Tuesday 13 April 2010

That Tory campaign missing list in full

Paul Waugh is disappointed that there isn't a bit more stuntery when senior Tories go into hiding on the campaign trail, a la the great Oliver Letwin man hunt in 2001.

While this is now a much cherished British General Election tradition, the field does seem excessively crowded this time around. Perhaps David Cameron will announce tomorrow that it is all part of a 'Big Society' gameshow in which the voters get to join Lord Lloyd-Webber to vote one politician out of hiding each week until we have a Hidden Tory Top Trumps winner at the end.

I wonder if the bookmakers are offering odds on who will and won't be seen at the launch of the Tory manifesto.

In order of most missing ....

1. Not-Lord Ashcroft

Not-Lord Ashcroft has not been seen at all, to my knowledge, though he has a very strong interest in the marginals campaign. Does anybody know if the non-dom deputy party chair is in the UK or Belize (to where he billed his 2005 election polling, to avoid VAT)?

2. Jacob Rees-Mogg

The Sunday Times spent most of last week trying to catch a glimpse of the candidate to little avail, and report that the local newspapers have had similar experiences. This not entirely friendly dedicated website sets out why Tory HQ does not seem to want to put the candidate front and centre.

And perhaps Rees-Mogg feels his campaign is adequately and regularly covered in his father's Times columns (and one in the Mail on Monday) reporting on the Somerset political scene and his two children's attempts to get elected.

3. Chris Grayling.

The Shadow Home Secretary is beginning to surface, carefully. If he makes it to the manifesto launch? If so, the www.howlonghaschrisgraylingbeeninhiding.com clock will be able to go back to nought, having reached 9 days now.

He has just about given an interview to the Wife in the North blog, which demonstrated that his media minders nor the candidate are feeling very relaxed. Bizarrely, the wish to avoid at all costs any further potential gaffe teritory may mean he can not answer any question: he seemed to consistently duck the not exactly earth-shattering opportunity to say that he did not think the Pope should be arrested when he visits Britain.

UPDATE: 4. Alan Duncan

Sorry, I completely forgot about Alan "rations" Duncan. So has everyone else.

[4]. Now 5. George Osborne.

The Shadow Chancellor has been focusing more on election strategy than getting out in the media frontline. But he did do a world at one interview with Alastair Darling, and those who backed him in the 2010 Tory invisibility stakes may be rueing the size of the field he now faces.

So is that just about everybody? Or have some missing Tories managed to cleverly stay off the missing list radar too?


Sunder Katwala said...

A suggestion on twitter of Alan Duncan.

I had to check that he was still standing again.

He has a good claim on the no 2 or no 3 slot I think.

Guido Fawkes said...

They are all in Belize sipping cocktails with Damian McBride, Chaytor, Morley and Devine.