The Conservative party chairperson Baroness Warsi has indicated that the Conservatives may not be contesting Eastleigh in a bid to unseat MP Chris Huhne at the next General Election.
Both Chris Huhne the Energy minister and Baroness Warsi were attending a press conference called by the coalition to attack the Labour Party’s record in government.
According to The Spectator, Warsi:
“…refused to commit the Tories to trying to win Huhne’s marginal seat at the next election. Huhne won last time thanks to Labour supporters lending him their votes something that won’t happen next time If Huhne, who has also been damaged by stories about his personal life, is to hold on in 2015.He’ll almost certainly need some help from his coalition partners. This help could range from the Tories simply not putting resources into the seat”
The spectator also quotes a Conservative minster as saying:
‘If the Coalition is a success, a future Lord Ashcroft won’t be pouring millions into trying to unseat Chris Huhne in Eastleigh’
However a recent appearance in Eastleigh by the prospective Labour Party leaders has raised the expectation that come the next General Election, the Labour Party would be putting more resources into reclaiming the 4,000 votes they lost to Mr Huhne in May.
The was not the first harmonious public appearance By Mr Huhne and Baroness Warsi – they have previously appeared as fellow panellists on BBC’s Question Time during which they were united in their condemnation of the BNP’s Nick Griffin.
Conservative approval of Mr Huhne comes at the same time as he appears to be moving progressively – further to the right.
At yesterdays’ press conference Mr Huhne attacked Labour’s public spending programmes as being responsible for the forthcoming package of spending cuts.
During one of his first appearances at the despatch box Mr Huhne told the house that the debt crises sweeping Europe was due to Socialism (perhaps he was referring to the socialization of banking debt).
The Lib Dem MP has been dubbed locally as ‘U-turn Huhne’ for his post election damascene conversion to the cause of immediate public spending cuts and tax rises.
Along with the Eastleigh’s Lib Dem council he was he was previously strongly in favour of the Swimming Challenge Fund which provided free swimming for the young and elderly – now they have withdrawn support for it.
Mr Huhne had warned against a conservative government raising VAT – now he is in favour and even denies it would affect the poor disproportionately.
He has also come in from strong criticism for dropping his opposition to nuclear power since becoming Energy minister – he has just announced the next generation of Nuclear Power Stations would be commissioned by 2018 – but here is what he said before the election: