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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Burned at the steak

MEP David Campbell-Bannerman's defection from UKIP to the Tories has delighted more than a few Conservative backbenchers.

Not least among their reasons for glee are their new recruit's connection via birth to Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the former Liberal Prime Minister.

David is actually a distant relative rather than a direct descendant, but that hasn't dampened the enthusiasm for his return to the Tory fold after more than a decade away.

Defections are always tricky to navigate and I'm told that Mark Pritchard had a key role in wooing his old friend (and fellow Bow Group member) back.

I hear that while Charles Tannock handled most of the negotiations in Brussels, it was Pritchard and Stewart Jackson who handled things in London.

The final deed was actually done over a dinner of big T-bone steaks in Gaucho's restaurant in Piccaddilly last month.

Big steaks and wine conjure up a much more Tory menu than the limp Granita fare in Islington picked over by Blair and Brown all those years ago.

But then again, Gaucho's is Argentinian....How will Pritchard and Jackson ever look the Falklands Islanders in the eye again?

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