4 October 2011

Thinking Paper #133 - The Tories await Mike

By Tim Massingberd James


While other less well known websites are plugging the little-known Boris Johnson to one day be leader of the Conservative Party, the IIPBA looks at the conference plans of the other* front-runner for next Tory leader, Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning.

The Tories await Mike

At just after 2pm, Mike Penning will make an appearance in Manchester. The Tory hierarchy is acutely aware that for at least the following quarter of an hour or so this will be Mike's show.

There’s a certain nervousness about what might be in Mike's speech at the British Parking Association fringe meeting. One MP close to the leadership just came up to the IIPBA and asked, "You guys don’t have any idea who he is or what he's going to say, do you?". Mike has, apparently, being telling people that he hasn’t written his speech yet, which is only increasing the anxiety that he might make some fruity comments on roads, parking or cars.

One thing that’s certain is that the fringe meeting will be fairly reasonably attended for Mike. The activists seem to love him more than ever this year. At one fringe meeting, the mere mention of Mike running for leader one day was enough to bring modest whoops and cheers.

*In an independent opinion poll of IIPBA staff, conducted in secret by putting bits of paper in a jamjar then pulling them out, Mike received 98.4% of the vote.

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