Tories vulnerable in the event of a deal

The rumours may have been denied, but Grayling and Villiers are vulnerable.

Reports that David Cameron has offered three cabinet places to the Lib Dems (home secretary, transport secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury) may have been denied, but the rumour is still revealing.

The Tory shadow home secretary is, of course, Chris Grayling, a man whose position has looked untenable for some time and whose job Cameron has consistently failed to guarantee. Grayling's extraordinary defence of the right of B&B owners to turn away gay couples was largely responsible for a fall in gay support for the Tories from 39 per cent in June 2009 to just 6 per cent today.

The shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers, is another who has found herself consistently briefed against and is said to be regarded as dispensable by Team Cameron. Philip Hammond, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, has performed well, often outshining George Osborne, but this job has patently been marked out for Vince Cable.

Cameron has publicly guaranteed George Osborne, Ken Clarke, Theresa May, Liam Fox, Andrew Lansley, William Hague, Sayeeda Warsi and Michael Gove their jobs. So it's more than notable that at no time has it been suggested that their positions are up for grabs. As for the other three, they won't be sleeping so easily tonight.

Get 12 issues for just £5.99 plus a free copy of "Liberty in the Age of Terror" by A C Grayling.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Show Hide image

The New Statesman Cover: The revenge of the left

A first look at this week's magazine.

22 - 28 September issue
The revenge of the left