Young Dave and all his cheerleaders have declared it a “non story”, and have either stopped talking about it, or are trying to equate the status of Michael Ashcroft with that of Lord Paul, ennobled on the recommendation of Labour. But some members of the Fourth Estate have declined to do Cameron’s bidding.
In fact, the whole business is showing signs of dragging in other less than totally willing participants, with the suggestion that Tony Blair and the Queen may have been misled: the Lib Dems’ Lord Oakeshott has asked if the Ashcroft gong was given under false pretences.
Moreover, suggestions are being made that Ashcroft has been using his closeness to senior Tories such as William ‘Ague to get an inside track on business opportunities in countries such as Cuba. Ashcroft is now embroiled in a legal dust-up with the Independent as a result. And the Indie has not been put off digging.
But then, not everything in the Labour garden is rosy either: this morning on the Andy Marr Show, Harriet Harman was distinctly uncomfortable when quizzed about Lord Paul and other Labour “non doms”. If that party wants to maintain its advantage on this issue, they will clearly have to sharpen up – and maybe tread carefully.