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Europe Minister keeps close eye on Commissioner race

30 May 2014

What do Foreign Office ministers think about the possibility that Andrew Lansley could be the next European Commissioner? David Lidington was clearly intrigued by Isabel’s column in the Telegraph this morning which says that Tory backbenchers are not fans at all. The Europe Minister, who would have to work closely with Lansley, retweeted the article with the headline ‘the mysterious Mr Lansley will hardly set Brussels alight’. He then realised that this might not look very good, and tweeted:

‘Apologies. Was trying to read last article not retweet it. Retweet def not my view.’

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 10.42.29


Presumably he doesn’t mean that he does think Lansley will set Brussels on fire?

Of course, Lidington is probably also reading Martin Callanan’s column on ConHome and wondering whether he could become a late entry into a contest reserved almost exclusively for those who’ve run out of road in their current careers. And he’s probably also keeping an eye on the polls for the Newark by-election, as a very poor performance could put paid to Lansley’s ambitions if the Prime Minister decides that another by-election in a formerly safe Tory seat will be too bruising. Currently it’s looking good, though, so Lansley might want to start packing his cases.

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  • global city

    The obvious choice is Martin Callanan. If he is not given the post then we will know that Cameron is not serious at all about gaining meaningful reform.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Here’s the weasel Lidington back in October 2011 explaining why you didn’t have
    a referendum on the radical EU treaty change that hardly any of you knew about because of a virtually complete mass media blackout:

    “Minister for Europe David Lidington explains why the first use of the European Union Act 2011 does not require a referendum in the UK.

    This Treaty change will provide a solid legal basis for euro area members to set up the European Stability Mechanism to provide financial assistance to euro area countries in crisis.

    The Foreign Secretary has today laid a statement before Parliament under the terms of the European Union Act 2011. In it, he states his opinion that the EU Treaty change Decision does not fall within section 4 of the EU Act and no referendum is required in the UK …”

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Nicely skewered. What a shyt.

  • Peter Stroud

    Lansley seems to be a hard working and amiable chap: but would he really wish to fight hard for renegotiation, and threaten Britain’s withdraw from the EU. I think not.

    • monty61

      Hard-working, amiable and borderline useless… We all have a few of those around the office, but if you have a big job to do you don’t give it to them, do you? What on earth is Cameron thinking?

    • Makroon

      When did that become the job of an EU Commissioner ?
      You can have one of two types (1) the Ashton/Britton/Jenkins model of communautaire arm-waving, or, (2) a hard-nosed details man, who asks awkward questions (Tyrie might be good, but he would probably ;go native’).

  • you_kid

    No one has ever seen or met this faceless British bureaucrat.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …yeah, he might even be one of your countless sockpuppets, eh lad?

  • Hello

    As nice as Callanan seems, you can’t just parachute him into an EU Commissioner role right after he failed to get elected to the EU parliament, and then march off to Brussels and say that appointing Juncker would be a typical undemocratic EU stitch-up.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Why not? You Camerluvvies will go along with about anything the EUSSR does, won’t you?

    • monty61

      oops posted under wrong one.

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