The End Of The Conservative Party As We Have Known It?

From Conservative Home

The roll-call of 21 rebel Conservatives from whom the whip has been removed includes two former Chancellors of the Exchequer, one of which held the office only a few weeks ago, the other being one of Margaret Thatcher’s public service reformers; four other former Cabinet Ministers (plus one “entitled to attend”); a former Attorney-General and a former Deputy Chief Whip; all the others bar one have been Ministers.

Their expulsion leaves Boris Johnson 43 votes short of a majority. This suggests a general election sooner rather than later, and one which may well take place without Brexit having been delivered.

Some of the 21 will stand down when it comes (including, we now read, Rory Stewart); others may fight their seats as independent conservatives; some may seek a coupon arrangement with the Liberal Democrats; some may get such a coupon and others won’t, since the LibDems will already have many candidates in place. Some may win; most probably won’t.

Theresa May on the back benches

Other Conservative MPs of roughly the same outlook may also go, as Keith Simpson announced he will yesterday. So will a slice of Association members – though not a large proportion of the whole, given the pro-Brexit views of most activists. The Tory MPs of the immediate future looks to be more pro-Leave than today’s are. In broad terms, the balance of the Parliamentary Party will shift rightwards.

As the article ends “Today, Conservatives walk between two worlds, “One dead. The other powerless to be born”. How apt!

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