This is Iain Martin’s weekly newsletter for Reaction subscribers.

On Monday evening, Oliver Dowden was a key figure at the Tory party’s big summer fundraiser held at the V&A in London, where he was assigned the table featuring Russian-related donors. But in parliament and the voluntary party Dowden is properly popular with colleagues, as a mainstream Tory with deep roots in the party. When he and Rishi Sunak backed Boris Johnson early in the 2019 leadership campaign, penning a joint op-ed with Robert Jenrick, it was seen as the next generation endorsing a winner.