The façade of Conservative Party unity, which David Cameron has gone to great lengths to propagate in his bid to be the next Prime Minister, is showing signs of cracking up after it was revealed that the wife of a shadow minister exposed the Conservative Party Chairman’s use of taxpayer’s money to pay for her children’s nanny.
Mrs Spelman is already being investigated by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in the so-called ‘Nannygate’ affair, but last night it emerged that Sally Hammond, the wife of shadow Transport minister Stephen Hammond, was responsible for exposing Mrs Spelman’s extraordinary payment scheme.
Some of David Cameron’s own MPs are now calling for Mrs Spelman to resign, or be sacked, from her role as Conservative Party Chairman.
The ‘Nannygate’ affair was first publicised by BBC2’s Newsnight programme three weeks ago, and followed the resignation of leading Conservative MEPs over other sleaze allegations.
Meanwhile, David Davis the ex-shadow Home Secretary officially starts his self inflicted by-election campaign today, opposed only by an assortment of fringe candidates, after he resigned as an MP against Cameron’s wishes. Mr Davis claimed that he wanted to fight the by-election to highlight what he called the loss of “British freedoms”, but it soon emerged that there were deep policy divisions between Cameron and his would-be Home Secretary.
As Gordon Brown’s government pushes ahead with radical policies, other divisions within David Cameron’s MPs are also becoming apparent. Earlier this week, Labour plans to speed up major planning applications caused disquiet within Conservative ranks when Jacqui Lait, a junior frontbench spokeswoman, promised to scrap the policy if the Conservatives were to win the next general election. Alan Duncan, the shadow industry secretary, appeared particularly unamused by Lait’s declaration because it’s a proposal backed by business.Other news from Labour Matters