John Harris

Journalist & Author

Why the Conservatives need someone with the common touch now that Coulson has gone

With the resignation of Andy Coulson, some Tories fear the party no longer has a voice of the people

In the wake of Andy Coulson’s exit from Downing Street, one of the more interesting responses came from Conservative maverick David Davis. Most current Tory high-ups, he told the BBC, “don’t come from a background where they had to scrape for the last penny”, whereas Coulson conveyed the views of “the poorer part of the country” and will be missed. Davis went on: “There he was, an Essex boy, council-house lad, made his way in the world and frankly never minced words.”

So, who will step into the breach as the Tories’ voice of the people? Davis mentioned Eric Pickles and Sayeeda Warsi, though he rather shredded the proletarian credentials of the latter by saying they applied only “in her younger days”. In fairness, the Tory part of the cabinet contains a smattering of regular(ish) Joes: William Hague, Liam Fox and Caroline Spelman all went to comprehensives, but cannot quite match up to Davis’s idea of what Coulson brought to the party.

So time for some blue-sky thinking. Step forward Andrew Rosindell, born in Romford, and the MP there since 2001 – state-educated, and fond of campaigning with a dog wrapped in a union flag. To quote from his Wikipedia page: “Rosindell’s political views are firmly right-wing: he is a Eurosceptic and supports the re-introduction of the death penalty and the detention of asylum seekers.” No word-mincing there, then. What are they waiting for?

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