Any More to Defect?

Westminster is apparently awash with two types of rumour tonight. One type essentially concerns who might serve in the new Brown cabinet. Amongst names mentioned by Nick Robinson et al are David Milliband for the Foreign Office, Alastair Darling as the well trailed Chancellor etc.

The other type of rumour concerns another Tory defector. Brown appears determined to produce his 'ministry of all the talents', and almost as soon as Quentin Davies went over the rumours started going that at least one other MP was imminently going to follow. The name being touted on the Guido Fawkes blog is John Bercow (here and here). I really hope not. I knew Bercow when he was a committed right-wing chairman of the Tory students and I was a Tory leftie, and at that time I was strongly factionally opposed to him, the more so perhaps because he was - and is - extremely bright and an excellent speaker. He has made an interesting political journey, and the last time I bumped into him was at Ken Clarke's last leadership launch; he has since become one of the more articulate 'liberal' voices in the Tory Party. Could he move to Labour? His wife, I think, is a Labour supporter, and Bercow's journey could take him further left, so we wait to see whether the rumours are true or not. One thing is sure - unlike Quentin Davies, John Bercow would be a loss to the Tories. They have too few intelligent liberals to be able to lose any of them!


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