The MP for Bootham East was something of a fish out of water – a Tory with a conscience. When he was actually fished out of water, the Thames to be precise, it looked like a clear case of suicide or accident. But as Superintendent Sutcliffe’s investigations got under way, and as the by-election campaign to elect his successor hotted up, some very murky political waters were dredged and made to reveal their secrets.
The local Labour Party had been hijacked by the extreme left, the Tory Party had had an unattractive young man with dubious City connections foisted on it, and the Alliance candidate had something nasty in his past he would prefer to forget. In fact, by the time of the declaration poll, all the parties wished the by-election had never had to happen, and that the dirt had remained brushed away under the carpet.
In this witty and penetrating look at British politics, Robert Barnard shows a ‘sharp and knowing eye’, as well as what Newsweek called his ‘wit . . . energy and style.