PM tries to calm party activists

David Cameron has tried to smooth relations with Conservative activists, insisting he would never have anyone close to him who "sneered" at them. He emailed them after reports that a close ally dismissed some of them as "mad, swivel-eyed loons".

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Eurosceptics running a 'protection racket' in Tory party

The former EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has accused eurosceptic politicians of "operating a sort of Sopranos-style protection racket inside the Conservative party".

He told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show:

The UK isolation party and their fellow travellers in the Conservative party are ... operating a sort of Sopranos-style protection racket inside the Conservative party. They are saying ... 'give us what we're demanding or we're going to burn your home down'. In my view the Prime Minister has got to say 'enough is enough'.

– peter mandelson, former eu trade commissioner

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