Brushing off the "non-story" of a few MPs expressing no-confidence in him, Cameron pointed to the Rwanda trip as more representative of the spirit of the Party at the moment:

"I think the spirit of the Conservative Party is embodied by the Members of Parliament; Conservative activists, including doctors and electricians and lawyers who are out here in Rwanda, learning about this country, learning about delivering aid effectively, learning about how we help sub-Saharan Africa get richer."

Those of us not in the sub-Saharan desert can keep track of how things are going by checking out a few blogs that are being updated each day:

  • Iain Dale’s there with an 18 Doughty Street camera girl, and is writing detailed daily dairy entries about his experience visiting the various projects: see Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.
  • Candidate and blogger Vicky Ford is writing about her project at a school, after some difficulties getting there via Nairobi.
  • David Mundell MP has written over a dozen posts about his trip so far, with particular focus on the aftermath of the genocide (the photo above is one of his).

It’s a shame Cameron could only stay one night, but the message that Conservatives care about development issues – and see mileage in being seen to care – is encouraging. The forty, don’t forget, paid their own way to do this and are doing a lot of graft off-camera. Meeting victims of poverty and genocide face-to-face will no doubt have a profound effect on them, and that’s worth a lot more than cynical comments about it being just a PR stunt.

Deputy Editor

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