Philip Davies takes centre-stage in latest Number 10 PR push
Watch: The Tory MP was filmed refusing to take orders from the chief whip
What can the government do to prevent a historic defeat next week on Theresa May’s Brexit deal?
With angry Tories lining up to express their opposition, the latest Number 10 wheeze involved giving ITV exclusive access to chief whip Julian Smith’s attempts to win over rebellious MPs.
Curiously, a starring role was given to bad boy backbencher Philip Davies, who was shown resisting the chief whip’s attempts to get him onside.
The PR ploy indicates that Number 10 have all but given up on directly winning over MPs. Instead they are now appealing to public sentiment by showing just how hard poor old whips are working in the background and how unreasonable MPs such as Davies are being.
The hope is that constituents might then put pressure on rebellious MPs to get behind the deal.
It’s fair to say that at least one former senior Number 10 operative is not bowled over by the new strategy…