It has been announced that two Conservative MPs, John Bercow and Patrick Mercer, have accepted positions as advisers to the Labour Party. They will advise the government in their areas of expertise, the Prime Minister has said.

Patrick Mercer, forced to quit as Tory homeland security spokesman after a row over alleged racist comments, is to advise Lord West on security matters. John Bercow is to head a review into support to children with learning difficulties. The BBC has a report (HERE) .

To many the behaviour of Mr. Bercow will come as no surprise whatsoever and this may simply be the prelude to a complete defection in any event. Mr. Mercer, a former soldier who might be thought to have been rather more to the right of the party, would not normally have figured on anybody’s list of those likely to help this Socialist Government.

I am old-fashioned in matters of this nature. You cannot in matters such as this serve two parties at once unless you are in formal coalition with them. Giving advice to your opponents means no more and no less than that you are aiding and abetting their efforts to remain in power. Suppose the advice one of these individuals gives is diametrically opposed to that of the Conservative party: when the party sets out its stall on that issue it will have one of these individuals’ advice waved under their noses straight away, thus suggesting to the electorate that the party is hopelessly split.

Astoundingly, unbelievably, it appears that the Party has actually sanctioned this move. I confess to being utterly taken aback that this should be so. Indeed I am rendered almost speechless. Instead they should have been asked why the Whip should not be withdrawn forthwith.

Just as a reasonable fist appears to be being made of the counter-attack against the Brown bounce, along comes this with the message that it is OK to give aid and comfort to the enemy. How can you properly claim to be an opposition party in those circumstances? This will surely make many Conservative members and activists very unhappy indeed.

How the Labour Party must be laughing fit to burst this morning! And how will this appear to the electorate? They will think that there is little difference between the parties. So why in those circumstances should they opt for the Devil they don’t know over the Devil they do know at the next election?

I am profoundly irritated at the lack of judgement that this move displays and am profoundly depressed. Just as the dog days of August recede and one was looking forward to a lively resumption of the assault on this awful Government, along comes a piece of rank stupidity. Many Tories will be asking some very hard questions of their MPs and Candidates about this in the days to come.