Peter Oborne accuses me of waging a “menacing” public campaign against David Cameron (13 June). May I respectfully point out that this is nonsense?
He cites in support of theory a number of tweets in which I make comments or link to articles of which he disapproves. These are occasionally mischievous, but hardly “menacing”. The idea that UKIP might win next year’s European elections, for example, is widely accepted; agreeing with it hardly amounts to the treachery that he alleges. And if I sometimes highlight things that make unhappy reading in Downing Street – well, I’m not a Tory press officer.
As Peter himself says, Twitter is not the ideal medium for complex or thoughtful arguments – which is why I write at greater length elsewhere, especially on Conservative Home and my own site, LordAshcroftPolls.com. Though I certainly say where I think things are going wrong, and will continue to do so, nobody reading my wider observations on politics and polling could conclude that I was pursuing an anti-Cameron crusade.
Since stepping down as Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in 2010 I have used my more independent position to conduct large-scale political research, which is recognised as being objective and professional. This does not always flatter the party, but far from “denouncing” the Prime Minister, I have often pointed out that it shows Cameron to be the Tories’ biggest asset.
Overall, my commentary amounts to a prolonged reminder that the winning party will be the one that pays attention to the voters and their priorities. I hope it will be the Conservative Party – but I think I am more use to them as a truth-teller than a cheerleader.
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC
House of Lords