It seems that the row about the new Conservative grouping in the European Parliament is about to flare up again. Here's the story so far.
Last week David Cameron held a meeting at Number Ten with the Polish presidential candidate, Jaroslaw Kaczynski and the leader of the Conservatives & Reformist group in the European Parliament, Michal Kaminski. Kaminski was rather surprised to find that the leader of Conservative MEPs, Timothy Kirkhope also turned up. It soon became clear as to why. After Kaczynski left, Cameron told Kaminski that he wanted him and Kirkhope to have a joint chairmanship of the Reformist Group for the next five years. Kaminski was, according to one source, left "gobsmacked".
Yesterday afternoon Kirkhope reported these events back to the group's MEP members in Strasburg. One source said there was "uproar". Another said that "uproar" may be putting it too stringly but "people aren't very happy - it's supposed to be a democratic process".
It's not just many British MEPs who aren't very happy. The MEPs of the other 6 countries inn the group are none too pleased that they only found out an hour before the meeting. Indeed, the Czechs - important players - have not been consulted at all, I am told.
There are two schools of thought about these events. Conspiracy theorists think David Cameron might want to break up the group, having been embarrassed by all the press coverage over the last year, and thought this was a good way to do it.
The other, and I have to say, more likely explanation is that the whole thing was Kirkhope's brainwave and that he has tried to bounce himself into the co-chairmanship of the group having stood aside in Kaminski's favour last year.
The reason I say that is because a source tells me that Cameron's office is maintaining that they had been assured by Kirhope that the whole thing had been agreed by all parties in Brussels beforehand, and everyone was onside as it would give the group a broader appeal as it tried to attract new members. There is something in that, but it is completely untrue that it had even been floated in Brussels, let alone agreed.
Unfortunately, it is all now beginning to backfire on Brother Kirkhope.
The Czech President is said to be about to phone David Cameron to clarify who said what and to whom and when, although Kirkhope is still maintaining that he had squared off the Czech PM some time ago, but he (the Czech PM) had failed to inform his MEPs.
There is another fly in the ointment for Kirkhope. Under the Reformist's group's own rules, there is no provision for a dual leadership. The rules state there has to be a single leader, so it is entirely possible that the group's MEP members could rule the move ultra vires.
I've put this to Number Ten and am awaiting a response.