Cameron, vanquisher of Tory critics, tells Europe to buck up
PM will hope for an easy ride on Europe after his loyalists unseated 'bloody rude' Tory critics from 1922 committee
DAVID CAMERON will issue his starkest warning so far to the Eurozone countries to 'make up or break up' today. But it is not likely to cut much ice with his own Conservative eurosceptics who want to see Britain taking more steps to insulate itself from the storms ahead.
The Downing Street spin doctors have briefed Lobby journalists at Westminster that Cameron will repeat the warning he gave at Prime Minister's Question Time that the German chancellor Angela Merkel and the new French president Francois Hollande need to establish a financial firewall before the eurozone cracks up.
The BBC is reporting today Cameron will insist it is his job to "keep Britain safe" whatever the fate of the eurozone.
In a speech to business leaders in Manchester, the PM is expected to say the euro area is at a "crossroads" and could go into "uncharted territory".
The Daily Telegraph is reporting this morning that Cameron will say that Europe needs a committed, stable eurozone with an effective financial firewall, well-regulated banks and a supportive monetary policy "or we are in uncharted territory which carries huge risks for everybody".
He will also invoke the spirit of TINA - There is No Alternative - about Britain's austerity strategy, which has been called into question by the election of Hollande and an interview by Merkel saying she was prepared to look at a growth strategy.
Cameron's use of the Thatcher rhetoric would normally be expected to warm the hearts of the right wing of the Tory Party. His spin doctors have briefed The Daily Telegraph that he will reject calls for Britain to abandon its cuts in public expenditure.
Normally, that would be music to the ears of Tory eurosceptics. But they have increasingly become Camo-sceptics as Cameron has talked tough but done little to follow up his 'veto' at the EU summit last December when he stood alone against closer integration by the 27 members of the EU club.
His detractors on the Tory backbench are already muttering they want to see 'deeds not words', and are asking why George Osborne, the Chancellor, is giving £10bn of British taxpayers' money to the IMF fund to assist the eurozone. This caused outrage in the Daily Mail back in April and the Tory eurosceptics believe the money would be better used to help British banks withstand the shocks ahead.
Normally, some of the most vociferous backbench critics of the Cameron/Osborne approach to the EU would have a platform on the 1922 Committee, but last night, many of its most outspoken members were defeated in the backbench elections.
They included Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone, described on the Tory website ConservativeHome as 'high-register rebels', who weren't re-elected to the backbench business committee, and veteran eurosceptic Chris Chope.
Paul Waugh, editor of PoliticsHome, tweeted: "Talkin' bout their generation... '22 election was 'Mods' v 'Wreckers'. Big progress for the 'Mods' of the modernising 301 group."
Nick Watt of The Guardian reported: "A bold move by loyalists to achieve 'seismic change' in the elections, by removing 'bloody rude' members of the old guard, achieved partial success when some critics of the prime minister were unseated."
Shergar-look-alike Graham Brady, who was returned unopposed as the Tory MPs' chief shop steward (aka chairman of the 1922 Committee) complained about the tactics of the so-called 301 group who issued a slate of candidates like the old leftwing Tribune used to do for Labour backbench elections to the shadow cabinet.
Ben Brogan, the Daily Telegraph deputy editor, tweeted: "Electioneering ahead of 22 contest was unpleasant and too factional, Graham Brady tells Carolyn Quinn on World Tonight. Who would that be?"
Paul Goodman answered Brogan's rhetorical question on the ConservativeHome website: "Glasses will be raised this evening to the winners in Downing Street and the Treasury... Friends of both have spent much of the day strenuously denying that either interfered in these elections in any way whatsoever. I am not altogether persuaded." ·