Cameron slaps down David Davis's Downton Abbey putsch
Servants will not be taking charge of the Conservative Party despite resentment at 'Lord Snooty and his pals'
ECKY THUMP! David Cameron's allies have told The Daily Telegraph today that the Toffs will remain in charge of the Conservatives despite an attempt at a palace coup by man of the people David Davis, which has been sparked by a slump in the party's polling figures.
Meanwhile (Eee by gum!) Labour leader Ed Miliband will today launch his party's local election campaign in Birmingham by making the charge that 'Lord Snooty and his pals' are out of touch with the lives of ordinary voters.
The Tories face a drubbing in the May 3 elections for around 5,000 seats in England's town halls unless something is done to lift Cameron's polling figures, which have slumped since the row over the tax on pasties last week and Cabinet buffoon Francis Maude's gaffe advising motorists to use "a jerry can" to store petrol in the garage to avoid running out in the event of a tanker drivers' strike.
David Davis, who was brought up in London's East End, is leading the calls among Conservatives for the promotion of Tories with roots in the working classes, such as housing minister Grant Shapps, former firefighter and Essex man Mike Penning and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, whose vowels are as flat as a Yorkshire pigeon fancier's cap.
William Hague, a Rotherham boy who also sounds like he has a ferret in his trouser pockets, is away too often as Foreign Secretary to help Cameron at home.
Davis warned that working-class voters increasingly "resent" what they see as Old Etonian, privileged Cabinet ministers who do not understand their everyday lives. The revolt sounds like an episode of Downton Abbey in which the servants take control of the house.
The 1922 Executive Committee - the shop stewards of the Tory backbench - took their concerns to Cameron last week. In addition to more working class voices, they want to see George Osborne, the Chancellor, stripped of his dual role in charge of Tory election strategy, and an end to the job split in the chairmanship of the party between Lord Feldman, a pal of Cameron, and northerner Baroness Warsi.
But Cameron left them in no doubt that Lord Grantham is staying firmly in charge of Downton Abbey - or Downturn Shabby, as today's Independent cartoonist has it. The 1922 Committee was told there would be "no big change". The Daily Telegraph quotes one source who says: "We have got the right policies and we're going to get on with delivering them."
Iain Martin, a Tory pundit with the grassroots website ConservativeHome, has started to contemplate life after Cameron, blogging in The Daily Telegraph that what is needed is "a new Thatcher" - a sentiment that led one Labour MP to remark to the Mole: "It sounds like the Tories are not just reaching for the comfort blanket. They are hiding their heads under it."