Shapps for Prime Minister?

PRIME Minister Grant Shapps. Those words could soon be reality according to the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts, who has tipped the Welwyn Hatfield MP for the top.

But David Cameron need not look over his shoulder just yet, as housing minister Mr Shapps says he is “very happy” with the current leadership.

Quentin Letts’ mischief-making parliamentary sketch centred on a confrontation between Mr Shapps and left-wing Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner on Thursday.

The account claims that Commons Speaker John Bercow is scared of Mr Skinner – dubbed ‘the Beast of Bolsover’ – but that Mr Shapps holds no such terror in tackling the ‘Beast’.

Letts wrote: “In the parliamentary joust he is fearless. Dennis Skinner (Lab, Bolsover) sought government money for some housing in his constituency. His question was long but Speaker Bercow did not dare to object. Bercow is scared of Skinner.

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“Not so Mr Shapps. He stood up to the Old Labour class warrior, almost snarling at him.”

He added: “Mr Shapps does not need looking after. He dealt smartly with the man from Bolsover and licked his lips.”

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Continuing, award-winning Letts wrote: “If we’re looking for the next Tory leader, my money at present is on Grant Shapps. Who he? Well, the very fact he is not yet in Cabinet helps. He is still on the rise.”

But Mr Shapps took the praise with more than a soupcon of salt.

He told the WHT: “It’s usually the kiss of death to be franked as a future leader.

“Perhaps there’s a plan to kill off my career early.”

Asked about his “snarling” showdown with Dennis Skinner, he said: “You’d have to be pretty bold to snarl at the ‘Beast of Bolsover’.”

Despite being earmarked as a future leader Mr Shapps said he was content to stick with the status quo.

“A) I’m very happy with the current leadership and B) I’m happy with the current Prime Minister as well.

“I’m sure that he will be there for a very long time,” he said.

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