De selection and staying true to your party and Manifesto

Both parties are prey to de-selection motions against sitting MPs. This has been brought about by changes of mind or stated  belief by Conservative MPs over EU exit, and by a combination of factors over the style, policy and direction of the party in Labour.  The imminence of a no confidence or de-selection motion is one of the drivers of recruitment to the so called Independent group of MPs. The 8 Labour and 3 Conservatives so far recruited by this new organisation shelter together from such moves by  their old parties. The Conservatives and Labour   in turn can get on and choose replacements for them for the next election in their seats now they have gone.

On the Conservative side I read that Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen were likely to face action by their former Executives or wider Associations.  Anna Soubry had defeated  one no confidence move, but faced a petition of others protesting about her perceived change of approach to Brexit. It is put out in the press  that at least five MPs  all face significant opposition within their Conservative Associations. I do not know  whether these stories are true.  It is true that  some local Conservative parties  are angry with MPs who have deviated from the Manifesto position on leaving the EU. That said we would leave on 29 March 2019, with or without a deal, and stated that No deal is better than a bad deal. All Conservatives fought the last election opposing the second referendum on the EU which the Lib Dems championed. It is always difficult if an MP changes his or her stance on crucial matters like these after an election but does not carry his or her local party members and electors with them for that change.

On the Labour side there is the added issue that the party leadership has now changed the party stance on the second referendum. Labour was in agreement with the Conservatives in 2017 at the election that there should be no second vote and we should get on and implement the decision of the People’s vote in the summer of 2016. Maybe as many as 70 Labour MPs are said to be unwilling to support the new referendum policy, as they represent heavily Leave voting areas and promised to support getting out  in their election literature. This includes a dozen or more Shadow office holders.  Labour too is riven with disputes over anti Semitism, over the tough  style of the leadership towards non believers in its project, over the general drift to the  left. Recent flare ups over whether Labour is anti semitic have not helped relations between members and MPs, nor between different local party organisations.

The party leaderships face a dilemma. If they encourage de-selections of people who clearly have drifted from the leadership line they could end up creating a bigger Independent Group, thereby nudging it towards forming a proper party and fighting elections. The more risk of de -selection the more likely an MP is to jump first. If they do not impose some discipline over the party line and leave people alone within the party who have little or nothing in common with the rest of the party they encourage poor discipline within the Parliamentary party and have a battle with the local associations. Whipping  breaks down and the leaderships are left looking weak and less important. There should be a big difference in treatment for  an MP who occasionally votes against a 3 line whip to keep in line with the party’s Manifesto and in line with the membership who supports him or her , and an MP who regularly votes against a 3 line whip in order to deviate from  the  Manifesto. If an MP has used a popular Manifesto set of proposals to get elected and then unilaterally  tears up those promises it causes understandable stress within the party.

Both leaderships are likely to muddle forward on a case by case basis, with events often under the control of local parties rather than under national direction. The Conservatives have far fewer MPs seeking to deviate far from the Manifesto line, but more at risk as they need to keep up their stated party numbers in order to qualify as a coalition government with a majority of votes in the Commons.  The Conservatives will  have a  problem if  the leadership seeks  to deviate from the Manifesto line itself on the issue of leaving the EU. The  overwhelming majority of party members and a significant number of MPs want to stick with it and keep pledges made to voters about no deal being better than a bad deal and taking back control by leaving the EU, its single market and its customs union on 29 March this year. Labour’s leadership too is moving away from the Manifesto, and that is splitting their party.


  1. Peter
    March 5, 2019

    “Conservatives have far fewer MPs seeking to deviate far from the Manifesto line…”. Party point scoring will not wash.

    The key fact is that the country voted Leave and Parliament does not reflect that. Mrs. May would even argue that black is white, that her surrender agreement is leaving the EU.

    So there will be payback when we eventually have a General Election. Avoiding deselection will not save the worst culprits. The main parties will all see a huge drop in support too.

    1. oldtimer
      March 5, 2019

      I think this will happen MPs who frustrate Brexit will face the risk of electoral oblivion. I include those who may decide to vote through May’s WA, in what would be a gross betrayal of the Brexit vote.

      1. Stephen Priest
        March 5, 2019

        Stronger Towns Funds – adds up to a bribe, sorry, investment of 2p a street
        James Brokenshire, the housing and communities secretary. What an unfortunate name for aman with that job description.

        I say scrap the Housing and Communities Department and use the saving lower taxes on housing an communities – for example Stamp Duty and Council tax.

        We could abolish the Business Department (cost £11 billion) and use the money to abolish business rates (£8 billion). With the £3 billion saved we could lower Empoyers’ National Insurance (Cameron said it was a tax on jobs)

        1. JoolsB
          March 5, 2019

          Exactly – we hear today of huge hikes in council tax for next year – England only of course. No doubt Hammond will find ways in his spring budget next week of find ways of using the extra revenue for the benefit of everywhere except England as usual. The sooner we get rid of this fake Conservative, leftie Liberal, pro Europe, anti-English, tax and spend Government the better. With the exception of the ERG, the majority of 650 anti-democratic MPs, May included, should all be put up for de-selection and the only way to do that is for a General Election. Hopefully the ERG will then form a true Conservative party with people like Nigel Farage and give us the Brexit we voted for.

          1. Lifelogic
            March 5, 2019

            But Hammond and May say they are cutting taxes. Surely they are not lying yet again are they?

            We have the highest (and most complex) tax burden for over 40 years. A 20% increase in all your insurance IPT tax too from Hammond recently. That and the council tax increases alone might steal all you wage increase for the year back off you. Not to mention all the other back door hikes.

            Hammond now even taxes profits people have not actually made – not exactly sustainable! Quite possible to have to pay tax of over 200% of your income now so mad are the rules. The Man is a total menace to the economy. Over half the tax taken is just pissed down the drain on lunacies anyway. HS2, “bribing” Labour MPs over Brexit, green crap subsidies, augmenting the feckless, corruption …….

      2. Merlin
        March 5, 2019

        I’m still a bit unclear on Brexit – one of the reasons I visit this site actually.

        I can never work out whether it’s because people want better free-trade deals, or not to be bound by E.U law or to reduce immigration from the E.U or to reduce immigration generally.

        Say, we left on March 29th and signed a bunch of free-trade deals, but immigration remained at the same levels with E.U immigrants replaced by rest-of-the-world immigrants, would that be delivering Brexit? Does anyone have an opinion on this?

        Reply We voted Leave so we can make our own decisions on all these things!

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 5, 2019

          In my case and in the most general terms it’s because I don’t want my country to be subordinated within a pan-European federation. Others may prefer that, and provided they understand what it means, and are honest about it, and do not try to surreptitiously impose it against the will of the majority of the body of UK citizens, then I will not condemn them. However those three conditions would not be met by most of those who control the Tory party, including Theresa May.

        2. Denis Cooper
          March 5, 2019

          Here is a 2o14 article on the ConservativeHome website:

          “The bristling tensions between David Cameron and Theresa May”

          Which started by referring to this constitutional outrage:

          “… the whips tell Conservative MPs that an amendment is illegal …”

          The comments on that old article have since been removed, but at the time they included one from myself which started:

          “So this fiasco has its roots in personal tensions between David Cameron and Theresa May.

          I don’t think so: I think it originates from the lack of commitment to our national sovereignty and democracy on the part of both of them, and on the part of all but a small minority of those we have elected to represent us in Parliament across all of the old parties.”

          And concluded:

          “And yet whenever I put my usual question about whether current Tory aspirants to our Parliament are actually committed to the sovereignty of that Parliament I never get a reply to say that they have made their position very clear and they are totally committed to our national sovereignty and democracy, instead I get no response or the question is treated as irrelevant and even rude.

          If somebody wants to be an MP it is very much of secondary importance whether they are male or female or transexual, white or black or brown or yellow, gay or straight or bisexual, able-bodied or physically disabled, Christian or Muslim or atheist or whatever other faith or lack of faith, professional or working class or just a political geek recently out of university.

          The old parties now obsess about those secondary matters, while constantly discounting the primary, fundamental, indispensable requirement that all their parliamentary candidates should be committed to the sovereignty of the Parliament to which they aspire.

          And that is why come May 2015 I will not be voting for the sitting Tory MP in this constituency, who happens to be Theresa May, because it is clear that if she has any belief at all in the enduring sovereignty of our national Parliament it is so weak a belief that no reliance can be placed upon it, and therefore in my view she should simply not be a member of our Parliament, and nor will I be voting for either of the candidates put up by the other two old parties.”

        3. Mockbeggar
          March 5, 2019

          I, for one, voted to leave to get out of the clutches of the gang of overpaid second-rate bureaucrats that have the EU under their control.

          I was aware from the start that there would be a short term reduction in international trade so that big business could adjust to the idea that they would no longer be protected from competition by the red tape that they are used to coping with and that small, growing businesses are not.

          The American War of Independence entailed the blockade of American ports by the world’s largest and most powerful navy, but trade with Britain was bigger three years later than it was before – and that was a shooting war.

          In a couple of years we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about.

        4. NickC
          March 5, 2019

          Merlin, You are only unclear on Brexit because you are opposed to it.

          Some Remains try the measured, oh we mustn’t frighten the horses tactic, as an antidote to the normal Remain rampant abuse of Leave voters (thick, uneducated, fascists, etc, etc). We can see through you.

          What makes you think India doesn’t have politics? Or New Zealand? Both are not in the EU. Both have ongoing political discourse and disagreements. Why should you suppose that Brexit is a monolith; that Leaves all have exactly the same ideas like some SWP automata?

          As JR said, we voted Leave precisely so we could make our own future decisions, not to have rigid communist-style 10 year plans.

          1. David Price
            March 5, 2019

            Quite so NickC

          2. Merlin
            March 5, 2019

            I don’t understand what you mean by see through you.

            I am not trying to convince you. The vast majority of people have not changed their minds.

            I don’t see the problem in trying to understand the other person’s opinion. Does it really have so tribal?

        5. Lifelogic
          March 5, 2019

          Indeed we want to take back control and restore real democracy. We want to be able to vote in and out the people who have the power.

      3. Hope
        March 5, 2019

        Off topic,
        JR, May is wrong about knife crime her policies are at the heart of the current cause. Read Bill Bratton’s work in New York and how he turned around the serious: crime, gun, knife, robbery etc. He is it in Boston as well. Police forces around the world copied with success as well. May cut numbs by twenty thousand and prevented stop and search so police officers were too scared to use the power. Another reason for May to resign, as well as Rudd who told police chiefs any request,for money would,fall on deaf ears the day after her department admitted losing fifty six thousand illegal immigrants seven hundred of who were convicts waiting deportation!

        May last week thinks preventing stop and search was acting to provide social justice. She is wrong again.

        1. Adam
          March 5, 2019


          As Mrs May claims “no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers” might she now reduce those police directly protecting her to one?

          A cut in police numbers does not cause sensible people to think ‘Oh, now I can commit a crime’, but maintaining adequate police numbers does reduce wrongdoers’ opportunities.

    2. agricola
      March 5, 2019

      Yes I agree with this. There has been a massive disconnect between the Conservative voters and their aspirations following obviously broken promises in manifestos. Conservative members in Parliament have paid lip service to the result of the referendum, but as crunch time approaches their true intentions have been called into question by around 200 of them. Possibly given strength from the Chequers debacle and the realisation that May and Robins had engineered an outcome more in line with their prefered direction. A direction totally in conflict with their voters. A truely dreadful example of political deceipt that will be at great cost at the next election. I am but one that has been disenfranchised.

      For Labour their are two factors. Their disconnect as above with a paucity of leadership. Then there is the disgusting anti semitism that seems to rest in their new flood of ultra left marxist membership. Their leader rides on the volume of new members and is ambivalent in real action to remove the dry rot that works unseen. They too will pay heavily at election time.

      1. Tad Davison
        March 5, 2019

        I think Tony Blair proved to be a disaster, and Miliband was quickly shown to be out of his depth. Latterly, the fascination with messiah Corbyn also seems to be waning.

        Corbyn and McDonnell got found out with un-costed promises on student tuition fees where they had to back-track on their spendthrift policies rather urgently. Their core policy proposes to increase taxes to pay for their spending splurge with disregard for the damage that might cause to the economy. Interesting then that China, still a communist state, now proposes to cut taxation and open up their markets in order to fuel economic growth.

        I’d be the first to say there needs to be an increase in some UK public spending on things like the NHS, police, our armed forces, for those who cannot care for themselves, and for former armed forces personnel who now find themselves on the street, but Corbyn proposes to go far beyond a mere end to austerity.

        Corbyn has shown himself to be just as gutless as May by allowing himself to be backed into a corner by the likes of Starmer by acceding to the pro-EU wing within his party on the issue of another referendum. That seems to be the way of it. They always get found out. In his case, just in time, in May’s case, way too late.


    3. Hope
      March 5, 2019

      A PM that rides roughshod over democracy for Brexit vote, her personalised manifesto, referendum not honoured, hikes the tax burden to record levels, presides over people being arrested and prosecuted for jokes and opinions, increases state surveillance, expands the power of the state to intrude into personal lives, attrocities because of open the borders, more police officers dealing with thought crime than murder and knife crime at record levels because of cuts to police numbers and preventing stop and search, wants you to sell your home for elderly care while giving away £20 billion in overseas aid, £100 billion to talk about trade with EU after repeatedly saying nothing agreed until everything agreed deceit.

      JR, you think May is not behind the current shinanigans to force leave MPs to vote for her servitude plan? Always slapped down leave ministers for stating govt policy to leave, never a jot to Hammond. Only last month he called leavers extremists, 17.4 million of us.
      Tory associations need to withdraw support immediately. Tory parliamentary party has no regard for their views whatsoever and gives them no opportunity to raise policy issues or elect their own MP. Hague started the top down pompous approach to thevfodder to do what they are told and hand over your cash.

      1. Hope
        March 5, 2019

        May has imposed a sugar tax on us because we do not know what is good to eat. In contrast she allows/decriminalises cannabis use and now illegal drugs are tested for users before use! You could not make it up!

        1. Lifelogic
          March 5, 2019

          Indeed and if you eat rice, pasta, bread, potatoes …… they’ll rapidly to glucose sugar anyway in your gut. But no tax on them nor indeed on Jam, Honey, Treacle, most smoothies, sweets, dates or figs
          or even a bag of sugar.

      2. Richard Evans
        March 6, 2019

        As George Orwell stated “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices”
        Unfortunately for the majority of people, we found out too late and many UKIP voters voted for the conservative-in-name-only-party.

        REMEMBER the “Conservative manifesto” REMEMBER “Brexit is safe with me” REMEMBER “Brexit means Brexit” REMEMBER!!!!!

        We have now been totally betrayed by the Establishment Puppet PM MAY and the career politician MPs with few exceptions who think only of ME, ME, ME, ME. The EU is falling apart before their eyes and still the Establishment wants to hold onto their agenda of total power?

        More than ever now it proves to the population, that the elected MPs
        of the two main parties consider themselves before Country. The country as a whole is irrelevant.
        This is absolute TREACHERY and those involved will rue the day.

        We voted to LEAVE to regain our sovereignty.
        Very simple. OUT means OUT. No deals.
        Absolutely NO second referendum
        UKIP is our only savior.

    4. Adam
      March 5, 2019


      Those MPs who lie mislead. Rapid action should be taken to remove them from parliament. Allowing them to remain for years until the next general election supports deviousness. Expulsion should be fast & fair, not furious & frustrated with impotence.

      Those who go against the manifesto of their party may be excused, if during their selection & election campaigns they established their specific points of difference, because their supporters were free to choose the best candidate in advance.

      The Independent Group created a refuge for dregs, remaining as an indelible stain on truth. Those who leave their elected party should face the test of prompt re-election based on their own stated policy. A parliament which tolerates them supports the prevailing ethos of lies & deviousness.

      1. Merlin
        March 5, 2019

        Who is to judge whether MPs have lied and misled?

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        1. L Jones
          March 5, 2019

          ”Who is to judge”? What a silly question! Who do you think?

          A bit of Latin about guarding guards doesn’t answer this sort of question.

        2. Adam
          March 5, 2019


          Everyone is free to assess. Those who elect & appoint them decide whether they are worthy of authority & loyalty, or not.

        3. NickC
          March 5, 2019

          Merlin, When the written evidence supports that assertion. As it does in the instance of Theresa May MP.

    5. Stephen Priest
      March 5, 2019

      Sir John made a mistake yesterday.

      It’s not the “draft Daft Withdrawel Agreement”

      It’s the Daft Withdrawel Agreement

      1. Steve P
        March 6, 2019

        No its the Daft With drivel Agreement

    6. Old person
      March 5, 2019

      Here, we have Local Elections on the 2nd of May.

      In two of our adjacent parishes, the local council, bribed by a £6m New Homes Bonus, voted to approve the building of 2995 houses on the Green Belt and in a high risk flood plain. There is a list of councillors, who played along with this abuse of democracy, so, together with Brexit issues, the field of suitable candidates will become rather narrow.

      We certainly live in interesting times.

    7. Tad Davison
      March 5, 2019

      As someone who is a law and order hard-liner, I hate to see guilty people get away with dishonesty. The political system we presently have allows unscrupulous politicians to lie as they please, yet walk away with a fat pension once they get kicked out of office – reward for failure in graphic relief.

      For decades, I have been sickened to the pit of my stomach by MPs and party leaders who con us into believing they are Eurosceptic, then when the chips are down, they reveal their true pro-EU colours. People who repeatedly promise that we are going to leave the European Union and its institutions on the 29th March 2019, yet do whatever they can behind the scenes to thwart it.

      Give me a principled conviction politician any day. One who nails their colours firmly to the mast, whether we agree with them or not, to a career politician who is in it purely for their own advancement. Long on platitudes, short on delivery, and useless in every other respect.

      It is shameful that the parties allow such career politicians to put their names forwards in the first place, for they ultimately bring the entire process into disrepute. I wonder if readers can guess which ones I’m referring to……..!


    8. Brigham
      March 5, 2019

      I voted for Brexit. My Tory MP is completely remain. I can’t vote for him again, because this is the most important thing since WW2. Who do I vote for at the next general election?

      1. NickC
        March 5, 2019

        Brigham, If Theresa May’s government gets her draft Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, then at the next general election you will have a choice of at least one of UKIP, DVP, Brexit Party.

        1. Jingleballix
          March 5, 2019

          Don’t vote UKIP…….

          …….it has become a parody of itself.

        2. L Jones
          March 5, 2019

          If the EU allows us to have a General Election on our own terms.

  2. Mark B
    March 5, 2019

    Good morning.

    Sorry for the length. Will be happy to wait 🙂

    . . . MPs who have deviated from the Manifesto . . .

    If you look at any UK Bank note you will see the words “I promise to . . .” This is important, because that promise puts faith in the user of the note that it has some value. Now we can argue all we want about the meaning of this in relation to currency, but this is not what it is all about. What this is about is that a promise is being made and, on good faith we accept said promise. This can be said of manifesto’s. Manifesto’s are made, or should be made in good faith. There should be real intent on the part of those that create them and those that support them. To place before someone a false bank note is a serious crime for which there is a punishment. This is to reflect that you cannot undermine that promise behind the note. But alas no such punishment is available when a party or MP breaks its promise.

    A party or MP may, in good faith, make a promise but, due to exceptional and unforeseen circumstances they may have to modify or abandon their promise(s). At this point some (Remain) may say that that is what MP’s are now doing with regards BREXIT. I disagree. BREXIT is the exception. Parliament laid before the people a referendum. It chose the question. It gave us only two possible answers. It told us most solemnly that it was our decision and that they, parliament, would implement it. We chose to Leave the EU. Politicians and parties had a further opportunity in the GE of 2017 to make their positions clearer. They majority supported Leaving the EU. Sadly, we now find that they wish to Remain in the EU either in part or in whole. This is clearly against the referendum and the repeated wishes of the people. I have, and shall continue to believe that the only way out of this is to have another GE. If Article 50 is extended then I believe that we should hold another GE and vote for whatever party promises to get us out of the EU and not sign the WA. MP’s should use this opportunity to make clear both to their members and constituents their views on the aforementioned issues. We need, more than we have ever need in the last 75 years, a parliament and government that believes in Britain, her people, her industry and her place in the world. We need forward thinkers not self-hating wets who think the only solution to our problems is to get someone else to do it for us because its too hard for them.

    1. NickC
      March 5, 2019

      Mark B, Indeed, yes. Remains of course try to claim that the Referendum was only “advisory”. But the government did not ask for advice, it asked for a decision. And promised to implement our decision. While the 2015 Parliament has gone, replaced in 2017, our decision is still there. So what price a promise?

      Theresa May’s dWA keeps the UK: locked into a “single customs territory”; aligned to SM rules and hence subject to the CAP; in the CFP; subject to the EU in matters of defence, security, and diplomacy; subject to the ECJ; and paying the EU £bns. That is just not Leave. Leave means leaving the EU treaties, and not re-joining them.

      I have previously said that signing the dWA was national suicide. By that I mean our nation (perhaps “state” is a better word) would not survive the WA in force as a treaty. I stand by that assessment.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 5, 2019

      It should really say I promise to pay the bearer 97p next year, 94 p the year after, 91 after 3 years and so on! Yet another tax!

  3. J Bush
    March 5, 2019

    I note with interest your comment about leaders moving too far away from the manifesto and this snippet of news I picked up from Reuters

    “British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday set out plans for a 1.6 billion pound fund to help to boost economic growth in Brexit-supporting communities with ministers denying it was a bribe to win support for her EU exit deal.”

    For me, this explains why Copeland’s first conservative MP Trudy Harrison has done a complete u-turn on what she was saying before the election. Word on the ground in this neck of the woods, is that many are not best pleased and won’t vote for her again.

    This is also not helpful to your party.

    1. Richard
      March 5, 2019

      Trudy Harrison pledged to Standup4Brexit. Any Proper Brexiteer MPs who are feeling a bit wobbly (Docherty, Fabricant, Swayne we are looking at you!) should be greatly reassured by reading (as well this blog), in particular:
      – Christopher Howarth (lawyer & HoC researcher):
      – Martin Howe QC on ConHome yesterday.

      Lets have another 200+ defeat for May-Robbins’ awful Subordination & Servitude WA. So that this zombie plan doesn’t resurrect itself again.

    2. Richard
      March 5, 2019

      Allister Heath quantified the potential opportunity: “The Tories should be targeting at least 40 per cent of the electorate, a Brexit coalition of centre-Right middle-class voters (there are plenty left, especially in the shires and suburbs), the patriotic working class, and aspiring immigrant communities. They should forget about prosperous uber-Remainers in Islington” (who Labour, TIG, LibDems, Mrs May are all chasing).

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    March 5, 2019

    You would not be in this situation if the member for Maidenhead had been deselected on the grounds of being a crypto socialist

    1. Peter Wood
      March 5, 2019

      If I may inaccurately quote ..”how many times have I misled thee, let me count the ways…..”

      I hope this plays out as follows: the WA is rejected again, there is a vote of no confidence in the May government which passes, a GE ensues, we leave with no deal during the election period, May and other Remainers are ‘retired’ from the Conservative Party and the newly refreshed Conservative party is re-elected under a leader worthy of the title ‘Leader’.

      1. Peter
        March 5, 2019

        I would be happy with ‘the WA is rejected again’.

        We can take it from there and regroup.

        There might be a surprise general election to allow Exit on WTO terms – but it is not looking likely. May also seems unlikely to prorogue Parliament to force exit on WTO terms.

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 5, 2019

          I would rather regroup once we were outside the EU. While we are still in the EU there is always the danger that we will end up staying in it forever, but once we had left the EU it would be much more difficult to reverse that. It would not be impossible, but the successive barriers to re-entry would be very high.

          1. NickC
            March 5, 2019

            Denis Cooper, Yes, but Theresa May’s dWA is not leaving the EU treaties, it is a revolving-door Remain: out of the existing treaties; back in with the new treaties. All the old familiar EU control would be there: CU, SM, CAP, CFP, CCP, military, security, diplomacy, ECJ, etc. The dWA is a trap.

          2. Denis Cooper
            March 6, 2019

            Yes, because she accepted the absurd Labour notion of an oxymoronic “status quo” transition period during which nothing would change. And nobody tore into Labour, or into her, over that absurdity. What would happen afterwards remains to be negotiated, despite her brazen lies to the contrary.

            From December 17th 2017:


            “Well, what a fool I’ve been, I should have known that if you give the euromaniacs an inch then they will try to take a yard, it’s what they always do, and now we have all this oxymoronic nonsense about a “standstill” or “status quo” transition.”

      2. Denis Cooper
        March 5, 2019

        “we leave with no deal during the election period”

        That would not be allowed to happen.

      3. Keith Bartlam
        March 5, 2019

        Thank you….I been saying similar “strategy” in FB Bruges Group, and been told off for it and suspended because of ” my dangerous comments”….please to see others share my view.

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 5, 2019

          But this is making the same mistake that JR made when he said that Brexit on March 29th 2019 was assured because it had already been written into law as the default position. That idea completely ignored the willingness of a pro-EU Prime Minister to connive and conspire to get the date changed, and this idea completely ignores her willingness and ability to arrange a suspension of our withdrawal until the election had been held and a new government formed.

    2. Bob
      March 5, 2019

      Why would a Tory face deselection for being a crypto socialist? That’s what the modern Tories have become with a few notable exceptions.

      Education Minister Michael Gove wants an end to independent schools (presumably though, not until his own kids have finished with their private education).

      1. Peter
        March 5, 2019

        I believe Mr.Gove sends his children to Holland Park comprehensive, one of the better regarded state schools. Blair did the same, using London Oratory a top Catholic state school. Ditto Nick Clegg.

        1. Peter
          March 5, 2019

          I note that, although Mr. Gove is in the appropriate catchment area, the Daily Mail still criticises him for not sending the children to the nearest state school which is not so good!

          1. Lifelogic
            March 5, 2019

            He should pay, he can probably just about afford to he only has two after all get a bit pricey with four. This would release places at the good state school for others. Freedom and choice please as to how I spend my own money.

            Gove is the reason we suffer under the appalling remainer socialist T May. He even called for VAT on school fees (so you would have to pay 4 times over to go to private schools). What a confused socialist, government knows best, plonker he is. Sound sometimes but an idiot too often. Not a scientist nor a rational thinker. English at LMH Oxford I think he sound sometimes but daft as a brush much of the time.

          2. Lifelogic
            March 6, 2019

            I had missed Gove’s Comments on Private Schools. I though he just wanted to put VAT on private school fees, but now he wants to destroy them completely as they are not ‘fair’. Life is not fair mate and never will be just get over it you dope.

            So one can legally spend your money on Alcohol, Prostitutes, Holidays, Gambling ……. but not on educating the next generation of doctors, engineers, architects, scientists, business people and the likes according to Gove. He want to destroy many excellent school and a very successful export industry. People would just educate them overseas if he got his way.

            He is surely going completely round the twist after his appalling error in giving us Theresa May.

    3. Denis Cooper
      March 5, 2019

      If it wasn’t Theresa May it would have been some other Remain supporting Tory as Prime Minister working to at least dilute and preferably stop Brexit. I hope JR will take it on board that a party which can produce nobody better than her to take us out of the EU as promised is a party in dire need of radical reform.

      1. Turboterrier.
        March 5, 2019

        @ Denis Cooper

        to take us out of the EU as promised is a party in dire need of radical reform.

        Totally agree and I hope that the party hierarchy fully understand the meaning of radical

        1. Tad Davison
          March 5, 2019

          I agree with both of you, but it won’t happen.

          To truly express my contempt, I’d love to be vulgar and deeply offensive towards the pro-EU Tory party machine, but I know JR would never allow it and these lop-sided dinosaurs are impervious to criticism anyway.

          Even when faced with irrefutable facts or an unassailable argument, they still prefer to clutch the comfort blanket that is the EU because that is the only way they know. Such is the mind of the inexperienced and the unimaginative who cannot see the emancipation and the opportunities outside the EU, just their own narrow myopic self-interests of staying within its dangerous grasp.


          1. Lifelogic
            March 6, 2019

            Exactly. The remoaner and largely socialist wing of Tory MP are appalling. Alas they are in the majority too.

  5. Mick
    March 5, 2019

    To put it bluntly if mps lie or go against there manifesto there should be some sort of mechanism to kick them out of office
    On another front I thought that leaving the Eu on March 29th 2019 was written into our law, so if parliament ignores that surely it makes a mockery of all laws not worth the paper or parchment there written on and the prospect of disobedience by the people

    1. Lifelogic
      March 5, 2019

      Leaving on 29th March has been promised by May about 108 times. She also claims her deal respects the referendum result. It does nothing of the kind as she must know.

      Dame Rita, May is not just Socialist not even a Cripto one. Socialist May or Communist Corbyn is the appalling choice we have, until she is despatched. Hopefully she will not manage to put the next PM in her EU surender straight jacked before she goes.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 5, 2019

        JR says “It is always difficult if an MP changes his or her stance on crucial matters like these after an election but does not carry his or her local party members and electors with them for that change.”

        Well is it rather hard to believe these people have actually have changed their minds! I tend to think they just lied at the time of the election by pretending to be behind the manifesto.

        Just as May repeated the phrase Brexit means Brexit like a demented robot when she clearly meant “Brexit meant sweet FA to Theresa May”. She regarded Brexit as a damage limitation exercise (and has thus caused vast damage through her incompetence). Also Brexit means leaving the single market and the customs unions and the powers of the European Court over the UK. Lies, lies and yet more lies. Now pathetic attempts to bribe Labour MPs with some tax payers money for their areas! The woman is totally beneath contempt.

        Let us hope we can still avoid Corbyn at least his party seems to be falling to pieces.

        1. Turboterrier.
          March 5, 2019

          @ Lifelogic

          hard to believe these people have actually have changed their minds! I tend to think they just lied at the time of the election.

          Of course they have its in their DNA. Saying anything once every five years to try and stay on the gravy boat. There is only about 100 what I consider to be trustworthy and dedicated to the job they have been elected to do

    2. jerry
      March 5, 2019

      @Mick; Our host has, in the past, ‘gone against’ his parties manifestos regarding policy towards the EU, the Euro and UK domestic tax polices, by your reckoning he should have been “kicked out” years ago…

      Do we simply want our MPs to act as rubber stamps for what ever the current party policy is? I think not, how would anything change, how would the ERG have got the referendum, how would eurosceptics have stopped Major’s Govt from signing a binding agreement to join the Euro?!

      Reply Where I intended to deviate from the Manifesto I stated so clearly in the election in my personal manifesto – for example I wanted a referendum in 2010 and said so. It was not necessary to do this in most cases – for example the 2010 national Manifesto promised not to transfer more powers to the EU, so I had to oppose 3 line whips when the government wanted to do just that in EU measure after EU measure. It was Mr Cameron who broke the Manifesto pledge, not me.

      1. jerry
        March 5, 2019

        @JR reply; My intention was not to attack you or your positions, I was merely trying to point out that the metaphorical ‘boot’ can find its self on the other foot at times – again not directed at our host personally, although I will direct it to many who post comments, some people need to be careful of the precedents they wish to set in good times in case the same tack-ticks get used against their own interests during bad times even though nothing else has changed bar which party or faction in a position of influence.

  6. English Rebel
    March 5, 2019

    Parliament has deemed May’s deal a bad deal. If Tory MPs were true to their manifesto commitments they would leave without a deal. But they won’t.

    Not while this party is infested with the likes of Grieve, Lee, Letwin, Boles, Gauke, Rudd, Hammond, the Lib Dem wing of the party.

    And it is this Lib Dem wing that will lead the Tories to destruction.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 5, 2019

      Indeed it is Oliver Letwin types who are totally deluded. He thinks that his wing is trying to save the Tories from another John Major style burial.

      But It is the May/Letwin’s wing who are trying to bury the party. Needless to say they are supported by the ERM disaster Major (who is still deluded on everything) and War on a lie Blair types.

      Why are Letwin/Hammond/Rudd/Bowles types called ‘one nation Tories’? They want to destroy the UK nation state. They are clearly ‘no nation Tories’.

    2. Turboterrier.
      March 5, 2019

      @ English Rebel

      it is this Lib Dem wing that will lead the Tories to destruction.

      Totally and completely

      1. Lifelogic
        March 5, 2019


  7. Javelin
    March 5, 2019

    When the Conservative Party as a whole acts against Brexit they will be deselected just like Remainer MPs.

    1. Ian wragg
      March 5, 2019

      It’s not the Independent group who probably won’t be re-elected but Farage and his Brexit Party.
      I consider myself politically homeless so he will get my vote and donations.
      The 3 legacy parties have proved they can’t be trusted with the nations wellbeing so we have to deselect the lot of them.

      1. Javelin
        March 5, 2019

        The problem for the Brexit Party will be what to put in their manefesto.

        If they say gives us 24 hours whilst the Queen withdraws from the EU treaties that would do it until a new election is called. The UK would then be in the situation they would need to sign up to the Euro to rejoin.

        1. Chris
          March 5, 2019

          No problem, Javelin, what to put in their manifesto, and I suspect many commenters on this site could swiftly draft a manifesto which reflects the values and aspirations of abandoned grassroots conservatives, who, under Farage, used to make up a very significant proportion of UKIP membership. Throw in the appalling decisions taken on HS2 and Hinckley for good measure too.

    2. Timaction
      March 5, 2019

      They are to arrogant to see this having gotten away with their lies on the EU for decades! IDS admits this in his recent article.

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    March 5, 2019

    MPs of all persuasions have created this problem themselves. Mrs May should step down as PM as even she isn’t following her own manifesto. How can you expect to lead if you can’t follow your own manifesto? It would not be a problem for me if many more so called Conservatives left the party and joined a real Conservative party led by Farage . People enjoy slagging him off but he has, like yourself, consistently campaigned against staying in the EU and is passionate in his cause. Bring it on. He’ll get my vote.

    1. Andy
      March 5, 2019

      MPs have not created this problem. At least not most of them.

      This problem was created by Vote Leave, Leave Means Leave and Leave.EU.

      Give, Johnson, Stuart, Hannan, Carswell, Cummings, Farage, Banks, Longworth, Tice, Cash, Jenkin and others.

      They lied to you. They told you Brexit meant one thing, when it actually means something else entirely.

      I am sorry you fell for the lies but please blame either yourself for being easily duped or the actual liars.

      Reply No, they said what Brexit meant. Remain offered a whole series of false pessimistic forecasts and are now seeking to stop Brexit

      1. bigneil
        March 5, 2019

        I’m still trying to understand why Remainers want to be ruled by Brussels and see £55m a day ( Remain WOULD see it rocket ) – handed to them, while we have much better uses for it.

        1. Jagman84
          March 5, 2019

          If we remain, Bigneil, we will cease to exist as a separate nation in a few years time. The Lisbon Treaty will enact it. All the other members will suffer the same fate. Do their citizens know of their fate?

        2. Andy
          March 5, 2019

          We are not ruled by Brussels.

          Decisions regarding schools and hospitals are taken here. It is Westminster which decides how much to invest in transport and housing.

          There are not enough police to tackle knife crime because Westminster will not pay for them. That is nothing to do with Brussels.

          Defence and foreign policy – that is Westminster too. As is immigration policy. If these things are not going wel – and many are not – blame MPs and Westminster.

          Brussels deals with trade and product regulation. It makes sure the goods you buy are safe and efficient.

          If you think the measure of a country is down to where its regulations regarding lawnmowers or hairdryers are made then – really – you probably have too much time on your hands.

          Incidentally none of you have ever been able to sensibly identity any EU law to which you actually object. Seeing that you claim there are billions of them this seems rather strange.

          Reply Freedom of movement means EU has big impact on migration policy. VAT is an EU tax, with business taxes under the ECJ , there is a common security and foreign policy and the budget rules require austerity

          1. Edward2
            March 6, 2019

            You say ” that none of you…have been able to identify any EU law you object to”
            That is nonsense.
            You have had loads of replies previously to that challenge.
            I’m getting bored replying to you on this subject at length, but for the record, just a few to start with:-
            REACH COSHH VATMOSS GDPR and Internet restrictions.

        3. Matt
          March 5, 2019

          As a would be remainer..if I lived in UK.. I don’t see you British as being ruled by anyone. What I see are the benefits of belonging to the biggest richest economic bloc on the planet. A club I value myself so very much the freedom of being able to wander in and out of all of the member countries using the same currency without custom or immigration restriction checks and living or holidaying anywhere I want..and here’s me speaking as someone who remembers the dreary days of the 1950’s and 1960’s when the UK and French customs and immigration etc held was often a nightmare experience trying sometimes to get past was necessary to carry receipts for anything bought..even stupid things like for a wristwatch or a ring..if you want all of that back again then you’re welcome to it..for me’ I’m absolutely hanging onto my prized EU citizenship..proud to be Irish and European. Matt dublin

      2. Richard1
        March 5, 2019

        i see the EC is now moving to use the single market to control member states’ tax policies under the guise of preventing ‘social dumping’ (i.e. the healthy regulatory and tax competition which has driven economic progress around the world through the ages). Another long-term Remain lie or at least delusion. to be fair, not an EU lie, the EU has always been clear their project is about creating a super-state, which obviously needs a tax policy to go with the single currency etc. But a major long-term Remain lie in the UK, as we’ve always been assured tax would be an issue for national parliaments.

      3. fedupsoutherner
        March 5, 2019

        Andy, why do you continue to make things up as you go along? You know just as well as we do that Brexit does not have to mean what is in the WA. You are like a child who cannot accept reality. Go back to your comics.

        1. Andy
          March 5, 2019

          This is true. Brexit could be even worse than the WA. The crucial point is that it could not be better.

      4. Anonymous
        March 5, 2019

        Boring !

      5. L Jones
        March 5, 2019

        ”Brexit”, Andy, has always meant one thing – leaving the EU. Simply leaving.
        What is so difficult to understand about that?

        (Rhetorical question really – not difficult at all for most people. Present company excepted. But perhaps Andy can tell us now what REMAINING means, as he so obviously wants us to do so. There don’t seem to be explanations given as to what it does mean. Perhaps he’d elucidate – leaving aside his bank balance, his children’s travel plans, etc.)

        1. Andy
          March 5, 2019

          It means things returning to how they were on 23 June 2016.

          When we were not an international laughing stock and were 10% richer.

          We enjoyed the Germany plus model. It was clearly better than anything your mob has come up with – and if we cancel your Brexit we can still have it.

          If, however, your Brexit goes ahead when we rejoin the EU – which we will – it will be on worse terms. And you will have to learn to pay in Euros!

      6. margaret howard
        March 5, 2019

        Reply to reply:
        ” No, they said what Brexit meant. Remain offered a whole series of false pessimistic forecasts and are now seeking to stop Brexit”

        False? Pessimistic? Not even the most ardent Remainer could have imagined what a total disaster it has become. We have become the laughing stock of the world.

        1. Edward2
          March 5, 2019

          Ridiculous hyperbole margaret.
          We were offered a referendum.
          We voted to leave the EU.
          Parliament is doing its best to frustrate that simple process.
          I realise you do not want to leave the EU but you need to realise that remain has controlled the period since the referendum date.
          That is why we are where we are today.

          1. hans christian ivers
            March 6, 2019

            Edward 2

            Very interesting relply.

            It does give a good understanding of what you really do not understand

          2. Edward2
            March 6, 2019

            hans another reply from you with your usual sarcastic nd superior attitude.
            If you have something useful to post then do so.

    2. cynic
      March 5, 2019

      The Lib Dems recanted on their election pledge on student loans and suffered for it. Perhaps May and her supporters should take note

    3. Gary C
      March 5, 2019


    4. Hope
      March 5, 2019

      May has failed to deliver a major policy with the biggest defeat in history. This should have been enough for a PM to resign. No, she is bringing it back for a third time! She is a bonehead. Only her view counts or is important, same applied with manifesto, Chequers, and a host of other policy issues. All failed. Like her stop and search, she thinks it rectifies social injustice when it is responsible for record high stabbing sand murder among the young!

      May was slammed at the last election for two key points: adult care and two attrocities where there were open insecure borders and not enough police to cope. She still denies it despite the public having made up their minds. This is the action of a bonehead who will not listen. How many people, including MPs, have said she does not listen?

      1. Matt
        March 5, 2019

        Hope..Speaking as an afraid that you’re quite right..she is a bonehead, a real woodentop..she won’t listen to anyone, am very glad she’s not my PM. Matt Dublin

    5. 'None of the above'.
      March 5, 2019

      Hear! Hear!

    6. Lifelogic
      March 5, 2019

      Indeed. May especially.

  9. Nigl
    March 5, 2019

    I don’t care if they join TIG, in most cases they might as well, because they consistently vote against what was promised in their manifesto and, with many, are verbally on record assuring their members that they would respect the referendum etc.

    Personally I would have waited to take action until after the Brexit votes, but action must be taken. How can these people ever be trusted in the future? Presumably they rely on local volunteers to keaflet, get supporters out etc, why would anyone bother when they have been let down so badly?

    Many of these people are wedded to the drug of politics and its power. Making them understand that they will have to fight in the future as Independents with no money or party machine support or a comfortable future wearing ermine, will bring home the reality of their situation. Are they hubristic enough to think their personal following will get them through? History says not.

    Conservative Central Office has ridden roughshod over its members for years and its voters, hence the decline in membership using them only every fees years as volunteer election fodder. It is now time for both to fight back.

    1. Andy
      March 5, 2019

      Leaflets were great – in the 1970s. You do not need them now. Campaigns are waged online – and you lot hang out reading only one side of the argument so you do not see what is brewing on the other side.

      The Independent Group is exceptionally well funded already. And online campaigns are cheap anyway. It is true that Anna Soubry may not get elected in Broxtowe. But she would have a very good chance standing against Theresa Villiers or Iain Duncan Smith, for example.

      Chris Grayling and Dominic Raab are both vulnerable – as are Brexiteers like multibillionaire posh public schoolboy but definitely not member of the elite Zac Goldsmith. TIG will target Brexiteers carefully and will use a decapitation strategy. Get rid of the worst of them first.

      1. Anonymous
        March 5, 2019

        And Corbyn will get in and give me your money.

      2. Edward2
        March 5, 2019

        When I last looked at the numbers of Remain MPs in leave voting constituencies and at the numbers of Leave MPs in remain constituencies there were similar numbers of vulnerable MPs with a few more of the former.
        So my thoughts are that the overall effect of both sides trying to oust each other could be minor in the make up of the next Parliament.
        Although some big names might lose their seats.

        PS Agree with you on leaflets. What a waste of money the government’s £9 million “please vote remain” leaflet was.

      3. Dave Andrews
        March 5, 2019

        The Independent Group will have to share the liberal left vote with Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats. If UKIP and Brexit Party can avoid shooting themselves in the feet and don’t try to run against each other, they have the entire leave vote to scoop up.
        My guess is however that it will take more to pare off traditional support for the major parties.

      4. Richard1
        March 5, 2019

        TIG is great. It will take votes from the anti-Semitic terrorist sympathising Marxists in the Labour Party. It’s unlikely to take many votes from the Conservatives. It’s only policy so far is opposition to Brexit. Brexit will be resolved one way or the other by the next election. those like you who will presumably want to rejoin the EU wouldn’t be voting Conservative anyway, if you’re not happy with anti-semitism and Marxism so can’t vote Labour, you’d be voting LibDem (or SNP).

      5. G Wilson
        March 5, 2019

        The problem with that theory: Brexiteers are generally popular.

        A pro-EU party cannot win an election in the UK, as the Lib Dems proved in 2017.

  10. Nigl
    March 5, 2019

    Ps I see the EHRC has overturned a judgement of our Supreme Court making our security more difficult. So another European precedent we can do nothing about. We have a permanent seat at the UN, massive economy, nuclear capability and a truly independent judiciary yet again it is considered in our interests that we are ruled from abroad.

    1. Andy
      March 5, 2019

      The EHCR is nothing to do with the EU. But then you knew that – right?

      1. Edward2
        March 6, 2019

        If you are in the EU and sign the Lisbon Treaty not having parallel human rights regulations overseen by the EHCR is not possible.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 5, 2019

      The “Independent” Judiciary and most lawyers want to be ruled by the EU and have lots of court levels. It is good for lawyer. Bad for the productive and everyone else.

  11. Jingleballix
    March 5, 2019

    You are exactly right Sir John.

    If the Tories do not honour the 2016 result, and their 2017 manifesto pledges, then they face electoral armageddon.

    I have never voted anyone but Tory………but – at national and local levels will switch to the Brexit Party or else spoil my ballot. I suspect that millions of others feel the same.

    In failing to acknowledge this – it is truly shocking how thick-headed May is.

    1. MPC
      March 5, 2019

      But the point is if this WA is approved by MPs it will be implemented by a binding Treaty. ‘Electoral armageddon’ will apply to all political parties in the sense that there will be no truly sovereign law making powers. Political parties themselves will become largely irrelevant as we will have lost our democracy.

    2. Old person
      March 5, 2019

      JR you are correct once again. What is needed is more democratic accountability.

      It is a pity that there is not an online process for members of the public to ask questions at Prime Ministers Question Time. The Speaker could select the best questions.
      My question for tomorrow (were such a facility available) would be,

      “Did the Transport Minister, by himself and his department, approve the contract for the ‘we-have- no-ferries’ company, or was this discussed in Cabinet and was the Prime Minister present at that same meeting?”

      As this subsequently cost the UK £33m in legal damages to Eurotunnel and as the Transport Minister is still his job, it can probably be better answered by ourselves.
      Of course, no questions are ever answered satisfactorily at PMQ.

      Must continue to take the blue pill and stay in the matrix – reality is sca

      Reply The planned spending on No Deal was approved by the Cabinet. The contract competition and award is usually handled by civil servants.

  12. Rien Huizer
    March 5, 2019

    Mr Redwood,
    In the short term one needs all the MP votes one can get. In the long term, one needs loyal, disciplined members. I iundertsand the problem and your article is factually useful but of course, with an agenda.

    This may ne one of those occasions where the party system and individual responsibility towards voters (not only members who can make life difficult for the MP) clash. In addition, manifestos are of limited value for minority governments under a fixed term regime.

  13. Richard1
    March 5, 2019

    I would suggest Conservative Associations avoid going in for Labour-style deselections, unless there are really good grounds based on performance. Idealogical de- selection is mob like behaviour more suited to Marxists. The Conservatives have always been a broad church & until quite recently party policy was to remain in the EU. Conservative Associations should also remember that with c 100k members nationally and an average age of > 60, the party membership is not representative of the electorate.

    1. Al
      March 5, 2019

      According to the Bow Group, the average age of a Tory member in 2017 was 72. However they also state that the party lost two thirds of its members, predominantly younger ones like myself, since 2005.

      I would be curious to find out if those younger members left, like me, because the party and/or their local MP no longer represented conservative principles (such as financial competance – see Phillip Hammond), and where they went.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 5, 2019

        What sensible real Conservative would want to join a partly led by a remainer, a disingenuous, Brexit in name only socialist and total electoral liability like Theresa May?

        Get a small government, low tax, cheap energy, real Brexit supporter as leader and membership will thrive as night follows day.

    2. English Rebel
      March 5, 2019

      I don’t see any value in being a broad church party. That implies taking on policies that are similar to Labour and the Lib Dems.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 5, 2019

        A broad church would meant about half of MPs are just wrong!

    3. Rien Huizer
      March 5, 2019

      @ Richard1

      What you mention is one of the biggest stumbing blocks to good policy in the UK. A party with an electorate that may be very different from the (very small) membership yet in government and with a manifesto that cannot be implemented. That membership makes it not only unrepresentative but also vulnerable to hijacking, in the way that happened with Labour.

  14. acorn
    March 5, 2019

    If we had nonpartisan primary elections this mess wouldn’t happen. In that case, you vote for an individual’s manifesto not a party manifesto. The individual may or may not have a preference for a party manifesto but would not be welded to it or even be a member of a party.

    Reply Sarah Wollaston was chosen by an open primary. If you do not have a party system it would be very difficult to form a cohesive government

    1. acorn
      March 5, 2019

      You mean like the one we have now.

  15. Peter D Gardner
    March 5, 2019

    The issue for the Conservatives is not whether a few backbenchers are deviating from manifesto commitments. It is that the majorities of both the Conservative Government and the Conservative Parliamentary party have deviated in the most grievous way from the manifesto commitments on Brexit. You, Dr Redwood, the ERG and a handful of others, in total less than about a third of Conservative MPs are the only ones standing up for the majority of voters. And you are labelled extremists by your own Government.
    Mrs May’s Conservative Government have engineered this situation. It now presents parliament with three choices only: 1) the May Withdrawal (Accession) Agreement, 2) No Deal, which it has ensured deliberately through Project Fear and a lack of preparations, terrifies the majority of MPs because they don’t want to be blamed for any disruption, and 3) Remain, disguised as a delay which we can safely assume would be on terms worse than the current terms of membership of the EU.
    Options 1 and 3 would achieve Mrs May’s objective of UK remaining in the EU, although her deal temporarily suspend membership and subjects UK to vassalage so that re-joining in 2025 will seem like relief. only option 2 would deliver Brexit and is opposed by May’s government as well as the majority of MPs. That it has been put forward for a vote is the reason Barclay and Cox are making no progress in Brussels, as Mrs May knows full well.
    I have written to my MP, Jeremy Hunt, to tell him I will not vote for the Conservative Party in the next general election whether that should come in a few months time or in June 2022, unless from this range of options , Option 2 wins and UK leaves without a deal. Then I might but it depends n what the Conservatives do next. My expectations are not high.
    Mrs May’s entire Government is now a hoax, a front for the EU.
    The betrayal by this Conservative government is already too great and too clear for the party to recover for many, many years.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 5, 2019

      Once we had left the EU the chance of us rejoining would be pretty low. Who would want to vote for that? And in fact the worse the deal upon which we had left the lower the chance that enough voters would want to rejoin an organisation which had lived down to the worst criticisms which had previously been leveled against it. Provided that we could get at least one, and preferably a series, of UK governments which were actually on our side rather than the EU’s side, and were prepared to proclaim to the British people and the world at large just how stupid, unreasonable, destructive and vindictive the EU had shown itself to be.

  16. ChrisS
    March 5, 2019

    The Remainer majority in the House Of Commons is going to pass any measure necessary to prevent us leaving on WTO Terms. If necessary, MPs will take over the process, no doubt, facilitated by support from the Speaker who is anything but impartial on this issue.

    No amount of arm twisting or threats of deselection is going to change that.

    The three worst offenders on the Conservative benches have already left the party and several other extreme Remainers are not going to stand for re-election. The others can probably be influenced by a new Prime Minister who has to be a determined Brexiteer. The problems, and they are very significant, are all on the Labour side.

    I have come to the conclusion that, while I hate the prospect, Brexiteers will be forced into supporting May’s fatally flawed deal in order to ensure that calls for a second referendum are defeated. After we leave on 29th March, May needs to be replaced – immediately.

    I’m quite sure that a properly led, determined Brexiteer government will eventually be able get us free of the EU, despite the terms of the Withdrawal agreement. The new Commission will face huge problems over the Euro and the impossibility of imposing further integration after the European elections.

    We may well the find we have a lot more friends and allies across the water than we have now. The days of Merkel and Macron are coming to an end and that could enforce a change in attitudes in Brussels.

    Reply The Withdrawal Agreement makes a complete and orderly exit impossible.

    1. ChrisS
      March 5, 2019

      Reply to Reply

      We rarely disagree on any subject and I am with you all the way in your assessment of May’s terrible deal. However, I would ask you one question :

      Are you prepared to vote down the withdrawal agreement and see Remainers delay Brexit indefinitely and probably impose a second referendum ?

      I think that this is what they will do and they will probably be able to muster the parliamentary numbers to do it.

      Reply I will oppose delay as well as opposing the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement does not take back control of our money, our laws and our borders so I cant vote for it.

      1. ChrisS
        March 5, 2019

        But, as Denis says below, surely if we actually leave, we will be out and have beaten the Remainers. We can then go on to fight the real battle : achieving a proper Brexit, free of the insufferable restrictions currently imposed upon us. It won’t be easy, but with a proper Brexit government with a decent Brexiteer leader, we will have a much better chance of success. The EU will change beyond recognition and may not even existin recognisable form after the Euro fails. If so, the Withdrawal Agreement will be obsolete anyway.

        If we don’t leave and the Remainers impose a delay, we will have to fight the battle to leave all over again, probably in another referendum which we will have no certainty of winning.

      2. James Bertram
        March 5, 2019

        Well done, Sir John.
        The Withdrawal Agreement MUST NOT PASS. It will be the end of our country and democracy as we know it.
        Delay should be opposed, but it is not so much of a problem as it’s made out to be.
        See this recent article from Martin Howe QC:
        It explains why a Brexit delay of a few months or 2 years are both infinitely preferable to May’s ‘deal.

        1. rose
          March 6, 2019

          Yes, it cannot be voted for except by traitors.

    2. Denis Cooper
      March 5, 2019

      But the Withdrawal Agreement gets us out of the EU. Yes, it would take us to a place where many of us don’t want to be and we would need to fight on to get to where we really want to be, but it would be a huge step in the right direction. I bear in mind here that some people have always wanted a multi-stage exit, even though they recognised the danger that we might never get beyond the first stage. As I have said, you don’t have to pretend that it has now changed enough and so you like it. Exactly the opposite, you can and should rail against it before during and after the vote, and complain that you are voting under duress. All you have to do is put several pegs on your nose and go through the “Aye” lobby, and afterwards … well, for myself I recall that revenge is a dish best served cold.

  17. nhsgp
    March 5, 2019

    If an MP has used a popular Manifesto set of proposals to get elected and then unilaterally tears up those promises it causes understandable stress within the party.


    The public take it far simpler. They view it as fraud. That MP has gained a very lucrative employment contract, pensions, expenses, on the basis of a misrepresentation.

    Ah, but MPs have a special legal status on fraud so its all OK.

    1. Ian wragg
      March 5, 2019

      According to the WA, EU officials are completely above the law
      It states that they may not be criticised or prosecuted for any fraudulent activity by the UK.
      They are also exempt from UK taxation on their pension.
      Nice one Cyril.

  18. G Wilson
    March 5, 2019

    At the end of the day, if MPs cease to be representative of their constituents, it is right we should be able to remove them. Deselection is one of the few democratic tools we have to do so.

    In the current Parliament, we have one MP accused of abuse and bullying, who does not now appears be absent for most votes at Westminster, and one MP who has just been convicted as a criminal. We can cannot remove either of them from office.

    Zac Goldsmith’s original Recall Bill, defeated by Lib Dem action, provided for real voter-led recall, with voters able to unseat such non-representative, dishonest, or criminal MPs through a petition and referendum. After events since the 2016 vote, it’s clearer than ever that we need such powers.

    Will you now become an advocate of such powers, Mr Redwood, resurrect the Goldsmith proposals, and help us citizens to take back control?

  19. rick hamilton
    March 5, 2019

    Sensible voters do not take every line of a manifesto literally as they recognise the difference between intentions or ambitions and what is actually possible after an election. But the referendum wasn’t a choice of which party you generally support, or are generally opposed to. It was an absolutely clear either / or decision on the most important issue confronting the country for a generation.

    A real leader would follow the winning side’s instructions to the full and have the ability to persuade the losers to accept it over time. With two and a half years wasted it is obvious that T. May has absolutely no persuasive skill whatsoever. She seems to think that the best outcome of a black or white vote is grey – which pleases nobody.

  20. Robert Riley
    March 5, 2019

    Interestingly, I see that Brandon Lewis has promised that CCHQ will step in to block the deselection of any Tory MP, provided they back the PM’s deal. If this is indeed true I can see the Conservative party being thrown into the bin of history in the very near future.

  21. Sir Joe Soap
    March 5, 2019

    Payback time for people like May & Corbyn, the comedy duo, who have told all sorts of lies to cover the fact that they’re doing a job they don’t believe in. Rather like the classic soap powder salesman who doesn’t believe in his product, they’re doomed to failure.

    Had she been honest, along the lines of “well I don’t like the way the country has voted, so I’m quitting the scene”, one could have understood it. Davis or others could have sorted this out as believers in it. Instead we have this consummate liar.

    Bizarrely, Corbyn is the reverse case – a guy who never believed in the EU but now has to twist and turn to support it, so is equally doomed to failure.

    Equilibrium will eventually re-assert itself. The country will get the politicians it deserves, who work for it, rather than the reverse.

  22. NigelE
    March 5, 2019

    “The Conservatives will have a problem if the leadership seeks to deviate from the Manifesto line itself on the issue of leaving the EU”.

    If? The WA and the 2017 manifesto are chalk and cheese. The leadership have torn up the Manifesto, not deviated from it.

  23. Iain Gill
    March 5, 2019

    To be frank, anyone who has been in cabinet in any recent government should be deselected, if for nothing else promising one thing regarding immigration at election time and in the manifesto, and pulling the levers of power in completely different ways when in power.

    The whole labour party are massively out of touch with their voters in their heartlands outside the M25 on this issue. The Conservatives pay lip service, but will openly tell big business they are lying, when doing their famous “Chatham house rules” briefings.

    Things like this are massive problems. The political class is way too far removed from the majority of decent voters.

  24. Alan Joyce
    March 5, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Perhaps it ought to be the law that an MP who wishes to cross the floor should automatically have to fight a by-election. After all, the MP concerned had fought the previous general election standing on a manifesto approved by the Party. Voters would have been attracted to what was in the manifesto and voted accordingly. If the MP no longer agrees with the majority of the people who voted for him / her then those people are no longer represented in Parliament for the remainder of the term. That cannot be right. Independent MP’s may do as they please.

    The newly-formed Independent Group is merely a band of disaffected Remainers dressed up as some sort of revolutionary new gathering doing things in a different way. The ex-Labour members will hope Corbyn is removed somehow and scuttle back to Labour. The ex-Conservatives will likely lose their seats at the next GE. I look forward to its first policy pronouncements with great interest and to their ‘shadow’ spokesmen and women defending them whilst being interviewed in a robust manner. It does not surprise me that we have heard nothing from them so far.

    1. Lorna
      March 5, 2019

      Interestingly Sarah Woolaston had introduced a Bill,to do just that ! Any one crossing the floor needed to resign their seats
      Heidi Allen has only been three years in the Party .She now states that her loyalty is to People not Party.Ignoring the fact that without the Party she would not have been elected
      The question of allowing these treacherous MPs to,stand is counterproductive as the people will not want to vote for a MP who has opposite views to themselves
      The votes will go to other Brexit groups as a protest
      All those MPs publicly denouncing the Manifesto they stood for should be deselected!

  25. A.Sedgwick
    March 5, 2019

    “Conservatives have far fewer MPs deviating far from the manifesto line” – at least 200 in my view.

  26. 'None of the above'.
    March 5, 2019

    Slightly off topic but connected, I would suggest.

    Very interesting article on the ‘Brexit Central’ website today by Christopher Howarth, a senior Parliamentary Researcher. Well worth a read and somewhat reassuring for people like me with serious misgivings about our Country’s future.
    Some people may criticise David Davies but putting the date of departure in the EWA was an act of genius in my view. Hurrah for the rule of Law.

    Reply The ERG made outing the date in our number one demand from the Withdrawal Bill.

  27. Lynn Atkinson
    March 5, 2019

    Conservative Association must RECOVER the power taken from them boy Heath, to freely select their candidates. Had we not been forced to choose from the gerrymandered Party list for decades, the Parlaimentary Party would not be so adrift from the Party membership and the Country!

  28. bigneil
    March 5, 2019

    A general “reply to all” – I’ve said many times over the years that a Manifesto is to get votes to stay in a job- nothing more. As the Polling Station doors close the Manifesto is then thrown in the bin.

  29. Bryan Harris
    March 5, 2019

    A lot of Tory MP’s face not only deselection by their local associations, but a lack of votes at the next GE…. Even those MP’s that are reasonably sensible and hover around, unsure, but otherwise sensible, are liable to be affected.
    I suspect many MP’s may jump ship, but it’s likely many will retire from Parliament rather than face a GE vote of no confidence in them personally.

    A new contract is required between Parliament and the people, the current one is badly damaged.

  30. bigneil
    March 5, 2019

    Manifesto promises? How many elections have had “reduce or control immigration?” What a sick joke.

  31. TooleyStu
    March 5, 2019

    To repeat the words from January..

    By johnredwood | Published: January 15, 2019
    Today UK democracy is on trial in Parliament.
    The people voted, yet a large number of MPs want to deny them the results of their vote.

    Watching a tv prog last night on how Remainer MPs were being threatened was enlightening. And worrying.
    People that are normally apathetic to politics are starting to watch, wonder and despair.

    I am wondering why these Remain MPs are so set in their views?
    Is it because, once the EU is dispensed with, will these new enlightened eyes start to question closer to home?

    Tooley Stu.

  32. Original Richard
    March 5, 2019

    It’s disgraceful to see the BBC and others describe the MPs who are trying to implement the referendum result and their own party’s manifesto pledges on Brexit as “rebels”.

  33. Les Hodgett
    March 5, 2019

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive…”

  34. Den
    March 5, 2019

    Perhaps a new Government will introduce a Law that requires ALL MP’s to put their Constituency members FIRST. And then a New Law that requires ALL Governments to put their country and its citizens FIRST, always. Now that is real democracy.

  35. Les Hodgett
    March 5, 2019

    Elsewhere someone is quoting that politicians first parameter is that they should be able to count – i.e. how many will vote in a given way. Unfortunately this is true, and shows the corrupt nature of the system. Doing right should be the over-riding first principle – let the consequences be what they may. But in the current godless (will this pass moderation?) relativistic society there is no likelihood of righteousness prevailing.

  36. margaret
    March 5, 2019

    Concentrating on political arguments is not helpful for the UK . They should put their own politics aside and follow the course we voted for. Is this turmoil worth £13.700 PA extra to pay this lot? or perhaps that is what it is all about: their own puffed up importance.

  37. Mike Wilson
    March 5, 2019

    I wonder who is right – Mr. Redwood in his political bubble – or me, outside that bubble. I think that if we leave with May’s deal, or do not leave at all, the Tory Party is lining itself up for oblivion. In the next General Election many of the 17.4 million will join, and fund, the new Brexit Party. And a big proportion of the 17.4 million will vote for them. A lot of MPs will be de-selected too. It will be chaos – and hugely entertaining too.

    I think politicians in the bubble think it is all a storm in a teacup and that, after May’s appalling deal or not leaving at all, it will all settle back down and people will carry on voting for the Tory and Labour parties.

    I can’t see that myself.

    1. Gary C
      March 5, 2019

      “I think politicians in the bubble think it is all a storm in a teacup and that, after May’s appalling deal or not leaving at all, it will all settle back down and people will carry on voting for the Tory and Labour parties.”

      And why should we vote for them when it is they who have torn the country apart, my thinking is they have not the smarts to coming anywhere close to correcting the damage they themselves have done.

  38. Mike Wilson
    March 5, 2019

    On the subject of the ‘second referendum’. I thought momentum (if you’ll pardon the expression) for a second referendum was building until a while ago. Then, someone said they had heard that Leavers were planning to run a campaign with the slogan …


    I think this scared off a lot of supporters of a second referendum. Because, given the chance, I think even more people will TELL THEM AGAIN.

  39. Dominic
    March 5, 2019

    Removing a no-deal Brexit from the equation is nothing less than an act of sedition and a thinly veiled rejection of popular democracy by an authoritarian sect embedded deep within the political and administrative establishment. That infection transcends and crosses party political boundaries

    If this pathetic individual acting as the UK’s PM is allowed continue she will succeed in destroying popular democracy and trust in our very politics

    She must be deposed and this government must be toppled to save our democracy from a Parliamentary coup d’etat

  40. lately
    March 5, 2019

    Yuk! we need to shake up politics in this country and the way we go, here I am talking about the introduction of proportional representation. The old party first past the post system has failed miserably in this one important brexit issue- also there may also be other tricky deciders down the road so time to get real, modernise now- if we don’t want to entirely lose the people.

  41. The Prangwizard
    March 5, 2019

    I imagine Sir John is preparing to justify how he will be staying a loyal Tory even after traitor May signs her surrender document shortly and betrays everything he and others have stood for over decades and in spite of all the promises she has broken.

    Reply Not so. I will speak for myself and don’t need you to put the wrong words in my mouth

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    March 5, 2019

    You should not prevaricate about de-selection of Conservative MPs:
    (1) All of the Conservative MPs who supported the Spelman/Dromney amendment or abstained on it should be deselected.
    (2) All of the Cabinet members who threatened Mrs May with their resignations if No Deal was not withdrawn should be deselected.

    That’s close to 40 MPs who thoroughly deserve eviction. Letters should be written to their Conservative Associations requesting action. Simultaneously, Nigel Farage should be asked to field a candidate against any of them who doesn’t stand down.

    It is high time that steps were taken to get all pro-EU politicians flushed out of parliament and to cleanse the Augean stables that constitute the Pro-EU deep state.

    1. Steve
      March 5, 2019

      Lindsay McDougal

      “It is high time that steps were taken to get all pro-EU politicians flushed out of parliament and to cleanse the Augean stables that constitute the Pro-EU deep state.”

      This is on the cards regardless of brexit outcome. The mother of all reckonings on the way.

      These traitors will absolutely not get away with it, you can be sure.

  43. Helen Smith
    March 5, 2019

    Let’s be clear here, it is NOT a case that MPs, code for Grieve Et al, have changed their minds, they LIED to their electorate and to their constituency members to get elected.

    That is why they must be deselected. They have behaved most dishonourably.

  44. Norman
    March 5, 2019

    Western civilization, as based on the Bible, is heading for shipwreck. It’s no surprise therefore, that the Mother of Parliaments is in such crisis, and being driven into the arms of a corrupt one-world politico-religious system. If you doubt me, google Romans 1; 2 Timothy 3, Revelation 17 and Paul’s vivid shipwreck experience in Acts 27-28. We are thus, all swimming for our lives, and each needs to call upon Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord, before the inevitable happens. Only then, shall we find ourselves in a safe haven, and on the victory side – as when Paul shook off the serpent into the fire.

    1. acorn
      March 5, 2019

      You have reminded me. Did we ever find out which David Cameron ally, described Tory brexit activists as “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.

      1. rose
        March 6, 2019

        It was DC himself and the phrase was supposed to have been: “Fruitcakes, nutcases, closet racists and swivel-eyed loons.”

        Lord Feldman, his tennis partner said:

        ‘I did not, nor have ever, described our associations in this way or in any similar manner. Nor do these alleged comments represent my view of our activists,’ he said. ‘On the contrary, I have found them to be hard-working, committed and reasonable people, the backbone of the party.’

  45. BR
    March 5, 2019

    A good analysis of the issues facing the parties and the pros and cons of disciplinary action.

    However, when it comes to cabinet discipline, one must wonder why collective responsibility has been allowed to break down to the extent we have seen in recent weeks.

    I realise that May doesn’t want these people on the backbenches voting against the government but can you really keep someone in cabinet who would otherwise do that?

    It seems to me that she must reshuffle the cabinet and have it more pro-Leave (yourself and JRM leap to mind). Those ministers will probably vote against at some crucial point anyway.

  46. BR
    March 5, 2019

    P.S. I assume that you (and hopefully the whole ERG and others) plan to vote against the WA, in favour of ‘no deal’ (as in ‘no WA’ or ‘for WTO initially’) and against extension in the upcoming votes?

    Reply That is how I will vote.

  47. Ian
    March 5, 2019

    Dear Sir John,
    The Manifesto was very well crafted, and a lot of us voted for it because it sounded exactly what we wanted.
    Then the PM started to show her colours, those colours soon lost there Red, and before you could believe just what we were then looking at we were being asked, rather we were introduced to something quite different.
    Most of us were knocked flat by this slight of hand, by such as the PM

    Boris had the decency to resign , but very few others.
    What has happened is the Hi Jacking of the People’s vote.

    What has slipped into view is this party who will have one day to face the public, and be judged they certainly will.
    They will be seen not just as The nasty party, but the party That betrayed this Nation
    Some of these MPs think that resignation, and joining the Brexiteers with Jacob Ress Mogg
    Calling themselves Brexiteers, like Gove, well we have watched them showing Remainer colours, we know Real Brexiteers.

    Reply 23 have resigned over Brexit!

  48. Welldone
    March 5, 2019

    When TM says that there is no connection between the fall in police numbers and the rise in knife crime, she is just showing the contempt that she holds for the public. A dangerous person to be in charge of government by any standard- am afraid

  49. mary
    March 5, 2019

    Not strictly on topic but ….
    Have any of the MPs who plan to support May’s “Withdrawal” Agreement, including Jacob Rees Mogg, actually read this? :
    I don’t know HOW any MP could accept something that enslaves our nation until infinity under such appalling terms. Just in order to dupe the public that Brexit had happened What kind of people are they for Gods sake ?

  50. mary
    March 5, 2019

    Here is a link to Ambrose Evans Pritchard
    I can’t entirely get my head round some of this, but suffice it to say that we are up against a very cunning enemy in the EU who are setting all sorts of traps . Why not simply vote down the rotten WA.

    1. Richard
      March 5, 2019

      Thank you, there are a lot of points in that linked article. Eg:
      – “many EU states urgently need an extra three months themselves because they are not remotely ready. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz let slip in Davos that the EU cannot compel the British to request a delay.”
      – Several warnings of the likely punishment beating if the WA is signed eg: “It is hard to put a friendly construction on motives when the same Commission is currently attempting to shut down a large part of the City’s commodity trading business in a punitive attack.” [AEP explains: Brussels is pursuing Britain for failure to charge VAT on commodity futures. This is to overturn a settled compromise dating back to the UK’s original derogation in the 1970s on zero-rated VAT in this market. ]

      The economic warfare that the EU is currently waging against the UK will of course continue during any extension, despite the UK having a “say”.

  51. Freeborn John
    March 5, 2019

    Dr Phillip Lee should be deselected. He is one of the most MPs having flip flopped from pretending to be a eurosceptic to resigning from the government in order to thwart the referendum result.

  52. ian
    March 5, 2019

    Everything going along nicely with just over 3 weeks to go to Brexit day.

    No deal is the unlikely favourite at this time up against Mrs T May WA, I just cannot see MPs in parliament voting for a deal which leads to another 4 years or more of this circus with an election on top during that time.

  53. RichardM
    March 5, 2019

    Fact :
    Toyota and BMW warn NO DEAL Brexit could hit UK investment
    Brexiter translation :
    Toyota and BMW warn diesel downturn could hit UK investment

    1. stred
      March 6, 2019

      Odd that both firms made their statement on the same day. Last time Airbus let slip that it was Mr Clarke’s department that asked them to lay it on. The Dept of Fear.

  54. Iain Gill
    March 5, 2019

    was very close to one of todays bombs

    I hope whoever did this is caught soon

    thanks to the police and security services for the hard work

  55. Steve
    March 5, 2019

    Off topic – now the BBC is running an article claiming that brexit will be bad for people with cancer.

    I have to ask myself; is there no limit to how low they’re prepared to stoop ?

    1. ChrisS
      March 6, 2019

      No !

  56. Pc Brigade
    March 6, 2019

    Some MPs have undermined the system of Parliamentary Democracy…Representative Democracy. Remainer MPs
    “The Country is divided” Yes they’ve tried their best to divide those who accept democracy and those who don’t. Should feelings go the other way on some other issue, they have now invalidated anything at all they wish in implement.

  57. Odd Times
    March 7, 2019

    Westmonster says Mr Grieve is due to speak with Macron’s government to discuss a delay in Brexit.
    He faces a deselection meeting 29th March 2019 at 8pm prompt at the Bull Hotel,Gerrards Cross, Bucks.
    Will President Macron grant a delay to his deselection, that is the question.

  58. Alex Ferris
    March 7, 2019

    I’ve emailed the agent for the Somerton and Frome Conservative Constituency asking for an item to be added to the AOB part of the Agenda for this year’s AGM in Somerton on Friday 22nd March (730pm at the Parish Offices in Somerton). Is there an expert on AGM workings who can advise us whether we need approval to question our MP directly on the evening?

    Jacob Rees-Mogg posted an article on Twitter yesterday adding that he was delighted to have been re-elected as North East Somerset’s Conservative Candidate and that they had a lively discussion culminating in a motion to support BREXIT. It would be great to know exactly what that motion said. The article mentions that Conservative HQ was heavily against democracy breaking out at AGMs.

    I have not heard back from the agent. I have always voted Tory. I have put up posters in Bruton, Somerton and Wincanton asking for members to attend to hold our MP to account for his voting record supporting the Withdrawal Agreement which had the heaviest defeat in current Parliamentary history. It is an Orwellian BREXIT agreement which surrenders our sovereignty, whilst leaving us a vassal state if adopted. There would be no control of our borders, and nothing to stop the EU demanding more money from us to bail out failing eurozone members.

    It matters not whether motions are passed in the Commons next week. The government has the power to alter the date of BREXIT with a Statutory Instrument but would need to justify why the date should change. The EU would need to agree an extension and it is no way certain the EU would grant this even if the government wanted to do so. Whatever happens, preventing Conservative members, 70% of whom want a clean BREXIT, will do nothing for party cohesion and sustainability.

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