Would Dannatt work for a Tory Government? “Theoretically, yes”

General Sir Richard Dannatt, former head of the armed forces, refuses to rule out working for a future Conservative government.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, recently retired head of the armed forces, has refused to rule out working for a future Conservative government.

Following an interview this morning on BBC Radio 5Live, in response to a question from author and former soldier Steven McLaughlin asking whether he would consider “returning to the colours” as Defence Secretary in the House of Lords, he said:

The answer is, theoretically, yes.

“No one’s asked me that question. That question has not been put in a public way and I am getting on with being constable of the Tower of London”

Listen to the exchange in full below:

Yesterday Sir Richard, in an interview with The Sun, criticised the Government for forcing the army to fight “with one arm tied behind their backs” – a result, he alleges, of Whitehall’s refusal to send an extra 2,000 troops to Afghanistan.

He said:

“If you’re going to conduct an operation, you’re doing it for one reason – to succeed.”

UPDATE 1:43

BREAKING NEWS: The wires are all reporting David Cameron’s appointment of General Dannatt to his defence team. More from Sky, the Guardian, the Telegraph and Reuters.

UPDATE II: 2:16

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson blogs on the muddled state of Chris Grayling’s mind. Pressed by his colleague Emily Maitlis to comment on Sir Richard’s appointment by the Tories, the Shadow Home Secretary said:

“I admire the work of General Dannatt and other senior generals who’ve done so much in Afghanistan and done so much to lead. I hope that this isn’t a political gimmick. We’ve seen too many appointments in this government of external people where it’s all been about Gordon Brown’s PR.

“General Dannatt’s an experienced figure and should rightly be working alongside government. I’m always suspicious of government’s motives when he does things like this.”

Left Foot Forward wonders whether Mr Grayling’s been at the super-strength cider again…

7 Responses to “Would Dannatt work for a Tory Government? “Theoretically, yes””

  1. Shamik Das

    Would Dannatt work for a Tory Government? “Theoretically, yes”:- //bit.ly/3jzFlu

  2. Left Foot Forward

    RT @shamikdas: Would Dannatt work for a Tory Government? “Theoretically, yes”:- //bit.ly/3jzFlu

  3. Marcus Roberts

    Per politicshome:

    12:57 Speaking to BBC News about General Sir Richard Dannatt being lined up as a potential Tory junior defence minister Mr Grayling said that he hoped the appointment wasn’t a gimmick. Mr Grayling didn’t appear to understand that the appointment was by his own side because he stated that he was suspicious of the Government’s motives in doing this.

    “I admire the work of General Dannatt”

    “I hope that this isn’t a political gimmick … I’m always suspicious of the Government’s motives in doing this”

    The BBC are reporting that David Cameron will announce General Sir Richard Dannatt’s future in his speech tomorrow. Sky News are reporting that he is to be appointed as a minister if the Conservatives are elected.

    //page.politicshome.com/uk/conservative_conference.html

  4. Left Foot Forward

    @torybear @leftfootfwd called it 1st RT @shamikdas:Would Dannatt work for a Tory Government? “Theoretically, yes” //bit.ly/3jzFlu

  5. Mark Burton

    A “military coup” for the Tories!

  6. Politics Summary: Thursday, October 8th | Left Foot Forward

    […] lunchtime, Left Foot Forward spotted General Dannatt’s remarks on Radio 5 Live that “theoretically, yes” he would take a job in a Cameron government. The story gained legs when the appointment was […]

  7. Dannatt off message on Tory Trident plans | Left Foot Forward

    […] Dannatt, the former chief of defence staff who controversially accepted a Cameron invitation to advise the Conservative front bench, has signaled his opposition to the renewal of […]

Leave a Reply