Europe: Double trouble

  • 25 October 2011
  • From the section UK Politics
  • comments
David Cameron

David Cameron has suffered a revolt on Europe, double that suffered by John Major - double, in other words the previous biggest rebellion on this most toxic of issues.

Unlike Major, David Cameron can and did easily sustain a Parliamentary majority.

The pressure he will now face is not over his government's survival but to spell out what he meant by promising "fundamental change" in Britain's relationship with Europe and when and how he'll deliver it.

It was a vote on much more than Europe - it was for some Tory backbenchers a cry of pain.

They don't like the compromises of coalition. They don't like the frustrations of life with little prospect of promotion. And they don't like facing boundary changes, re-selections and a tight squeeze on their expenses.

One cabinet minister told me tonight: "The well of goodwill on the backbenchers has run dry."