• Emily Prescott

Londoner’s Diary: ‘Tories aren’t concerned about Sir Keir Starmer'

Sir Craig Oliver says insiders at Conservative Campaign Headquarters tell him they want to keep Sir Keir Starmer in power but fear figures such as Andy Burnham.

“They want to keep him as leader which is always a bad sign… I actually feel really sorry for him,” David Cameron’s former director of communications told a Cambridge Union event last night.

Sir Craig says CCHQ’s worry is about Labour’s Manchester mayor, who is “much more in touch with the kind of people the party have to win over”. A CCHQ source told us today they were focused on upcoming elections, adding “whoever is Labour leader, we continue to hold them to account.”

Sir Craig, who now works in the private sector, also gave an insight into his time working as Lynton Crosby’s deputy during the 2015 general election campaign.

He recalled: “One morning when I turned up at 5am Lynton said ‘we’ve got the polling card for your area and it says you’re a f***ing Lib Dem, mate’.

“Basically they claimed to have canvassed me and I had apparently said I was a Lib Dem —which I don’t remember at all — but I wasn’t.” Don’t cross Crosby.

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