrase "there is such a thing as society". The charge against her is that this was a swipe at Thatcher and that she put him up to it. In fact, "there is such a thing as society" was the title of a 2002 book introduced by that hardcore trot Iain Duncan Smith. The phrase indicated the slow incorporation of IDS's social justice agenda into the Cameron project.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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