Shipley Tory MP Philip Davies will today launch his ‘Better Off Out‘ of the EU campaign. He has invited fifty of his Tory colleagues to attend but they might be discovering last minute diary clashes after reading this morning’s Telegraph:
"David Cameron threw down the gauntlet to Eurosceptic Tory MPs yesterday by declaring that anyone who advocated withdrawal from the European Union would not serve on his front bench."
Interviewed on this morning’s Today programme Mr Davies also distanced himself from the Tory leader’s ‘UKIP are fruitcakes’ remarks. EU withdrawal is privately supported by a number of Tory MPs but few have ever gone public.
MEP Daniel Hannan made the case for exit in an article for The Sunday Telegraph last year.
3.45pm update: Tory MPs present at the launch were both of the Wintertons, Christopher Chope, Eric Forth, Bob Spink and Douglas Carswell. Being at the meeting doesn’t necessarily mean they support leaving the EU, of course. Mr Davies used the meeting to welcome David Cameron’s agreement for backbenchers to speak openly on this subject. Mr Davies said that 40% of the public already supporting leaving the EU and that was without political leadership.
5.15pm update: Philip Hollobone MP and David Davies MP (Monmouth) were also at the meeting. Mr Hollobone did speak publicly in favour of leaving the EU.