Nearly two years ago, in July 2007, you took great exception to a blogpost I wrote which suggested that party donors should be seen and not heard. When we met to discuss it we had a good laugh about it and buried the hatchet. I explained my motives for writing it and you told me why I was wrong. Since then Stuart Wheeler has been expelled from the Party for declaring his support for UKIP. Today, you have publicly stated that you may well "lend UKIP" your vote tomorrow. I beg you to rethink.
Stanley, I much enjoyed working with you on the David Davis campaign and I am a great admirer of your achievements. You have a wonderful turn of phrase and your criticisms of the Conservative Party are often very valid. But can you really justify coming out in public, as a Peer who takes the Conservative whip, and saying that you are minded to support a rival political party?
I understand why many ordinary Conservatives are tempted to vote for UKIP, and there will be many party members up and down the country who will no doubt do so in a misguided attempt to make a statement on Europe. But you are no ordinary party member. You are a former Treasurer and a leading Conservative Peer. Surely you owe the party more than that? Surely you cannot expect to do this without any consequences.
I know you see this as a matter of principle, but many will see your intention - announced on the day before an election - as particularly self indulgent. Even at this late stage, I hope you will have second thoughts.