Leigh_edward_2 defines Don Quixote as "An impractical idealist bent on righting incorrigible wrongs."   Edward Leigh MP, quickly emerging as Mr Cameron’s most outspoken critic from the Tory benches, has compared Project Cameron to Don Quixote’s escapades.

Writing for the House Magazine, Mr Leigh lists the ways in which Mr Cameron has offended traditional Tory sensibilities:

"This is the year that Conservative spokesmen have:

  • Adopted Aneurin Bevan as a role model (he who vowed to destroy us and described us as ‘vermin’;
  • Praised left-wing Polly Toynbee’s view of society;
  • Snubbed the CBI;
  • Pleaded understanding for marauding hoodies;
  • Announced that we, not Labour, were the real defenders of an unreformed NHS, the last Soviet-style, centrally-controlled health service in any large country;
  • Rejected tax cuts, despite the biggest tax hike in peacetime history;
  • Criticised grammar schools;
  • Turned down the volume on Euroscepticism to the inaudible."

While praising Mr Cameron’s personal qualities the Chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee warns that the party is in danger of "taking our core vote for granted and in the process effectively disenfranchising millions of decent people who feel that none of the mainstream parties speak for them."  He continues:

"Our Euroscepticism is deliberately confused with crude nationalism, when in fact we want to help the Third World by breaking down trade barriers.  And why did the leader’s speech at the party conference not mention immigration at all, when in the last few years we have undergone the greatest-ever wave of increasing immigration into our country?"

Part of the reason Edward Leigh is listened to is because of his leadership of the forty-strong Cornerstone group of Tory MPs.  The Cornerstone group is not necessarily united in its concerns about Project Cameron, however.  One member of the group resigned last week and Cornerstone’s co-founder – John Hayes MP –  is known to be much more favourable to the party’s direction.