To lose one MP...
- 13 Mar 08, 04:53 PM
It was only a few days ago that I observed here that, remarkably, we now had six independent MPs. And now we have a seventh with the resignation from the Conservative whip (or sacking, depending on how you tell the story) of the MP for Castle Point, Bob Spink.
The word among Tory MPs is that Mr Spink will soon join UKIP, and certainly he has very similar views on Europe and other matters. But last night Mr Spink told me that he is a Tory and will continue to sit on the Conservative benches even if he is no longer taking their whip. UKIP will no doubt do their best to lure him in, as it would be quite a coup to secure their first Westminster MP, though they already have several lords and MEPs.
Mr Spink's departure means that David Cameron has now lost four MPs in the last few months - Quentin Davies, who defected to Labour, along with Andrew Pelling, Derek Conway and Bob Spink who have all left amid a variety of personal problems. Conservatives will no doubt argue that they are glad to get rid of most, if not all, of these people, but it doesn't look very good.
Surely a party aspiring to be our next government should be gaining MPs, not shedding them?