James Forsyth

Where are Cameron’s praetorians?

Where are Cameron’s praetorians?
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One of the striking things about the wall to wall hackgate coverage on the 24 hours news channels is the absence of Tory voices defending the Prime Minister. It is coming to something when the leader of another political party, Nick Clegg, is doing more to defend the PM than most of the Tory members of the Cabinet.

One minister told me earlier that Number 10 was having trouble getting people to go on TV to bat for the PM. While many Tories are wondering where their party chairman is, in these circumstances you would expect her to be touring the TV studios.

Cameron’s political spokeswoman Gabby Bertin is doing a typically able and indefatigable job of making the case for her boss. But today I have not received any unsolicited calls from Tory MPs wanting to put Cameron’s point of view. This is in stark contrast to what happened when the Deripaska affair was threatening George Osborne when one received a slew of calls defending the then shadow Chancellor. Or, what occurred when Michael Gove was under fire last summer when Tory backbenchers regularly called right-thinking journalists to make the case for the education secretary.  

Number 10 needs to hit the phones and get able, media-savvy Tory MPs to defend the PM in public and private. They also need to counter-attack, pointing out that Labour under Blair and Brown also got far too close to Murdoch and News International.