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Has Cameron upset Rupert over the Iraq debate?

November 1st, 2006

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    Is this why the Times and the Sun are carrying similar editorials?

Probably the biggest risk that Cameron’s Tories took by voting against the Government in the Iraq debate was not the predictable charges of opportunism from the Labour benches but that he might have upset Rupert Murdoch whose News International corporation owns large parts of the media including the Times and the Sun.

    For although the Telegraph under its news editor might be coming more on side the new Tory leader has precious few friends in the national press. Upsetting the owner of the Times and the Sun could be a big risk.

And, surprise surprise, both these papers carry very similar editorials this morning both making the same point. It is almost as though they were inspired by the same person.

This is what the Sun says: “THE Tory Party voted for war in Iraq. New leader David Cameron says he still agrees. So why is he backing ramshackle Scots and Welsh Nats in demanding an inquiry? Our troops have got a fight on their hands. They don’t need a morale-sapping probe into why they are there.Tony Blair has paid dearly for his courageous decision to support America in toppling Saddam Hussein. It may be tempting for the Opposition to twist the knife. It is a temptation they must resist.”

The Times editorial is, of course, much longer but it is biting in its criticism of the Tory leader.

“..The issue that confronted MPs three years ago was the principle of overthrowing the Iraqi dictatorship. Most Tory MPs assented and backed the Government..So what on earth was Mr Cameron doing yesterday standing shoulder to shoulder with such bizarre allies? The same Mr Cameron who at the Conservative Party conference a month ago affirmed his stance that “when the Government is right, we will support it”? The Mr Cameron who, in his several previous opportunities to make a statement on Iraq, saw no need to ask for any inquiry on any timescale? The Mr Cameron who seeks to be seen to have the qualities of a prime minister? The simple, shameful truth of the debate yesterday is that it was driven by spectacularly shallow opportunism…”

There is a long way to go before the next General Election and Rupert likes to back winners. But David Cameron might have to pay a price for yesterday.

Mike Smithson

    Politicalbetting.com – at least 25,000 words of political news, comment and opinion seven days a week. Join Britain’s biggest political discussion.





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