I wouldn't want to be Ann Widdecombe if the government squeaks home by one vote on 42 days next week. Her announcement yesterday that she would support the measure came as little surprise, but for David Davis and the Tory whips it is galling to say the least. She parrots the line that if the Police want it, the Police must have it, which is always the last refuge of a desperate authoritarian. It is also completely untrue. One senior officer, former Asst Commissioner Peter Clark wrote in the Telegraph this morning to support the case, but if you talk to most officers privately they are either sceptical or downright hostile.
Ann Widdecombe has a track record of going against the grain, speaking her mind and having little regard for the personal or political consequences. She's often been courageous and proved to be right. On this, however, she intends to vote with the dark side. It might be said that her stance has something of the night about it.