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THROW CLUELESS TORY IN THE TAY; Colleagues round on leaked memo MP.

Byline: By Magnus Gardham

CRISIS-HIT Scots Tories called for their only MP's head yesterday after he branded them clueless no-hopers.

Party insiders rounded on Shadow Scots Secretary David Mundell after a leaked memo showed he thought Conservative MSPs "lacked thinkers".

One senior Tory MSP even suggested Mundell should be thrown into the River Tay.

He added: "The Tay is very deep this time of year."

The row came as Mundell and party leader David Cameron travelled to Perth today for a crucial pre-election conference.

Former Tory MSP Brian Monteith said Mundell had to go.

He said: "If he refuses to resign, he should be sacked."

Tory websites were flooded with calls for Mundell to quit after his memo was exposed in yesterday's Daily Record. In the memo to Cameron last June, Dumfriesshire MP Mundell hit out at Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie and her team.

He complained of a "simple lack of thinkers" among the 17 Conservative MSPs. He claimed they had failed to embrace Cameron's moderate approach, claiming they "don't get it". Mundell also said Goldie was being slated for her "lack of activity and strategic thought".

Cameron will address the Perth conference today in a bid to rescue the party's Holyrood campaign.

Yesterday, he said Goldie was doing a "great job".

A spokesman said there were no plans to discipline Mundell.

The conservativehome.com website featured the Record's front page, alongside calls for him to stand down.

But bloggers on other sites agreed with Mundell's withering assessment of Tory MSPs.

The other political parties, meanwhile, had a field day at the Tories' expense.

First Minister Jack McConnell held up a copy of our front page when he clashed with Goldie during First Minister's Questions.

As they debated the rail strike, McConnell said: "It's no wonder that David Mundell thinks the Scots Tories are clueless."

She hit back, with a stinging jibe at the cash-for-honours probe, saying: "The difference between me and the First Minister is that the internal memos of my party don't end up in Scotland Yard."

SNP campaign director Angus Robertson said: "Nothing that the SNP might say about the Tories in Scotland could be as devastating as this candid assessment by their own Shadow Scottish Secretary."

Lib Dem MSP Iain Smith said: "I find myself in the peculiar position of agreeing with a Conservative politician."

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TORY TURMOIL: Mundell and Goldie
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 9, 2007
Words:397
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