A Foxy come-back -- don't rule it out
Contrary to some reports, a come-back by Liam Fox is not being ruled out in No 10. “It’s possible in years to come,” says one source. “We have not said no, definitely not.”
Moreover, we have two Cabinet ministers fuelling the chat in today's paper. Here's Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in an interview with Craig Woodhouse (full interview due to run tomorrow):
“I’ve known Liam for a long time, I’m very sad about what happened. I think he accepted that his sort of personal life drifted into his political, his ministerial life in an inappropriate way but I hope this isn’t the end of him in terms of a Government career.”
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, meanwhile, replied when asked on Five Live if it was the end of Dr Fox’s front bench career: “That’s a bit harsh!”
Overall, however, the sense I get is that it will not be considered until after the next general election. A wise bird says Lady Thatcher had a doctrine that a fallen minister had to be re-elected by his or her constituents before a come back was possible. in addition, David Cameron is likely to claim there is a contrast between Fox's resignation and apoloigy with the forced resignations and hasty rehabilitations of Labour ministers such as Mandelson and Blunkett.
So, Foxy might be in the 2015 Tory Cabinet (or shadow cabinet) by which time his prospects will be entangled with spepulation about future leadership contetenders, such as his friend George Osborne.