Europe has always been the Conservative Party’s Achilles Heel.

If backbenchers are starting to make noises now about perceived weaknesses in David Cameron’s approach, then it seems unlikely his leadership will continue anything like as long as he hopes.

But with the Conservative Government holding a tiny majority in the Commons, this could signal an extremely premature – but much-deserved – end to their term in office.

Cameron may be hoping this will keep his noisy backbenchers at bay – but he can’t bank on it.

After all, he isn’t the first Tory leader to be threatened by backstabbers.

Conservative backbenchers have said they believe the row over the four-year ban on receiving tax credits, a pledge in the Tory election manifesto, was manufactured.

Owen Paterson, who served as Environment Secretary until 2014, said the benefits question was “all froth and bubble”.

He told Sky’s Murnaghan show: “We were promised a major renegotiation, a total change in relationship with our European neighbours and he’s like someone in a little dinghy bumping along being towed along by the enormous great Channel ferry…

“This is a very small issue this, whether we pay benefits to people after three or four years or whatever. There are much bigger draws to this country.”

Source: Tory MPs dismiss David Cameron’s EU reform agenda |

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