Hints of Tory disarray as Labour bounce
By politics.co.uk staff
The Tories are showing signs of internal disarray today, as opinion polls show a mild bounce for Labour following the G20 summit.
Efforts by shadow justice minister Edward Garnier to push for a repeal of the hunting ban seem to have provoked disquiet within Tory ranks.
One source told the Evening Standard: “David’s position is quite clear. Hunting will not be in the manifesto.”
The party has made a commitment to a free vote on the issue if it achieves power, but internally different messages have been sounded about whether a debate would be allowed on the issue.
Mr Garnier said: “I think the mood in the country has changed and is now ready to repeal it.”
Meanwhile, shadow chancellor George Osborne sparked a union backlash after suggesting three-year pay deals for the public sector could be renegotiated if the Tories win the next election.
The party beat a hasty retreat from that statement later, stressing that he was referring to future agreements.
To top off a poor day for David Cameron, he then had to deal with a distinctly off-message MEP, Daniel Hanna, who described the NHS as a “mistake for 60 years”.
The disquiet comes as a YouGov/Sunday Times poll put Labour at 34 per cent, three points up from last month, compared to 41 percent for the Conservatives.
It is a mild bounce, but a reassuring one for Labour officials who had worried Gordon Brown had over-hyped the G20 summit.
Meanwhile, a Sunday Mirror/ICM poll showed 70 per cent of people thought the prime minister had handled the summit well.
The post-G20 polls are not uniform, however. A Times/Populus poll today showed no change in Labour’s position, but a one point increase for the Tories.