David Cameron returns from his holiday this weekend, hopefully rested and ready to launch his fightback. The latest opinion polls suggest a widening of Gordon Brown’s lead over the Conservatives and today’s Daily Mail reports that steel tycoon Lord Paul – worth £280m – has said that he’ll give as much as he can afford to fund any autumn General Election. Paul donated £45,000 to Brown’s leadership campaign.
ConservativeHome has learnt that the NHS will be at the heart of David Cameron’s fightback. The Conservative leader believes that the NHS – to which he has a deep personal commitment because of the way that it has cared for his son, Ivan – is Gordon Brown’s Achilles heel. Over the last year the Conservative Party has earnt considerable support from healthcare professionals and has held successful NHS action days in constituencies across the country. The campaign may include a series of hard-hitting advertisements as part of the long-awaited summer offensive.
Mr Cameron’s emphasis on healthcare will please project loyalists like Nick Gibb MP who worry about Labour’s taunts that the party might be ‘lurching to the right’. Mr Gibb has told ePolitix.com that Mr Cameron should stay on the modernisation path: "I think he’s just got to stick to his plans which is to modernise the Conservative Party, which is indeed what he is doing, and to ignore any bubbling of dissent."
Modernisers and some traditionalist MPs are also worried about this week’s focus on John Redwood’s recommendations for deregulation. They fear that the recommendations have come out of the blue with inadequate preparing of the ground. Mr Redwood will explain his report on this website on Friday in an article for the Platform.