Who is the Cameron family member who doesn't vote Tory?

The Prime Minister suggests that not all of his family are as supportive as they could be.

After Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg's appearances earlier this week, it was David Cameron's turn on The World At One this lunchtime. Asked about the decision of Conservative MP Priti Patel's father to stand as a UKIP candidate, Cameron replied: "it's a free country...often in families you get split loyalties", before intriguingly adding: "I'm trying to think of my own family. I don't want to reveal which members of my family ...". He quickly trailed off but the clear suggestion was that one or several members of the Cameron clan don't vote Conservative. "On the whole, they're all pretty supportive," he added, sounding less than convincing. Cameron couldn't bring himself to mention the word 'UKIP' (a fact that Martha Kearney rightly drew attention to) but could there be a supporter of Nigel Farage's party in the ranks? 

I'm reminded of the incident before the 2010 general election when Ed Vaizey, a friend of Cameron's from Oxford University, suggested that Samantha Cameron "might have voted for Blair" and "would be going into this poll thinking 'Is Cameron the real deal or should I stick with Brown?'" A furious CCHQ went on to force the-then shadow culture minister to issue this retraction: "I am very embarrassed by this. I had no justification for what I said. The only thing I do know from seeing David and Sam for many years is that Sam worked night and day on David's campaign in 1997 in Stafford and, as she said, has never voted Labour."

David Cameron leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on April 24, 2013. Photograph: Getty Images.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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What Jeremy Corbyn gets right about the single market

Technically, you can be outside the EU but inside the single market. Philosophically, you're still in the EU. 

I’ve been trying to work out what bothers me about the response to Jeremy Corbyn’s interview on the Andrew Marr programme.

What bothers me about Corbyn’s interview is obvious: the use of the phrase “wholesale importation” to describe people coming from Eastern Europe to the United Kingdom makes them sound like boxes of sugar rather than people. Adding to that, by suggesting that this “importation” had “destroy[ed] conditions”, rather than laying the blame on Britain’s under-enforced and under-regulated labour market, his words were more appropriate to a politician who believes that immigrants are objects to be scapegoated, not people to be served. (Though perhaps that is appropriate for the leader of the Labour Party if recent history is any guide.)

But I’m bothered, too, by the reaction to another part of his interview, in which the Labour leader said that Britain must leave the single market as it leaves the European Union. The response to this, which is technically correct, has been to attack Corbyn as Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are members of the single market but not the European Union.

In my view, leaving the single market will make Britain poorer in the short and long term, will immediately render much of Labour’s 2017 manifesto moot and will, in the long run, be a far bigger victory for right-wing politics than any mere election. Corbyn’s view, that the benefits of freeing a British government from the rules of the single market will outweigh the costs, doesn’t seem very likely to me. So why do I feel so uneasy about the claim that you can be a member of the single market and not the European Union?

I think it’s because the difficult truth is that these countries are, de facto, in the European Union in any meaningful sense. By any estimation, the three pillars of Britain’s “Out” vote were, firstly, control over Britain’s borders, aka the end of the free movement of people, secondly, more money for the public realm aka £350m a week for the NHS, and thirdly control over Britain’s own laws. It’s hard to see how, if the United Kingdom continues to be subject to the free movement of people, continues to pay large sums towards the European Union, and continues to have its laws set elsewhere, we have “honoured the referendum result”.

None of which changes my view that leaving the single market would be a catastrophe for the United Kingdom. But retaining Britain’s single market membership starts with making the argument for single market membership, not hiding behind rhetorical tricks about whether or not single market membership was on the ballot last June, when it quite clearly was. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.