His culture spokesman fellow Etonian Hugo Swire sparked an immediate backlash with plans to bring back charges for entry into museums and galleries.
Culture Minister Tessa Jowell said it would be a disastrous return to Thatcherism which would exclude the less well-off: Tory blogger Iain Dale said it was a daft idea that would leave Cameron open to charges of elitism.
Most blistering attack is in today's Sun under the headline TORY RELIC. Here it is in full:
With Tory poll ratings nose-diving and David Cameron reeling from the grammar schools debacle, another old Etonian on his front bench has a brilliant idea:Today’s Independent screams: Why museums must stay free
Scrap free admission to museums.
Yes, you read it correctly. Axe the most universally popular initiative of Labour’s entire period in office.
A policy which has doubled visitor numbers. Which has opened up a world of culture to people who could not afford the tenner-a-head it cost under John Major’s Government.
Tory culture spokesman Hugo Swire has never been short of a tenner. And that’s the problem. He and many of his colleagues simply don’t understand ordinary families.
Cameron’s fighting fires on every front. He needs to impose iron discipline on his team to stop these idiotic gaffes.
But the Tories were already backtracking faster than you could say Grammar School Wars.
(Thanks to Lincs Tory blogger Geoffrey Brooking for pointing out to me that the Conservative idea to bring back charges had been retracted by the Leader's office.)
So, what a great day for David Cameron to launch his 'Save Dave' campaign aimed at drawing a line under Grammar School Wars and showing us who's really in charge.
Er, not you Dave.