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.

To read an interview with Edward Garnier click here.

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.”

Click here to read anti-hunting comment.

Click here to read pro-hunting comment.

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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.