I received an email from a contact in the White House last week.  They’d read William Hague’s response to President Bush’s announcement of extra troops and joked that it must have been written in concert with the Élysée Palace.  Team Cameron won’t worry if Team Bush think little of the Tory leader.  David Cameron’s advisers would probably welcome the opportunity to free the Conservative brand from any linkage to an American President who could hardly be less popular in the UK.  They might be more worried about John McCain’s reaction.  Senator McCain was given star billing at last October’s Party Conference as proof that David Cameron has friends in high places.  Senator McCain does believe that David Cameron may well be in Downing Street when he hopes to be living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  But according to an impeccable ConservativeHome source the Senator is "surprised" and "disappointed" at the Tory leadership’s reaction to George W Bush’s announcement of 22,000 extra troops for Iraq.  McCain has long argued for deploying 50,000 more men in and around Baghdad and has believed that David Cameron shared his commitment to winning in Iraq.  McCain launched a comprehensive attack on the Baker-Hamilton report when it was released – the very report that William Hague has all but embraced.  The increasingly dove-ish Tory policy on Iraq was confirmed by the leadership’s decision to clip Liam Fox’s hawkish wings – reported exclusively here.

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