Cameron’s treatment of his staff has been under the spotlight since revelations from senior Tory advisors that Cameron made his team ‘open up their hearts’ and that he would often go so far as to shout ‘who needs a hug?’ during particularly stressful meetings or briefings.
An unnamed Tory office staffer says, “I didn’t enter politics as a Conservative to share my feelings or be appreciated. In the days of Lady Thatcher or Winston Churchill you always had that excitement of not knowing just how unreasonably grouchy, ill-tempered or bad mannered they were going to be. Will they or won’t they be so inexplicably furious they’ll smack me in the mouth for no good reason, just because I happen to be in range? I think you’ll find that there are a lot of people in the Tory party who would like to be treated in this manner, and indeed many are prepared to pay for it.”
Meanwhile, Mr Cameron’s shadow cabinet colleagues have been quick to come to his defence.
William Hague says, “David is a passionate person, and sometimes this can come across as a little bit considerate and understanding, but I can recall many occasions where I’ve seen him become quite cross. Only the other day he put the phone down on someone very sharply and said, ‘fiddlesticks’.”
Mr Hague denied Mr Cameron then called the same person back to apologise and to tell them they ‘completed him’.
However, shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke admits, “I’ve seen David grab people by the lapels and tell them what a lovely outfit they have on or how nice their hair looks.” But Mr Clarke insists this behaviour does not extend to full-blown caring. “Look, if you visit Central Office you’ll find it’s still the same old den of opportunistic backstabbing and eye-twitching paranoia it has always been. Ok, occasionally David will take someone to one side and say, ‘hey kitten, let’s turn that frown upside down’ and you know that’s sometimes difficult for people like Teresa May to hear.”
A spokesperson for anti-bullying charity Hands Off says, “Cameron should stop being such a massive girl.”