The Financial Times reports that Cameron has given up on the initiative, while Ben Brogan pins the blame on William Hague, who he says had threatened to resign from the Shadow Cabinet if Cameron banned him from earning money outside politics. The FT also hints that Alan Duncan and an unnamed third Shadow Cabinet member threatened to follow suit.
There are several lessons from this. First of all, the kite flying (the FT fingers Steve Hilton) in November was wrong headed. Secondly, only announce you are preparing to fight a battle when you know you are going to win it. Thirdly, William Hague was considered to valuable to risk him walking. Fourthly, any of the others who have complained about this policy can expect to be dropped at the next reshuffle. And they can have no complaints.
Jonathan Isaby from ConHome says this...
In order to be taken as a serious government-in-waiting, politics has to come first and I was somewhat concerned recently to hear the following story about a member of the shadow cabinet: he had apparently already told David Cameron that he didn't want a higher profile post than that which he currently holds in advance of the general election, because he didn't want to give up other interests on account of time commitments or potential conflicts of interest involved in a different post. Such an attitude at this juncture is unacceptable.
And if the anecdote is true, it would indeed be unacceptable. I too have heard a similar anecdote about a Shadow Cabinet member who was offered a promotion and turned it down - not because of any thought about time commitments or conflict of interest, but because he/she genuinely wanted to finish the job they had started. I wonder if we are both referring to the same person.