CONSERVATIVE MP for Hertfordshire North East and the Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, Oliver Heald, arrives in Palma later this week with a very upbeat message for members of Conservatives Abroad. Heald, who gave a speech to Chapter 88 at Westminster Hall yesterday afternoon about the need for parliamentary reform, told the Bulletin that David Cameron has rejuvenated the party, given it a new direction and purpose.
He also admitted that he backed Liam Fox in the leadership race, he even ran his campaign, but has since become increasingly impressed with Cameron and is convinced that, if he goes up against Brown, which he probably will, at the next general election, the Conservatives will win. Part of Heald's brief as Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs is to clean up the political process.
Parliament should have greater powers, we should not be allowed to be taken to war simply because the Prime Minister says so.
This sofa-style' of government, as Lord Butler called it in his report, has got to stop.
We need parliamentary reform and need to investigate political appointees, we need a Civil Service bill and to consider cutting the size of ministers.
We need a parliament which puts principle before politics and people before policies, Heald said yesterday.
And when things go wrong we need to have proper investigations and I am pleased the police appear to be taking their investigation into cash for honours extremely seriously, he added. Whether the Prime Minister will in fact be questioned remains to be seen but it would be just another knock on the long list of blows to have hit the lame duck Prime Minister.
We should have an inquiry into Iraq. We always have had. We had a full inquiry in to the Falklands, it is from these inquiries that we are able to learn from our mistakes.
The vote was so close last week, a full inquiry is eventually going to be inevitable.
But, in general, The government has finally been caught out by the public, all of the troubles it has been storing up have come home to haunt them.
Peace in Iraq, over-stretch in the army, schemes such as tax credits, child support and the new NHS computer systems have all failed.
It has been a government of good intention but poor delivery and now they are in a mess with the leader-in-waiting, powerless to implement his ideas and Tony Blair unable to establish his legacy because no one will listen to him any more.
He is still planning peace in the Middle East, but, as I said, who is going to listen?
When Blair does finally allow Brown to step up to the plate, Heald is confident Cameron can lead the Conservatives to victory.
Cameron's made a big impression by sincerely taking up issues such as the environment and climate change, he has attracted a younger audience - this is a man from a younger generation talking. He has also started to outline policy on immigration, law and order and drug abuse but, as we've got three years until the general election, we want to get things right before making any rush announcements, Heald said. Oliver Heald MP will be addressing members of Conservatives Abroad over dinner at Son Gual on Saturday night.