“I did resign. Assoc did not accept. CCHQ has resolved specific issue so I am not leaving. It’s official DC has changed the party!!!!!!!!”
Paul Waugh has a very full account of "the farcical scenes at the plush Commander gastropub" in a little local difficulty in which party chairman Eric Pickles, the hereditary deputy leader of the Tory peers Lord Strathclyde, David Cameron himself, Michael Gove and several other party luminaries were heavily involved.
The upshot appears to be that Cash's one-day resignation has succeeded in removing her enemy in the local party - who was constituency chair and, ever so fleetingly, elected constituency president by the members.
Which raises the question: does the episode show how "DC has changed the party!!!!!!!!"?.
Perhaps Cash is intending to say that Cameron stands up for his A-listers. She is a smart libel lawyer of liberal views. As more or less the only candidate to speak out publicly for Cameron on all women shortlists, may have a good claim to the mantle of the leading Cameron loyalist on the candidate list.
Yet many observers will think the scale of the leadership intervention not unconnected to the web of connections linking Cash to Tory high command: her husband is a close friend of the leader since they were at Eton together; Michael Gove gave the main speech at their wedding. Here, the Cameron "change" agenda might be thought to be restoring the leadership traditions of Tory patronage which stretch back to Lord "Bob's your uncle" Salisbury's penchant for including his relatives in government, while Cameron appears much more willing to challenge and overturn the strong traditions of Tory local association autonomy than any recent predecessor has been.
Andrew Pierce of the Daily Mail reports:
Mrs Sayers, to the dismay of Miss Cash and her supporters, was seeking an unprecedented fourth term as chairman of the association. So Miss Cash - who it is believed decided she could not work with Mrs Sayers - mobilised the big guns and privately enlisted the support of Eric Pickles, the Conservative Party Chairman, to help ensure she was toppled.
Matthew Carrington, a former Tory MP and party apparatchik, duly announced in the meeting that it had been agreed by 'Mr Cameron, Mr Pickles, and Mr Coulson [the Tory spindoctor]' that Mrs Sayers had to go.
Party members reacted in fury to this interference from on high. Then, in an astonishing move, Mr Pickles arrived at the meeting and, admitting it was 'unprecedented' for the national chairman to be involved in such a seemingly minor dispute, reiterated the wish of the leadership for Mrs Sayers to be ousted.
With the meeting in uproar, Mrs Sayers agreed to quit - and Mr Pickles departed content that he had done his master's bidding ...
Then it all got a bit messier, before Cash, Cameron and CCHQ secured a happy ending with perhaps a little more publicity than they had envisaged.
So how has David Cameron changed the party?
The Conservative leader talks rather a lot about decentralising power, though with a characteristic vagueness as to the means. At the same time, it is surely increasingly obvious that, for good or ill, he has believed in the tightest possible centralisation within the Tory party itself.
One minor but intriguing think-tank detail in Waugh's report is the strong support for Cash from Dean Godson, research director of Policy Exchange. Godson is a proper (and proud) neo-con, who was formerly chief leader writer of the Daily Telegraph until his editor decided he was rather too right-wing to provide the editorial voice of the paper. It is difficult to think of many people who have been more critical of Ian Paisley's willingness to share power in Northern Ireland.
Waugh reports that the poor man was booed at the meeting for deploying his journalistic credentials in Cash's defence. Might that be a small sign that at least one liberal Tory has been able to construct a surprisingly broad tent of support?