Want to win? Get Gav, the Dark Lord
Were dark arts deployed in the Tory leadership election? Most likely, says Peter Madeley.
Picture the scene.
You’ve already got one foot in the door of Number 10, with only two people in the whole world left who could stop you from landing your dream job as Prime Minister.
One of them is a thoroughly nice chap who is capable, trustworthy and polite. An all round good egg, but he’s much of a threat.
Hell, you might even put him in your Cabinet once you’re safely over the finish line.
The other fella is a different kettle of fish. He’s a horrible, conniving little so-and-so who chopped down your dream once before and is sharpening his broadsword ready to do the same thing again.
If he gets through, things could get nasty.
Bearing in mind you’re sitting on a massive majority of support from fellow MPs, would it be wise to engage in a modicum of trickery by getting rid of the bad guy?
Enter Gavin Williamson, who according to some unnamed Tory MPs employed the darkest of dark arts in his role as Mr Johnson’s campaign manager/unofficial chief whip.
The South Staffordshire MP ensured that a few Boris backers voted for Mr Hunt in order to boost his numbers, some claimed.
Others say they were bullied into voting for Mr Johnson, with Mr Williamson accused of making all manner of threats in a bid to boost his man’s numbers.
Surely the cheerful, affable Mr Williamson, who likes posing for pictures with owls in his spare time, would not stoop to such depths?
He had a tarantula on his desk, the same unnamed Tory MPs cry, so he must be scary.
Whatever Mr Williamson’s role was in the whole shebang, he’s clearly someone to have onside if you want to win.
He ushered Theresa May into Number 10, and ensured the Government never lost a vote of any consequence when he was Chief Whip.
Now just a few months after his career appeared to be in tatters following his sacking as Defence Secretary, he could well be back in the Cabinet by the end of the summer.