Tory bloggers: the who's-who of Conservative commentary
Iain Dale's seaside scuffle puts Tory bloggers in spotlight days on eve of Conservative conference
IAIN DALE is used to giving his views on the perceived shortcomings of the Labour party. But the Tory blogger turned his attention to his own misdeeds yesterday by issuing a "grovelling public apology" for scuffling with a protester outside the Labour conference in Brighton.
Dale, who accepted a police caution in relation to the incident, said his altercation with Stuart Holmes was "totally out of character". He apologised to Holmes and said he was "embarrassed" by a blog post he had written shortly after the incident, which described the protester as an "idiot".
Dale's impromptu wrestling match on Brighton's promenade has made him – temporarily at least – the UK's best-known Tory blogger. But he is far from a lone voice in the true blue regions of the blogosphere. Conservatives travel to Manchester this weekend for their annual party conference, here are some of the other Tory bloggers with plenty of the right stuff:
James Forsyth: Forsyth helped set up the Spectator's Coffee House political blog in 2007. He made such an impression that the magazine hired him as its political editor two years later. Educated at Winchester school and Jesus College, Cambridge, he has "highly placed contacts" in all three political parties, the Daily Mail says.
Seb Coe's raises Tory hopes that he might 4 for Mayor in 2016. He's prob the only Tory who cld pick up Boris's baton http://t.co/TlZTxCR41x
— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) May 26, 2013
Guido Fawkes: Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) used to promote acid house parties in the 1990s before becoming a trader in the City of London. He came to politics as a self-confessed "libertarian", founding his right-wing blog in 2004. Three years later, the Daily Telegraph named it as "one of Britain's leading political blogsites". Fawkes is often highly critical of mainstream media and frequently controversial. He says the politician he most likes spending time with is UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Boris not mincing words: "This whole EU project has been a catastrophe." #IoDAC
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) September 18, 2013
Tim Montgomerie: Last year, the creator and editor of the Conservative Home website – and the current editor of The Times' opinion page - was described by The Observer as "one of the most influential Tories outside the cabinet". A devout fan of Elvis and Manchester United, he was described as "strangely attractive", by Tatler.
@Exauditor77 What a pathetic tweet. There's a lot more diversity of thinking on The Times's opinion pages than on The Guardian's.
— Tim Montgomerie (@TimMontgomerie) September 25, 2013
Benedict Brogan: Brogan's decision to jump ship from the Daily Mail to the Daily Telegraph in 2009 was hailed as a coup for the conservative broadsheet. The authority of his blog was seen as one of the reasons he got the job. "Brogan is by no means a cheerleader for [David] Cameron but he will certainly balance up the Telegraph's commentary team, which is dominated by Cameron-sceptics," wrote Iain Dale at the time.
Dave shouldn't be quite so relaxed: there is method to Miliband's madness http://t.co/7Tkf6gmP37
— Benedict Brogan (@benedictbrogan) September 26, 2013
Peter Oborne: The Daily Telegraph's chief political commentator offers a sceptical view of politicians epitomised by his 2005 book The Rise of Political Lying. Known for his acerbic commentary on the political classes, he set aside his natural distrust this week to describe Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour conference as a "virtuoso performance" built on a "real humility".
A vote for Ukip is a vote for a Labour government. Why can't the Tories get this message across? http://t.co/BZjZE2LVeK
— Peter Oborne (@OborneTweets) September 16, 2013
Tim Shipman: He tweets as @ShippersUnbound promising to "break news...and reputations". The Daily Mail's deputy political editor has earned plenty of readers in recent years for his authoritative insider's commentary.
Will Miliband's bandwagon jumping on Europe save Cam's bacon? New blog: http://t.co/XICGkoqw
— Tim Shipman (Mail) (@ShippersUnbound) January 31, 2012