Lord Ashcroft blames David Cameron for election ‘failure
Lord Ashcroft, the controversial Conservative deputy chairman, today blames David Cameron's decision to join a televised leaders' debate for contributing to the party's failure to win an overall victory in the General Election.
The billionaire Tory donor |argues that giving a national |platform to Nick Clegg changed the “narrative and rhythm” of the campaign, enabling the Liberal Democrat leader to portray himself as the candidate offering real change.
Lord Ashcroft, who confirmed yesterday that he would be standing down, also insists it was a mistake to concentrate on attacking Gordon Brown rather than spelling out policy plans.
His decision to quit this month will relieve many in Mr Cameron's inner circle. Lord Ashcroft caused a major headache for the Tory leader after it emerged he did not pay tax on his overseas business empire. The row was reopened shortly before the election when he was accused of reneging on a promise to give up his “non-domiciled” status.