Toxic Theresa?

Labour’s Denis Skinner MP

says “Some say May will go down in history as one of Britain’s worst PM’s. On the contrary if she achieves Brexit AND splits the Tory party down the middle she ought to go down as one of the best”.

Tory councillors are refusing to mention Theresa May’s name on doorsteps ahead of next month’s local elections because voters associate it with “betrayal”. Conservative Associations across the country are finding that Mrs May’s name is so toxic with voters that the mere mention of the Prime Minister gets in the way of campaigning.

It’s the same in the EU, where the betrayal of 17,410,742 leavers is likely to be punished. But not, it might seem, in West Lancashire, where devoted remainer Sajjad Karim MEP is nominated as “Northwest/Lancashire Lead Tory candidate”. West Lancashire votes are subsumed into the vast Northwest tribe!

Tory councillors fear that voter backlash against Mrs May’s handling of Brexit will cost them their seats, and are desperately trying to keep conversations focused on local issues to avoid being tainted by events in Westminster.

In one move, Theresa May betrayed the Conservatives and lost their biggest electoral asset. The fall-out from her overtures to Jeremy Corbyn gathered pace as the enormity of her actions finally sank in. The reaction among the grassroots Tory membership was one of horror and fury. How will they be able to campaign against Labour in the local elections next month when their own leader regards their principal opponents as part of the solution to the greatest policy conundrum facing the country?

With one statement from Downing Street, Mrs May wrecked her party’s obvious electoral pitch, that Corbyn and his neo-Marxist allies cannot be trusted with the governance of the nation. Grassroots Tories have said they will effectively go on strike during the European elections next month amid a mounting backlash against Theresa May.

Derbyshire Conservatives

led by Barry Lewis, above, have “overwhelmingly” backed a motion that means they will not support the Conservatives during the European elections next month. Councillor Barry Lewis, the leader of the group, has written to Brandon Lewis, the chairman of the Conservative Party, voicing the group’s frustration at the fact Britain has not left the European Union.

His is the first of a significant number of Conservative Associations which are expected to withdraw their support for the party if the European elections take place on May 23. Imagine the anger residents and supporters will feel when and if the polling card for the European elections hit the doormat just before the local elections of 2nd May? How might you feel that the Brexit you voted for and was promised wasn’t delivered? To me it’s astonishing that our Prime Minister is barely cognisant of this fact. From a local government perspective the Government is paralysed by delays in decision-making and the consequent uncertainty that filters back to us means we cannot even adequately plan our budget much beyond 12 months. 

And a Medway Conservative councillor says support for the party is evaporating among activists with Theresa May’s decision to open talks with Jeremy Corbyn about Brexit the final straw. 

Cllr Rupert Turpin

who is standing for election in the Rochester South and Horsted ward, said party members in the Medway Towns were either staying at home or simply posting leaflets ahead of next month’s poll.

His intervention is embarrassing for the party but reflects the unease among rank-and-file members about Theresa May’s leadership and particularly her decision to hold talks with Jeremy Corbyn. “The mood among the Conservative grassroots is now grim. Fighting local elections in just one month’s time, many members in our constituency in Kent are staying at home or just delivering leaflets rather than knocking on doors”.

He said Mrs May had confirmed “the sell-out many are saying is the final straw”. Months and years of Jeremy Corbyn being the traitor, the Marxist, the anti-Semite and incidentally our default best electoral asset when things didn’t go so well have turned to this, Corbyn holding the key to a softer Brexit, and invited to turn it with Mrs May hand in hand,” he said.

Quoting the words of George Orwell, he wrote: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which”.

“Local members are flooding WhatsApp groups with their reactions, many of which are not pretty reading for the party leadership at a critical moment in the electoral cycle. Some members are resigning with immediate effect. I expect the emails are coming in all over the country”. The party had at a local level to distance itself from what he described as “the disastrous goings-ons at Westminster” and implore voters to consider local issues.

“Years of careful stewardship and steady progress for Conservative-run councils in difficult economic circumstances have been put at risk, perhaps not so much from Conservative voters switching to Labour but from Conservative voters who may well stay at home and not vote at all”.


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