Sunday, 14 December 2008

Vaughan on Bournewatch

In keeping with recent form Vaughan Roderick continues to challenge us with the frequency of his blogging.

But here are translations for his latest entries discussing Nick Bourne:

"Bournewatch (2)"

I can now be clearer about the story that Betsan and I have been alluding to all week.

It appears as though Nick Bourne has lost the trust of the Conservative group. From what I understand at least seven of the twelve members want to see a change of leader. What divides them are questions of when Nick should go and how he should be persuaded to do so. Basically, Jonathan Morgan's and Darren Millar's supporters have been playing a strategic game to make sure that theirs is the man who succeeds Nick.

There are murmurs that Jonathan and Darren are close to agreeing that Jonathan should lead the group with Darren as his deputy. There are also whispers that both will lead a delegation to tell Nick that it's time for him to go.

I should explain that it's Nick Bourne's behaviour over the whole 'dodgy dossier' fiasco that is at the root of all this - not the expenses he's just claimed. I understand that ever since the hassle some of the group's most prominent members and some of its most experienced officials have been locked out of the leader's strategy meetings. According to one source, Nick's "living in a bunker with Nick Ramsey and a handful of inexperienced researchers".

This is where the costs come into play. Apparently, if the public's response to Nick's expenses claims is unfavourable and damaging to the party a move will be launched against him within days. If the whole episode turns out to be no more than an August shower, Nick will survive until the New Year - but if the situation doesn't change he will not survive beyond it.

"Bournewatch (3)"

The fact that [Nick Bourne's] expenses claims are now a topic of discussion on the Conservative Home website is bad news for him. That semi-official website is widely-read and one which is used by the party to measure the temperature amongst their most loyal supporters. Perhaps less significantly the story is beginning to attract attention from other London blogs and websites.

We have mainly been discussing Nick's problem from a Cardiff perspective by asking if there will be a rebellion against him - and if so when it's likely to happen. But there is another way in which Nick could lose the leadership - via the intervention of the party in London through either David Cameron or Cheryl Gillan.

Nick is lucky that Assembly Members are already on holiday. But unfortunately for him, the MPs don't begin their holidays for another week.

Translations by Dewi Dau


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