Howard Flight legal team primed to injunct Tory leadership

The legal team advising rogue Conservative Howard Flight will tomorrow decide whether to launch an injunction against Michael Howard if the party leader decides to press on with moves to deselect Flight.

Former Gouldens partner and an existing Jones D…


The legal team advising rogue Conservative Howard Flight will this morning decide whether to launch an injunction against Michael Howard if the party leader decides to press on with moves to deselect Flight.

Former Gouldens partner and current Jones Day consultant David Cooper has told The Lawyer that Flight could join with the Arundel and South Downs local Conservative association to injunct the party leader to prevent him taking the whip away from Flight.

In the event that the whip is removed Flight is faced with three options: accept the decision, stand as an independent conservative candidate or issue an injunction.

A decision on which option to pursue will be taken today after Howard issues his response to an opinion prepared by Matthew Horton QC of 39 Essex Street and junior Roger Evans of 2 Harcourt Chambers. The opinion states that attempts by Conservative central office to take away the whip and deselect Flight are unconstitutional and unlawful.

Cooper, a sole practitioner with David Cooper & Co, was approached by Flight last weekend. The instruction came through Gouldens former senior partner Patrick Burgess, who is also a long time friend of Flight’s. Cooper was a partner at Gouldens for 29 years but left before the firm’s merger with US giant Jones Day. He is still an external consultant to Jones Day.

Evans, meanwhile, is a former conservative MP for Monmouth and was the parliamentary under-secretary of state in the department of social security from 1994 to 1997.