In his new book,Richard Ritchie tells the story of the Progress Trust, an influential group of Tory backbenchers set up during the Second World War.
He made grotesque errors of taste and judgement – see “Rivers of Blood”. But even his critics admit that he was one of the great parliamentarians of the 20th century.
The British Government needs to show the same resolve as in 1971, when Sir Alec Douglas-Home threw 105 KGB agents out of London.
Bonar Law’s words in 1922 apply to the present leader: “The party elects a leader, and that leader chooses the policy, and if the party does not like it, they have to get another leader.”
And those that never were, such as 1978, 1991 and 2007. Prime Ministers tend to make the opposite error to that of their predecessors.
The Prime Minister showed that on her home turf, in the Commons, she is still a very difficult woman to get out.
Plus: the downfall of Boles. This Eagle won’t fly. What to do with Gove? Cameron should become Foreign Secretary. And: Out there in the country, Blair is still popular.
He defeated the favourite, Reggie Maudling. And ever since, when offered a choice, the Tories have gone with the less familiar face among the main candidates.