Monday, 6 August 2007

A defective defection?

My inbox has been pinging with claim and counter-claim today as Labour and the Tories do battle over the lastest "defector" between the two parties.

David Anstee, a 26-year-old teacher and former Tory council candidate in Rhondda Cynon Taff, has defected to Labour.

Not exactly the biggest fish in the sea, but this is August and the political parties appear to have noticed a gap in the media coverage between the foot and mouth outbreak and the National Eisteddfod.
Labour claim Anstee (left) was "one of the Tories' brightest young politicians in Wales" and
"a member of a powerful Welsh Conservative Policy Group which wrote the party's 2007 Assembly election manifesto".

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was swift to welcome the conversion. The Conservatives were less impressed: "David Anstee was in no way involved in putting together the 2007 election manifesto."


The Conservatives are now threatening to report Labour AM Leighton Andrews to the commissioner for standards unless he apologises for allegedly exaggerating Anstee's role.

The former Tory's conversion does appear to have been a rapid one. This is what he thought of David Cameron (who decided to send his child to a state school) just six months ago:

"A Politician who does what he says, says what he believes and isn't afraid to stand out in the crowd. Could this be a PM in waiting. Cameron should be applauded for taking the education of his child so seriously. He has made an intelligent decision which could have landed him in hot water with certain quarters of the electorate.

"He had nevertheless run rough shod over the insiduous rantings of the anti-faith school faction and has made a good decision for the future of his child. Surely now we can trust the future of our children with someone who puts his own children's futures first!"

Labour's response to the Tory rebuttal?

'The Tories are wrong to say David Anstee played no role in helping draw up Tory policies for the 2007 Assembly election. He even attended a meeting of the Welsh Conservative Policy Forum, run by Tory Policy Co-ordinator David Melding AM, to discuss policies for the 2007 election."

David Melding says he doesn't know Anstee, but that hasn't stopped Gordon Brown interrupting his busy day fighting foot and mouth to say:

"I am pleased that David listened to my call for moderate Conservatives to join the Labour party and help build a better Britain.

"I welcome him to the party and look forward to hearing of his positive contribution in the future."


WaspAbroad said...

Anyone can turn up to a Welsh Conservative Policy Forum if you pay the £15...Hardly makes him one of the "bright young things" within the Welsh Conservative Party, does it?

Che Grav-ara said...

Labour's AM in the Rhondda is a former Liberal and the MP is a former Tory. Do Labour have any of their own anymore!