The Tories’ recent shift to the right has been attributed to the influence of Lynton Crosby, their new elections adviser, in response to the rise of Ukip. The anti-Brussels party won more than a fifth of the votes in last Friday’s local elections.
There is a certain irony here. I can reveal that Ukip wanted to hire Mr Crosby about a year ago to become their elections supremo. But the asking price, supposedly £350,000 a year – or the equivalent – would have been outside the reach of Mr Farage’s chequebook. (UPDATE: My mole now says it was £750,000, suggesting that one of us can’t read our own notes.)