January 15, 2005


Howard hit by MP's defection: Disaffection with Conservatives' stance on tuition fees, Europe and Iraq pushes former minister to Labour (Gaby Hinsliff and Martin Bright, January 16, 2005, The Observer)

A Conservative MP and former minister has defected to Labour because he believes that it is the best interests of the country for Tony Blair to be Prime Minister.

In a move that will be devastating for the Tory leadership, Robert Jackson, MP for Wantage in Oxfordshire, told the Sunday Telegraph that a victory for Michael Howard would cause 'certain harm'. [...]

'The bottom line is that I think that it is in the country's best interests that Tony Blair rather than Michael Howard should form the next government,' he said.

Tony Blair said he was 'delighted' by the MP's decision. 'He is a decent, fair-minded and dedicated public servant, respected across the House of Commons, who will be warmly welcomed by Labour MPs and members,' the PM said. Michael Howard said he was not surprised by the defection.

The defection comes as another poll predicts election disaster for the Tory leader. A survey of key constituencies for the News of the World shows that the Tories are set for their worst electoral showing since 1906.

Time for Margaret Thatcher to deliver the coup de grace to the Tories and switch to UKIP.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 15, 2005 9:32 PM

At least the next Tory leadership election will be easier. They'll only have about 5 or 6 seats left.

Posted by: Bart at January 16, 2005 8:00 AM

You do realise he left because he felt the Tories were too anti-European?

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at January 16, 2005 11:29 AM


Among other things.

Posted by: oj at January 16, 2005 12:08 PM

If I were opposing Labour my rallying cry would be Talley Ho!

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 17, 2005 4:24 PM