Politics 27 January 2013 What's behind the Adam Afriyie "stalking horse" plot? The MP for Windsor is being touted as a challenger to David Cameron. Why him - and why now? Print HTML Adam Afriyie, the 47-year-old Tory MP for Windsor, is not a household name. But he's made two Sunday newspaper front pages today - the Sunday Times had "Black MP is hot tip to be the next Tory leader", while the Mail on Sunday splashed on "Stalking horse plot to oust PM". As a potential Tory leadership candidate, Afriyie has a lot to recommend him. His personal story - born to a Ghanian father and a white English mother in Peckham, made a fortune in IT, became the Tories' first black MP in 2005, refuses to claim his second home allowance - is a compelling one for those who feel that David Cameron seems too "privileged" to connect with ordinary voters and that the whole political establishment is seen as too cosy and corrupt. But what does this plot really amount to? The MoS is keen to note that Afriyie is being lined up "should a rumoured backbench revolt force the Prime Minister to resign". It adds: Changes in Tory Party rules mean rebels cannot use the ‘stalking horse’ tactics used to topple Margaret Thatcher by getting a backbencher to strike the first blow and trigger a full contest. Under revised rules, 46 Tory MPs must demand a vote of no confidence in the leader. Given that David Cameron has just enjoyed a poll bounce - and a renewed surge of affection from his Eurosceptic backbenches - by promising an EU referendum if he wins the next election, that demand seems unlikely to come in the near-future. Indeed, Isabel Hardman reports at the Spectator that "one backbencher suggested to me last week that the EU speech wouldn’t just keep Cameron safe until 2015, it would give local parties some security over other issues, too". The political team at the Telegraph - which did not run the story - are also downplaying the idea of a leadership challenge. Deputy Editor Ben Brogan tweeted that "these plots will come to nothing". All in all, the weekend after Cameron has made his long-delayed, backbench-appeasing Europe speech seems just about the worst time to try to stir dissent. So what's behind the supposed Afriyie challenge? It seems that either his quoted "friends" have mishandled the whole affair, or the Sunday papers have dramatically overstated a few grumblings in the tea room. Either way, it's unlikely to cost David Cameron too much sleep. Update, 16.38 The BBC reports that Afriyie says there is "no truth to any of it" and he is "100% loyal" to David Cameron. He told Sky News he nearly "choked on his cereal" when he read the papers earlier today. › The Tories win an EU poll bounce but Labour shouldn't panic Adam Afriyie. Photo: Getty Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics. 12 issues for £12 Subscribe More Related articles I believe only Yvette Cooper has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy Corbyn To stop Jeremy Corbyn, I am giving my second preference to Andy Burnham What do Labour's lost voters make of the Labour leadership candidates?