The Tory-GOP divide is becoming more serious. After Friday’s criticisms of George W Bush from Peter Ainsworth, the News of the World has confirmed ConservativeHome’s story of January that John McCain is disappointed by David Cameron’s more dove-ish policy on Iraq… except the language in the NotW story (not online) is harder. Senator McCain, who was given star billing at last autumn’s Conservative conference, reportedly now sees David Cameron’s policy on Iraq as "soft." He apparently feels "deceived" by David Cameron after the Tory leader opposed the increase in US troops in Iraq. "There has been a clear divergence between us," a McCain spokesman said. Fraser Nelson takes up the news in his Sunday column:
"I also hear Rudy Giuliani, ex-New York mayor and conservative hero, considers him a turncoat. Meanwhile, Bush officials are appalled at his attempts to be seen as standing up to the White House. Cam is happy to let his lieutenants send out anti-US messages, especially on the environment. But chasing such cheap votes in Britain has repurcussions in Washington. This behaviour can be expected of no-hoper Labour backbenchers. Not from an aspiring statesman."
Asked about John McCain’s remarks on Sunday AM, Liam Fox sidestepped the issue and referred to widespread divisions in Washington circles as regards the troops surge. On defence policy, Dr Fox abided by George Osborne’s tough new policy on expenditure announcements and declined to say what a Conservative Government would spend on defence. He said he would be looking for more burden sharing from NATO Partners and better procurement policies. The Shadow Defence Secretary said that the Canadian model deserved study. Canada had increased its defence strength by buying off-the-shelf defence equipment from other nations. Britain can no longer afford a bespoke military, Dr Fox continued – spending a lot of money on over-budget products for equipment that could be bought more cheaply from other arms manufacturing nations.