Then there were five

The elimination of only one  contender drags out the contest a bit longer. The contest anyway has become  a race for second place, to see who would be best to go up against Boris in the  lengthier phase of the contest appealing to the members in the country. I think a Johnson/Hunt contest would be best.

It was unfortunate that Rory Stewart wishes to turn the contest into a re run of the referendum, in denial of the clear stance for Brexit all Conservatives put to the electorate in order to become MPs in 2017. He studiously avoided even contacting many Conservative MPs he knew to be committed to our 2017 promises, preferring to attract the support and good wishes of the media, especially the BBC, and sections of  the general public  wanting a second referendum. He then claims he could get the completely unacceptable Withdrawal Treaty through the Commons after its three big defeats.

The contest has had an unreal air for another reason. Several of the candidates claimed they could renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement in time for  our exit on 31 October. There has  never been any glimmer of reason to suppose the EU would enter deep and serious talks about rewriting the Agreement, or that such work could be completed between the end of July and the end of September allowing time to ratify the Agreement by both sides.

The BBC debate was dreadful. It was set up  and chaired badly so we learned little. There was no wish  to allow or require a serious discussion of the major issues facing the country. Boris was constantly interrupted by the presenter and the BBC pursued its agenda to make sure the candidates could not discuss the great opportunities that follow if we just get on and leave.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    You point out the reason the electorate no longer trust the Tories; your leading lights sit there and tell us that we can re-negotiate/change the May Deal by 31st Oct. How stupid do you (PCP candidates) think we are? We all know that cannot happen, Be Honest! Get on with telling us how we are going to leave without a leave deal, and tell us what arrangements are in place to mitigate problems.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      “No Deal” is the default position by both Parliament & the EU.
      Do nothing and we leave on 31st October…

      You ask what “arrangements are in place”?

      How about these for starters.

      Avoiding the trap of the Withdrawal Agreement – the way ahead for a new Prime Minister

      It Makes No Sense To Throw Away Your Strongest Card

      Withdrawal Agreement: The Northern Ireland Protocol is neither a “backstop” nor temporary

      • Peter Wood
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        When have you heard one of the PCP leader candidates speak authoritatively on these issues, to rebut the disaster scenarios so often threatened by the Remainers? The information is out there, but those who need to be making the argument are not doing so.

    • jerry
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; Just a pity that Remainers lied about being able to negotiate with the EU, they have not learnt anything since Cameron’s, indeed even Thatcher’s before hand, failed attempts to ‘re-negotiate’ our terms of membership.

      “tell us what arrangements are in place to mitigate [the ‘no deal’] problems.”

      Do you mean the fake problems Project Fear keeps ‘highlighting’, or the real ones, such as the simple task of educating HMRC and their Agents how to process TIR carnets etc. when presented at the channel ports and terminals of entry/exit, so to keep the JIT supply chains running smoothly?…

      • libertarian
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink


        Good post, spot on

        • Hope
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          So two of the guest speakers of the BBC are now outed by Guido Fawkes for what they really are. When will the Tory govt take action against the BBC?

          The five should have had the backbone to refuse to take part especially as Maitless is currently subject of many complaints about her anti Brexit views! It is meant to be a state impartial broadcaster, it is anything but. Urgent action required.

          Trump led the way how to treat broadcaster promulgating fake news.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        No really quite a lie, but it looks highly unlikely without being serious about preparing for a WTO leave.

    • Hope
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      They should have boycotted the extreme left wing bias BBC show. It had no purpose or benefit for them. The first round is about MPs votes not Tory membership nor public.

      Four out of five candidates remainers! All of whom voted for May’s servitude plan! No one will govern with a remain majority the Tory party has. The public will not accept remaining in the EU no matter what Ken Clarke and his likes thinks he like your party is done. His protégée Stewart will never be elected. A general election is inevitable.

      Ivan Rogers in the Spectator is clear that no new deal or renegotiation can take place by 31/10/2019 and there will be no interest to do so by the EU. Rogers, once more, very negative in his outlook towards our country and comes across sneering/gloating at what he appears to think is our helpless position.

      What a waste of talent knowledge and experience for a life time diplomat taking the Queen’s shilling. No wonder the U.K. is unlikely to achieve anything if this is the this sort of attitude prevailing in the FCO or diplomatic circles. It also explains Stewart’s negative Brexit outlook. They want to hang on the shirt tails to their beloved project.

      It is straight forward: people versus parliament. And it is also clear leaving without a withdraw agreement is the only acceptable public option. Rogers and his likes think the,UK will beg the EU for a deal once the country has a taste of harm from leaving. Personally I would clear out all people like him in the public sector who clearly do not represent the country’s best interest. A thorough rinvestigation view of ALl public sector appointments from judiciary,police, Whitehall etc. Starting with Scraping the quangos with former Labour MPs appointed by Tories!

    • rose
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      They are not fooling us but each other. The PCP is a remain party and to go from the May regime to a Brexiteer’s administration in one hop would be too difficult for them. So they must be taken through the motions of HMG pretending to renegotiate before we can just leave. The candidates must have twigged by now they will be history if we don’t leave at Hallowe’en.

      Predictable but still infuriating that we can’t have a debate which educates the public on all the things the BBC et al suppress, like the joys of national independence.

      Good old Guido getting to the bottom of the Bristolian contribution so quickly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Indeed and all but Boris are essentially daft big government knows best socialists and in effect all still support remaining in all but name. Also the last thing the government needs to waste time and lots of money on is some silly ‘islamophobia’ inquiry. It will just give ammunition to Labour. Anything suggested by Cameron’s choice as party chairman the dire Baroness Warsi is bound to be damaging to the party. Can we get Tebbit back as chairman (or PM) or clone him perhaps?

      • Peter Wood
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        There was a man who told it as it was and didn’t mind ruffling a few feathers!

      • Steve
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


        “Can we get Tebbit back as chairman (or PM) or clone him perhaps?”

        …..LL, I think Norman Tebbit is a Lord now. A man for whom I have the greatest respect.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      You are aware of the Withdrawal EU Act 2018? This is ‘how we Leave’.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Are YOU ”aware” of it? And not just aware of it, but of what it actually says and means?

  2. Mark B
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    You should have taken my advise when choosing a new leader. Just draw straws.

    I cannot imagine for the life of me how it came to be that a great office of state has been reduced to little more than a game show. This is how low we have allowed ourselves to sink.

    The political class is a never ending source of embarrassment.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      I only saw the last ten minutes (that was enough to confirm that “we’re doomed,doomed I tell you!”)-we were watching an old episode of the vintage comedy “On the Buses”instead.

      We might just as well choose between Blakely,Olive,Stan,Jack,Mom or Arthur.Olive for PM I say!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I am open to the suggestion that the BBC designed last night’s ‘debate’ in such a way that it brought each of the candidates to a state of ridicule, expertly enabled by the hostess who employed the old ruse of interjecting and asking a second question before the candidate had time to answer the first. Channel 4 was little better, and both broadcasters have a left-wing bias.

      The candidates are vying for the highest elected office in the land. A good broadcaster that provided a good host, would have given the public an insight into the characters and the policies of everyone there gathered so that we might make an informed choice when it comes time to cast our votes at a General Election.

      As it is, we learned little, and that is such a wasted opportunity. The figures show the top job is Mr Johnson’s to lose. Little wonder Mr. Johnson wanted to steer clear of such degenerative places, and who could blame him when the real hustings for this competition are going on behind closed doors at Westminster?

      The BBC is a joke, and last nights televised ‘debate’ is evidence of an organisation infused with people with the wrong motives, and severely lacking in talent. Andrew Neil would have done a far better job of getting at the salient issues in a structured, measured way. Alas, he tends to be too even-handed for the BBC bosses and not inclined to show favouritism. Points I mentioned in communication with one senior ERG member last night whilst the programme was just about to end.

      Right now, I am keen to see a new Culture Secretary with the guts to sort the BBC out once and for all, and if they can’t make it even-handed, then break the damned thing up altogether!

      • Hope
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        It is not a joke Ted. It is disgusting. It is being allowed by the Tory Govt. it needs to be brought to heal, and quickly. Cut its funding radically, restructure its personnel and output. Independent complaint procedure. Financial penalties every time it transgresses its charter. Make it learn.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Mark ….I think you meant the BBC are a never ending source of embarrassment?

      • Mark B
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        No. I meant what I said.

        As for the BBC, I and many others here and elsewhere have made our views well known. It is, I believe, up to those in Westminster to listen and to act.

  3. Ian wragg
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Stewart is the establishment candidate and every weapon will be deployed to try and shoe horn im in.

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink


      I’m not sure that’s the case. I think Stewart is the “useful idiot” unwittingly providing cover for Gove. While Stewart soaks up coverage from the media for his open stance on remaining, I don’t think he can be seen as having much political clout if it came to it. On the other hand Gove, like him or loathe him, is a political heavyweight with the experience and the “previous” to carry out whatever long-game skulduggery he has up his sleeve.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        When a backbencher cum junior minister is invited to attend a Bilderberg conference you know that they are not there to serve the drinks and canapés. Suddenly, he becomes the darling of the MSM and they expect the Tory membership to not suspect any wrongdoings behind the scenes?

      • Dennisa
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Gove has a plan. He kept telling us that.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think it matters who’s against Boris as he is certain to get the vote of members as the other candidates are so poor. Not convinced any of them, including Boris are actually “Conservative”. I think politics is broken and we need better than this. An election is imminent and the Brexit Party are waiting to lead.

    • stred
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Stewart was allowed to speak at length uninterrupted. Maitless interrupted Johnson constantly. All appeared to be likely to push a capitulation/colonial deal through Parliament with a small change to the Irish border arrangement.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        Glad somebody else noticed too!

      • Bob
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Being unlicensed I didn’t see the event but from what I’ve read it sounds like Jeremy Kyle would have done a better job.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. It was awful and the BBC doesn’t even try to hide its bias. The outing of the “independent” public asking questions shows up this corrupt organisation that is way past reform. All of the candidates agreed Mays 2050, CO2 target without any question of costs to the poor and manufacturing. Where do they think the CO2 will go? China anyone? All fools we must have the Brexit Party.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        She interrupted Boris endlessly with silly pre-prepared and irrelevant attacks. Almost like the pathetic and hugely biased Marr interview of Farage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      He is surely a good candidate for Labour or Libdim leadership, but he is not remotely a Conservative. Why on earth did he join the Conservative party? And he read PPE, totally unsuitable.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Gove represents the Blairite Establishment.Hunt/Stewart the older variety.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Stewart was used by the remain establishment swamp to eliminate Mr. Raab, which is why he received far more secret votes than the few who were publicly prepared to say they were backing him in round 2 and who then disappeared in the 3rd round.

  4. Peter
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Both debates were a waste of time. Johnson was sensible to avoid the channel 4 version. He avoided major damage in the BBC version. So everything remains as it was for him except with one less rival.

    Stewart had his claque to provide applause on Channel4 but seemed lost without them on the BBC. He tried to draw attention to himself and postured to make himself look bigger than he is. Johnson just sat there comfortable in his own skin.

    The others suffered no real damage. There was an irrelevant question about Islamophobia which they quickly moved on from.

    After the show on Newsnight there was a desperate attempt to find fault in Johnson’s performance. Mateless thought the inability to remember the Muslim questioners name signified some evidence of Islamophobia. Ian Duncan Smith was on hand to dismiss this sort of nonsense.

    So not much of substance to report from the sound bite shows. I am more interested in how the Brexit Party are gettingon now.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      What I am sure these leadership debates, if by what people are saying they are anything like, the general public now know what a perilous state our politics is in. A very poor lot.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      One has to question the current TBP strategy of doing not a lot right now. I think I would be tightening the screw harder, with daily press conferences and rallies up and down the land.

      • Christine
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        The Brexit Party: The Big Vision Rally – 30th June at the NEC in Birmingham

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Rallies cost money Nicholas, why waste ammunition firing at tin cans?

        Best to chose one’s targets well, and I’m sure Mr Farage will do that right enough once he sees who the Brexit Party has to fight.

        As I type, the Telegraph is reporting that ‘Rory Stewart says he is in talks with Michael Gove about combining forces’ so the situation is fluid.

        I want to see if the Tories can come out of this and be brought back from the edge of extinction. With yet another remainer like Rory Stewart at the helm, or an unprincipled serial back-stabber, they are past redemption.

        Not unnaturally, Mr Johnson is my preferred choice, and we could have had that three years ago without all the capitulations, the grovelling, and embarrassment were it not for Mr Gove.

      • Butties
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Farage was questioned at length by Christopher Hope, better known perhaps as ‘Chopper’, who produces a Brexit podcast for the Telegraph. Read up about it on The Conservative Woman. Apart from TCW I have not seen any reporting of this meeting in front of a live audience. Farage got a standing ovation at the end it was reported. MSM don’t want to report methinks!

      • L Jones
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        You’re right. I looked at their website. Informative but not pro-active. They need to get their message out there forcefully NOW, and not just rest on their MEP election laurels.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Yes I’m sure Nigel picked up a couple of percentage after the debates.
      If Boris wins and does a uturn on the 31st October deadline then the party is well and truly goosed.

      • Steve
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Ian wragg

        It’s probably goosed anyway. They’ve lost so much public trust it’s doubtful if they could win a general election.

        Moreover; brexit has revealed the mindset of most MP’s

    • Peter
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      We now discover that the Muslim questioner -Abdullah Patel – is an anti Zionist head of a failing school. He believes women should not be alone with men. (Source Guido Fawkes)

      So the BBC select him, of all people, to pose a question. The shallow nature of the debate meant it was pointless trying to engage and dismiss the idea of Islamophobia in Conservative ranks. It is easier to just agree to investigate and get him off screen as quickly as possible. Baroness Warsi turns up on radio 4 to expand on the idea – now that all candidates have agreed there is an issue and so it goes on.

      The strange woman from Southampton who claimed a No Deal Brexit would reduce her family to penury was also rather suspicious. Project Fear continues.

      • Peter
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        The other Asian questioner Aman has an interesting background too. He worked in Labour HQ according to Guido.

        Solid and transparent vetting on the part of the BBC. Well done.

  5. formula57
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    It is assuredly a contest with an “unreal air”. The nation though is happy to wait for its affairs to be dealt with whilst the Conservative Party indulges itself. After all, there is a more than negligible chance it is picking its last leader.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Of the Conservative Party….’After all, there is a more than negligible chance it is picking its last leader.’

      I agree, but they would keep choosing people like Rory Stewart to run for parliament, against the advice of the rest of us. A candidate can have as many qualifications as they like, or an Oxbridge education and speak with a plummy accent, but unless they have resonance with the wider public, they will, sooner or later, founder upon the rocks of public opinion.

  6. Shirley
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Does it really make a difference who leads the party? The party itself is undemocratic. Likewise with the other main parties.

    We want Brexit, and we want democracy restored. We want to choose who governs and not have our elected governors willingly allow our country to be subsumed to an unaccountable and extortionate EU without electoral consent.

    The Brexit Party is our best hope of restoring democracy, and Brexit.

  7. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Boris was just not credible again.
    1) He did not guarantee we would leave on 31st October
    2) His tax plan is now only an ambition
    3) He failed to say he wold stop the Heathrow expansion.

    All issues he earlier said, was official policy.
    He has lost all credibility and he might still win.
    This is the problem with the Conservative Party.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Rory Bilderberg would have is tied to the EU and ultimately locked into a Federal European state. I find that a bit more concerning than a 3rd runway for Heathrow.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink


      Mrs Merkle not looking too chipper these days sadly.

      Talking of not credible eh hans

      Seeing as ambitions are regarded as rock solid bus based promises by the remainiacs what difference does it make?

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Cheap jibes about somebody obviously in distress from you? Why doesn’t that surprise me? I bet you laughed when Mrs May lost her voice. How old are you?

        • libertarian
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard

          What part of sadly do you not understand? If you ever bothered to follow anything or research anything you would know that I predicted the problems Mrs Merkle would face and wished that she would retire earlier. But then when did you ever tell the truth, investigate anything or make any valid contribution to anything ?

          I’m the same age as you which is why i remember first hand the time about which you continually post the same falsehoods

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


            Can you not argue without getting personal?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Kettle calling the pot! You’re pretty free and easy with your cheap jibes.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          I only saw a little of it, but it looked excrutiatingly embarrassing. They were perched uncomfortably on those high stools as if they were in some reality game show. How utterly undignified. Why on EARTH would any one of them agree to it?
          Peer group pressure, I suppose.

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, Since that “somebody” is an enemy of this nation, I have no sympathy whatsoever. Remains started straight after the Referendum sneering at Leaves as thick, xenophobes, fascists, etc. We did warn you about this, and that you would not like it when we returned the compliment. Grow up.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink


            ” Since that “somebody” is an enemy of this nation, I have no sympathy whatsoever”

            An enemy of this nation? What utter drivel. I read somewhere that Mrs May and her husband have become personal friends of Frau Merkel and her husband Professor Emeritus Joachim Sauer and enjoy private dinner parties together.

            As for warning me about returning the compliment about sneering at Leavers, I am honestly not bothered but I don’t recall Frau Merkel making any adverse remarks about Leavers.

    • rose
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      All assertions culled from the BBC rather than Boris! Like Miss Maitlis, if you listen to, and read, the original words, you might understand.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      ‘Brexit means Brexit’ ‘We will be leaving the EU on the 29th March’ Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech – that’s the problem with the Conservative Party!

      They spend good will like confetti at a society wedding!

    • John Probert
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      No one is in a position to Guarantee anything
      Boris showed a flexible and determined approach
      If the conservative party wishes to survive it needs to
      unite behind Boris like it or not

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Hans the Russian-fluent Mrs Merkel (did you know that her father was possibly the only German to ‘escape’ from West to East Germany?) seems to be quaking at the very thought of Boris as PM. Hope he is packing while off screen …

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink


        He didn’t ‘escape’ (nudge nudge wink wink), he was a pastor and they usually go to where they are sent.And there are quite a few people in the world who speak more than one language.

    • Steve
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink


      Why do you appear so interested in British matters ? I wonder.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Hans… are just not credible….again.
      Just because you don’t want him doesn’t mean the Tory MPs don’t.

  8. agricola
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Spot on John, we are in complete accord. For some of the contenders there was a lack of clarity on Brexit. For others it was s snake oil salesmen’s convention. It was overseen by Maitlis doing a very poor job on behalf of clarity in information gained, but then denigration of anything not left wing enough is now the BBC’s mission in life. They set the bear traps and try to drive the contributers into them. When this is not working they interupt and over shout,4 a vocal smoke screen. Makes you realise just how good Robin Day was.

  9. Dominic
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    There are no words to describe the utter contempt for the BBC but more importantly for the manner in which every Tory candidate capitulated

    Do they not understand that the majority, YES THE MAJORITY, that we want to see aggression, spine and anger from our next PM?

    We don’t want to see meekness in the face of an agenda that is driven by the BBC’s embrace of identity politics, minority rights fascism, victimhood culture and a hatred of all things Conservative

    I want to see revenge taken against the BBC.

    • Bob
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      “I want to see revenge taken against the BBC.”

      It’s UKIP policy to abolish the BBC Licence.

      I personally abolished the BBC Licence a long time ago.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      revenge best served cold. Once Boris gets the job we need him to axe the BBC.

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I assume you voted Boris again John. Why do you think Hunt would be best as a second-place choice ? Obviously it is best to have Stewart eliminated early just to shut up his left-wing media cheerleaders but it surely doesn’t much matter who is selected to be a distant second to Boris in the membership vote ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Then we have a clear choice, leave the EU and have a small government, Conservative leader in charge. Or have Hunt essentially another Oxford PPE, pro EU, anti-democratic, high tax and regulation, socialist – just like Cameron though he pretended not to be. One who almost certainly presided over hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths at the NHS. While elegantly apologising periodically. And yet did almost nothing to sort out the appalling (take what you are given or not given mate) NHS system.

  11. Simon Grant
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    In 2017 the Conservatives were denied a majority by the British people. You, Mr Redwood, are agitating for adherence to a commitment which has been thrown out by the voters. Mr Stewart is a democrat. You are not.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      “Mr Stewart agrees with my view and so is a democrat. You don’t therefore you aren’t”. There … fixed that for you.

    • agricola
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      However Brexit was not thrown out at the 2017 election as you imply. From my perspectve the electorate were not impressed by May’s left of centre manifesto. Both our host and Mr Stewart no doubt subscribe to democracy, they just wish to carry us in different directions, with the democratic support of the electorate. The latter was established in 2016 against the wishes of the establishment who have fought tenaciously to usurp this democratic decision.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Simon, the Conservatives had a majority with the DUP who had the same policy on Brexit and that is how democracy works in the UK, Northern Ireland is still as much a constituent part of the UK as the North West or London. Other Countries in Europe all have grand coalitions if Labour needed the SNP to rule would you discount the SNP so quickly?

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The Tory vote share went up in 2017. Over 80% voted for the two main parties who both promised to respect the result of the referendum. Now we know our politicians were lying, but which part of that do you not understand?

    • J Bush
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I suspect John Redding is more of a democrat than you, as he respects the result of the referendum.

      Please explain how and in what way Stewart’s’ suggestion of picking 50,000 people (from where? The electoral remain list) to sit around a round table and no doubt overturn the decision of 17.4 million people is democratic? A decision, I point out, which was given to the whole electorate by the majority of politicians.

      • Canister Jon
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Can you explain to me what the “result of the referendum” was? Was it to leave and enjoy the exact same benefits, as David Davis assured us? Was it to leave and participate in a free trade area stretching from Iceland to Russia, as Mr Gove promised? Was it to leave, and get a great deal because the EU needs us so much, as Mr Johnson explained? Was it to leave, but do a deal before the Art 50 letter was even sent, as the official Leave campaign promised? Which was the “result of the referendum”? All these things were claimed by the leavers. In fact, the only option which NOBODY proposed was to leave with no deal.

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

          Canister John, Lots of Leaves proposed to leave without a “deal”. Gerard Batten was one, I was another, and there were lots more.

          You make many claims about what Leave politicians “promised”, so lets have the actual quotes from you. My experience is that Remains lie. And one thing they almost universally lie about is claiming that mere advocacy was a “promise”.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink


            ” lets have the actual quotes from you. My experience is that Remains lie.”

            Some quotes from you to justify your experience?

        • Know-Dice
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

          The leaflet sent to every home in the UK explained what would happen if the Country voted to “Leave”, which it did.

          Other than that, what did the voting paper that you put your cross on say?

          Remain or Leave – that was it…

          Just in-case you are interested, the Government leaflet can be seen here:

  12. BCL
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind who the other candidate is in the final two so long as Boris is there. In a way I’m pleased Mr Raab was eliminated because had the members vote been him and Boris it would have been a more difficult decision for me. Boris and anyone else is easy and it’s Boris. My MP is Gillian Keegan, a Rory Stewart supporter. I don’t know why they don’t both go and join the Liberals. They have more in common with them that the Tories.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Problem is BCL your MP is not alone. Most of the current PCP have more in common with the Lib Dums than they do with the Tories. If they all upped and joined the parties they’d really be more at home in, there’d be no Tory party left. Nigel Farage has got more Conservative values in his little finger than most of them put together.

    • J Bush
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      My MP Trudy Harrison is not much better, she is backing Gove and both voted multiple times for May’s vassalage treaty.

  13. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    This whole fiasco is designed to undermine the Tory Party in late eyes of the electorate. It’s working! The MPs have basically decided and I can tell you that the Tory membership decided long ago that the most solidly no deal Brexiteer would win their support. I and my fellow members are ready to vote now! We know these people, we have watched them for years … nothing they can say will change our minds now.

  14. hellbent
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    So it looks like Stewart is the only one with feet firmly planted..the others, delusional for the most part, thinking they can renegotiate the withdrawal terms before 31st Oct, and others of the same mind that we can leave without a deal- but leave to go where? How will things be on the 30th November? that is the question.

    The EU side are only hoping, praying, that Boris gets through, if only to get him over there and tear him apart, nothing he says holds up to scrutiny, he can bring Rees-Moog, Francois, Baker and the other ERG bangers with him, all the better, they will be blown out of the water.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Stewart has his feet firmly planted ? Let’s see … he’s going to phone 50,000 people to see if they’re available then have a polling company select 500 of them to exactly represent the composition of the UK in all ways, both pro- and anti-Brexit, then he’ll have them sit in a room for a week and decide between them a Brexit solution – but a second referendum is not allowed, nor is revoking A50, nor is no deal – then they will give their recommendation to Rory but he can ignore it because they are just an advisory body, then the House of Commons will decide what to do next.

      Yeah – firmly planted.

      • Butties
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Spot on Roy, in fact brilliant summary.

    • agricola
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      In your dreams.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Strange logic.

      Feet firmly planted, others delusional? – by trying to get May’s appalling surrender treaty through yet again? By telling Tory voters there will be no tax cuts if he wins? Assuming the EU will not discuss things again when they have not even been asked, but just accepting their bluster when they think they have a tame government accepting all they say as they have had until now? Leave to go where? – out into the world where 85 percent of the world lives, not behind a barricade to keep it out.

      Remainers will clutch at any straw now and are desperate. The ERG are not head bangers, but just people trying to honour the referendum, whilst Remainers try to undermine democracy in their desperation to be governed by foreign powers.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Maybe they will cave in…or maybe they won’t.

      Rory Stewart should have the honesty and courage to admit that his plan is in fact a plan for Remain, as pointed out by Sajid Javid. Rory’s plan is to bring Mays deal back to parliament and not to leave until its passed. We know it won’t pass because remainers vote against any deal – in order to remain – and leavers won’t vote for a deal which in effect doesn’t leave. So it follows logically that under PM Rory we would never leave. It’s a strategy, & as someone who thought there were good arguments on both sides of the referendum, I can see its merits. But there’s nothing honest about pretending that MVs 4,5,6… would be anything but a ruse to remain.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        “Maybe they will cave in…or maybe they won’t.”

        Richard1, pretty much the way I see it.

        The EU HAVE to believe that the UK is willing to leave without signing the WA and the new Prime Minister needs to be willing to leave on that basis, come what may.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Boris won’t go running over to the EU hellbent. Perhaps he will just settle for a month and sort out and strengthen the UK first. The EU have already said no other deal is on offer so why trot over to get ‘blown out of the water’.

      Stewart is continuation May, we get caught in the horrible hold pattern with him and he with Labour/Lib Dem remain MPs come September will vote through May’s WA I think that is what Jeremy Corbyn was shouting about with his wait till September quote.

    • Pominoz
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      “The EU side are only hoping, praying, that Boris gets through, if only to get him over there and tear him apart”

      Why do Remainers think that all discussions should take place ‘over there’?

      Whoever is next PM, there should be an insistence that at least half the discussions take place in the UK. How about somewhere like Hartlepool?

      • L Jones
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Pominoz. It became so much the ‘norm’ that no-one seemed to question why Mrs May went trotting eastwards at every opportunity, or when summoned.
        For crying out loud – let them come to our representatives HERE. And keep it simple – NO red carpet, kisses, champagne reception, etc.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        “Why do Remainers think that all discussions should take place ‘over there?”

        Low self-esteem? It’s probably their motivation to want to remain in the EU. That, and the likes of (Sir) Nick Clegg saying that we are no longer capable of running our own nation.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


        “Why do Remainers think that all discussions should take place ‘over there’?

        Because the bloc we begged to join all those decades ago now consists of 28 members ‘over there’. So if say Finland had chosen to leave would you expect the others to meet them in Helsinki?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’ll tell you what IS delusional, poor losers like you!

      Ever negotiated a deal? I have, loads of them, and I know the customer is always right. The fact that the UK is such a lucrative market for the EU’s goods puts us in a very strong position!

      In my opinion, Rory Stewart is the worst of them all because he will not accept that the ability to walk away puts us in a good place. His kind bow and scrape to their EU masters and give concession after concession. They just don’t get it, and therein lies the knub of the problem. You can’t make someone see the advantages if the capacity to do so does not exist in the first place. That is why some are more successful at it than others. Rory Stewart wants to re-hash Theresa May’s deal, even though that loser suffered defeat after defeat.

      If you still say the EU side will blow these ERG types out f the water, you’ll fall for anything and I have a bridge to sell you. One careful owner.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Stewart need to have more than his feet planted!

    • Al
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      “The EU side are only hoping, praying, that Boris gets through, if only to get him over there and tear him apart, nothing he says holds up to scrutiny,”

      As far as many of the ERG and 52% of the country are concerrned, the only thing Boris needs to say to the EU is ‘Goodbye’. That doesn’t really give them a chance to tear him apart, or any real need to go over there at all.

    • Nickyroberts
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      that’s a name to conjure with… On The Buses…. those were the days!

  15. jerry
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    “It was unfortunate that Rory Stewart wishes to turn the contest into a re run of the referendum, in denial of the clear stance for Brexit all Conservatives put to the electorate in order to become MPs in 2017.”

    Whilst I totally agree that Stewart’s Stop Brexit position is wrong, it is not because he stood on the 2017 manifesto but the referendum result (a clear majority for Leave, even if the ‘How’ is unanswered…), many politicos stand and are elected on one manifesto but then move their policy positions – Mrs Thatcher was elected as an MP on Heath’s Oct 1974 manifesto, but then went on to rip up that manifesto during the leadership contest that followed, our host appears to be suggesting she was wrong to do so!

    As an aside, I do wonder if any Brexit/Boris supporting MPs are voting for Stewart in the knock-out rounds simply because he is the least likely to stop Boris once the vote moves to the membership?

    As for media coverage of the leadership contest, indeed it has been dire, not just that of the BBC.

  16. Simeon
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John, the BBC debate may well have been poorly set up, and 90 minutes or whatever it was is obviously an inadequate span of time for five candidates to seriously address weighty matters. Nevertheless, these candidates agreed to participate in this ill-conceived charade, and having done so, then utterly failed to rise above it in any way. There was still an opportunity to exude competence and inspire confidence, by expressing sound views, but none of the candidates did so.

    Though there is still the prospect of Johnson self-destructing, his ascension otherwise is assured. How is it that your party’s only hope is a candidate whose ‘plan’, such as it is, is so lacking in clarity, coherence and conviction, and who cannot be trusted to deliver it anyway? Leaving aside questions of personal integrity, the nature of the range of views amongst Conservative MPs – of which Johnson’s support is representative, and the impossibility of compromise on a binary, in or out, issue, demands the solution that Johnson rejects, a GE.

    Sadly, the reality is that Johnson will, at least initially, attract support from those seeking a proper Brexit. May I respectfully say that the likes of yourself and others with some credibility supporting, or at least enabling, Johnson, to some degree will shore up his support. The prospect of the Brexit vote being split between the principled, no-nonsense Brexit party and a shambolic, irreconcilably divided Conservative party is real. The longer you lend your weight to the Conservatives, the more likely a Labour-led government is – and at this stage it is already looking very likely.

    • Rob Pearce
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      The solution to this particular binary issue is to take WTO exit. All you have to do is sit there with arms folded and introduce no legislation that requires input or votes from the HoC, till Halloween. What are they gonna do to the new PM if he does that – bash him up? You either want out or you don’t.

      A GE solves nothing, all it does is make the voting public even more angry at the utter spinelessness of the government and the most tribal LabCon voters will vote TBP/LimpDem in droves. It might even be so bad that Farage actually wins a seat or two, but with FPTP all it will probably do is let the same Remainers in , but reduced on both sides, Lab and Con, and as I say solve NOTHING.

  17. Iain Moore
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Though this morning the BBC is trying to spin the ‘debate’ about Islamophobia or Boris not using their words and guarantee 31st Oct Brexit, they aren’t so keen to be honest that the ‘debate’ they put on last night was dire, the format was awful, Maitlis was out of her depth and and their gotcha line of questioning has resulted in politicians not willing to say anything of note lest they never hear the end of it.

    • agricola
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      First find a chairperson/interogator of integrity and political insight. Sadly they are mostly dead or retired,with the possible exception of Andrew Neil. Such interogators need to be prepared to sit back and allow the candidate to dig their own hole. To an audience constant interuption and overtalking/shouting, and changing the direction of the original question is supremely irritating.

      The format for me is the one on one interview. One hour each, with no pre knowledge of what any one else has said. We want the candidates solutions, not his reaction to the solutions of others.

      • Andy
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        We use to get that with Brian Walden on Sundays. Even though he was a Labour man Walden always created good interviews. Andrew Neil does good interviews, but is more aggressive and I’m not sure he gets as much light as Walden use to do.

      • Dennis
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        For this ‘debate’ and even for Politics Live and such groups each person should be in their own sound proof transparent box with a light ‘on’ so they can be heard and if off they cannot be heard by the viewer but they can hear each other. This control would stop over talking and rambling and may give a chance of getting sensible comments.

  18. J Bush
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I haven’t watched TV since just after Cameron became leader of your party, so rely on feedback from multiple sources to get a rounded view on what is going on. From all accounts it endorses your opinion of the BBC’s antics. Talking over Johnson and giving the undemocratic fake conservative Stewart as much time as he needed to spout his ‘Maylies’. However, judging from the criticism out there, it appears to have backfired on the BBC.

    That said, whether you like Trump or not, he does have an apt way to deal with fake news media outlets, he has nothing to do with them. He just lets them twine on and lets them prove they are just petty and vindictive fake news outlets. Perhaps, this is also a good tactic to deal with the BBC. It is time to repeal the TV tax is repealed and leave them to rely on what subscriptions they can get. I suspect even their EU funding would dry up, when there is no longer a captive audience.

  19. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Yes The BBC is a disgrace. It’s agenda is clearly to replace May with her most similar clone.

    Stewart is the media’s favourite, fitting their agenda – especially the BBC’s – and the most hardline remainer…
    I’m surprised those that complain of English equality in the Commons have not said anything about where Stewart comes from.
    It is perhaps the dishonesty associated with those that claim they can re-negotiate the EU deal that is most telling – But what we badly need as a PM is someone of substance and integrity, not some trainee hopeful who has learned his lines well but doesn’t understand anything.

    • agricola
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      True Bryan the WA is dead, though there are aspects within it that are of mutual advantage to the UK&EU. I would offer these in treaty form under the Vienna Convention, but right at the end of the Brexit process.

      The exit options, which I judge are being kept under wraps for tactical political reasons, offer an exit with an agreement or disruption to trade, or a no deal exit as a choice of last resort. The choice would be for the EU to make and accept the consequences of getting it wrong.

      The exit with an agreement is, depart on WTO terms, offer an FTA on trade and services,and stability of existing trade arrangements under a mutually agreed invoking of Art 24 of GATT. This way everyone wins.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      John, could you please explain why Jeremy Hunt and many of your colleagues before him, said it was imperative for democracy to get the NI Assembly back up and running so NI had a voice, yet he and most of your colleagues (there by the grace of England) still don’t believe in England having that same democratic right, i.e. a voice and it’s own Assembly?

      • Mark B
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        It is just another pathetic excuse. And obviously they ignore the hypocracy of their words.

        They fear us !

  20. sm
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    If I were an advisor to Johnson, or any of the other candidates, I would recommend now issuing a formal statement to the MSM:

    “The conduct of the TV interviewers and (presumably) their directors is such that it is no longer possible to pursue rational and intelligent discussion.

    As long as interviewers continue to consider that their opinions are more important than their guests’, I will no longer participate in group interviews, nor in any interview in which I am continually interrupted.”

    • J Bush
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Well said and a more diplomatic tone than the comment I made, which is unlikely to see light of day

  21. Newmania
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Oh yes that bodes well
    My husband may lose his job…”Um”
    The troubles may start up again if we get a hard border” …Cripes”
    What do you say to the Welsh hill farmer who is destitute ..” Errr….”
    People say you can`t tell one Muslim form another …” I`m sorry ..errm…generic Muslim…anyway what about landing on the Gallipoli peninsula and attacking form there ?”

    • libertarian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink


      And still NOT ONE shred of evidence or even example why any of your predictions might be right. Are you frightened ?

    • Richard1
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      The constant interruptions by maitlis and the format prevented any proper debate on these or other questions but the answers are very simple:-

      – no politician can guarantee any particular job. but since the referendum – contrary to Remain forecasts – employment has risen substantially. Free trade, tax cuts etc will ensure a prosperous future with lots of new and enhanced job prospects

      – no-one is going to put up a hard border in NI unless the EU is to force Ireland to do so. Who are these terrorists who are going to start blowing things up?

      – in the vanishingly unlikely event that the EU chooses to jeopardise its €100bn trade surplus in goods with the UK by starting a trade war, the excess revenues to the Treasury from tariffs can be used to compensate any losers such as the hill farmer.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      “What do you say to the Welsh hill farmer who is destitute ..” Errr….”

      I’d have said, IF Europe no longer want that Welsh farmer’s sheep, lambs and other products because they actively wish to do the UK damage for leaving (unlike how we behaved when we gave back our Empire and Southern Ireland) then the UK government will endeavour to help him find new markets with a new export department set up to get things rolling, we will put a policy in place to get all public sector purchasers of meat to buy UK produce and we will pay to advertise British Lamb to the British public showing our fabulous husbandry, skills of our farmers and the land and businesses we are trying to protect.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Your husband may have his job taken by s cheaper European labourer if we don’t get out. And your children seem to have done better than most so rejoice.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Keep it up, old chap. You may actually post something factual one day. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. You are more like a broken record.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Did not bother to view it such has been the dire content of such debates in years past.

    Did not view channel 4 either.

    You would need a show about 6 hours long to get even a sensible debate going with this number of people.

    Given that Politicians eliminate all but the last two standing, I see no point in having such a public debate/questions at all at this stage.

    Shame Dominic Raab got eliminated, whilst probably never going to be a winner, he was at least mainly on message.

    Now we have one so called Brexiteer, and four soft Brexit/Reamainers left.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Looks like the BBC was in charge of another shambles last night if the info posted on Guido’s website this morning is true, about the so called selection of public questioners.

      All those Politicians taking part should refuse further debates with the BBC.

      I would suggest the BBC is simply not fit for purpose to charge anyone for the licence fee, let alone old people.

  23. Little Englander
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    There would appear to be large criticism of Ms Maitliss for not keeping order in last night’s debate. Incompetence? Inexperience?- no. By design? Yes absolutely. What better way to stage manage a bunch of turkeys in front of millions of people ( and the rest of the world) letting them ‘free fall’ gobbling at each other. Yes Maitliss ( and the BBC) played that beautifully – she won they lost . What is pitiful and cringe making is that THESE are supposed to be the most serious contenders to lead a mainstream Party. ‘Clear the swamp’ I read somewhere almost every day and if the Conservative and Labour Parties are not careful the swamp and they will be cleared by Farage and the Brexit Party and that day may well be dawning and perhaps with good reason inorder to get the Nation back on track with people joining who are honest, disciplined and have a “proper” sense of duty towards the people they are there to represent. Too many lies too much insincerity and deviousness.

  24. oldtimer
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    More incompetence from the BBC. More reluctance from the politicians to be brutally frank about the challenge of delivering Brexit. More incentive for the Brexit party to speed up up its recruitment programme for candidates for election to Parliament.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      We need to hear more from The Brexit Party. The MSM are not going to give them much in the way of air time in any positive way – so they have to disseminate their own message. And not just on Facebook, etc – get it out into the Real World!

  25. Mel B
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    That was not just a debate, it was not even a leaders debate, it was a BBC debate.
    The BBC and the Conservative party both past their sell by date.

  26. Richard1
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Indeed it was a dreadful debate – even worse than the C4 one. It’s most absurd moment was when all candidates felt obliged to pay obeisance to the green God by saying how great it was children were going on strike and shrieking in the streets in support of ‘zero carbon’ by 2025, a completely unachievable objective on present technology irrespective of policies adopted.

    As you say there was no mention at all of post brexit policy. The question on no Deal was an opportunity but none took it. Rory Stewart’s answer on taxes should sink him. If that’s the way he thinks he may as well be in the lib dems.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      If Boris is going to do it he needs to brief and prepare himself much better. Eg he should have been able to answer quick as a flash to jeremy hunts question on tariffs that it is vanishingly unlikely the EU with a €100bn trade surplus will want tariffs & if they do the surplus revenues from them will be used to compensate any losers from them such as hill farmers.

      • rose
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        I think he didn’t want to get into a demeaning argument with either Miss Witless or his fellow Conservatives. If he had, it wouldn’t have gone well, then or later. He would have been accused of arrogance, aggression, etc. Much better to sit looking comfortable and dignified – which none of the others managed – and let the cacophany rage around him. There was never going to be a chance to explain anything or raise the tone.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Perhaps Boris team need a daily blog. The attack dogs would come out and give them the time and thought processes to answer what he may face.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Be sure to tell Newmania (above) it might answer some of his observations (saves me doing it).

  27. MarkW
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Crackers..the whole thing is exercise in navel gazing far removed from the real world. Can’t imagine why anyone would want this job?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Mark…..which job ? Errmily Matterless?

  28. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Boris had little choice but to attend. It turned out a bigger fiasco than some anticipated. The whole show was dire and yet again one has to wonder why the BBC is protected with the licence tax. Why wasn’t the QT format used?

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      You might enjoy reading ‘BBC: Brainwashing Britain?’ by your namesake.

    • rose
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      QT is a bit harder to rig – audience wise.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        rose…..well they manage it every week. The researchers do a fine job in scewing the invited audience so that any reasonable point of view is way outnumbered, and the panel usually so extreme they would make Putin and McDonnell proud.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Emily Maitliss did the interrupting instead of Fiona Bruce Looked much the same to me, except for the bar stools which were designed to make the candidates look silly anyway. Rory seems to have a problem with his legs – he was stretching last night and also when standing at the previous one. Is he fit enough?

    • forthurst
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      …because the Newsnight studio isn’t big enough?

  29. Everhopeful
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I do believe that three horrific years of May have destroyed British politics.
    Oh what a legacy!!
    ( Is this ridiculously extended contest in order for her to put even more disastrous “ legally binding” policies in place?).
    June 7th …which day? What day? Sometime? NEVER!

  30. Gary C
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    It looks like we are heading for BINO followed by Corbyn being handed the key’s to number 10.

    Hopefully TBP will help us out of this mess.

  31. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Disheartening to see Mr Johnson distancing himself from his suggestion to raise the higher rate tax threshold to £80K.

    When those on universal credit can take home the equivalent of £50K before tax there has to be a means of differentiating earnings above minimum wage and make it worthwhile to take a job with responsibilities. We would all like to stack shelves locally for £50K per year.

  32. Prigger
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    “It was set up and chaired badly so we learned little” True.
    One Pre-Election programme of Republican candidates including Trump had the presenter Megyn Kelly. Opinion was split whether that question and answer session in front of a few hundred allegedly neutral audience members was lousy. But it was far better than the BBC fiasco last night. Trump turned his turn in the spotlights into a riot of fun and laughs. The BBC programme was flat as a pancake. I liked Boris coming the old colonialist act with something akin to “Errrm what’s this chappy’s name who is he exactly, is he one of ours, what was trying to say…?” His humour is his lack of any prejudice whatsover dressing himself up in an old-fashioned stereotype. But nobody seems to have got it.
    Mr Hunt may make a good PM too. He could be a very nice person.But he is always very nice. Rightly or wrongly people in general without they knowing it find 100% nice, suspicious.
    Boris even dressed up projects Normal Person with great intelligence and a humour which one feels he presents to hide his intelligence in some way. Humans do not like very intelligent people. They think them arrogant at best. I’m for Boris.

  33. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    It was utterly depressing that all five not only supported the ruinous ‘zero carbon’ policy but were all trying to outdo each other on how much they would spend on ‘fighting climate change’. All are hell-bent on destroying the economy.

    The winner of the debate was Nigel Farage who does at least talk sense on the matter.

    Analysing the comments on your CO2 post a couple of days ago, 118 comments rejected the CO2 hysteria, many highlighting the benefits of rising levels, while 5 supported concern over climate, a 96% rejection of climate alarm. (a few comments covered other issues). Admittedly this is not a random sample (perhaps, dare I say it, better informed than some?) but it contrasts with the 100% of the leadership hopefuls who have swallowed the hysteria. It bodes badly for our future.

  34. Noneoftheabove
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The sooner we have a GE, the better. It may not be good for the CP but it will be good for the Country.

    • Ian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Especially if this time the Conservative Party Associations were to find some Conservative candidates – Not Liberals or Labour supporters as is now.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        ian…..I’m not convinced the CPAs would recognise a decent candidate, and if they did Central Office would refuse. The rot is firmly at the top, start there and work down.

    • Rob Pearce
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      A GE solves nothing under First Past the Post. See my post above.

      What do you think it will achieve? All that will happen is 25% of the voters will vent their frustrations voting Monster Raving Looneys/TBP/LibDem, while the vast bulk that you never hear from because they are all tribal Labcons carry on as before, with slightly different overall result from the last one.

  35. Newmania
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    It was unfortunate that Rory Stewart wishes to turn the contest into a re run of the referendum…

    I only wish this was true. Rory Stewart is only quibbling about the means but is entirely committed to taking us out of the EU and all its associated institutions, he may remind me of the sort of things i once liked about the Conservation Party, but he, must kiss the ring of Nigel Farrage as much as the rest.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      No he isn’t, he is committed to May’s WA which does none of those things.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        The WA is a new accession treaty that takes us back in on far more onerous terms and with no exit mechanism. With a federal EU as the sting in the tail.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      You haven’t noticed what he’s doing. He has said he rules out leaving other than by agreement with the EU – ie by passing Mays wa. And if he becomes pm not so much as a comma will be changed. If parliament won’t then pass the wa then we won’t leave – did you spot that clever sleight of hand?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      You jest of course!

      He’s a supporter of Theresa May’s so-called ‘deal’. How the hell is that taking us out of the EU?

      And you used to like that kind of thing in the Conservative Party? Great God almighty! That is the kind of people for which the Conservative Party is now paying an enormous penalty, and the ones it needs to lose if it ever intends to have a serious political future!

      Gutless, wishy-washy, duplicitous cowards, but the people of this great nation warm to strong leaders (or at least, those who initially give that impression).

    • NickC
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, You wish the “re run of the referendum …. was true?? Whatever for? Why do you want a second referendum when you take no notice of the first? We did warn you Remains that trashing the 2016 Referendum result meant that all subsequent elections/referendums would be void. Why should we obey your referendum, when you don’t obey ours?

  36. JoolsB
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t bear to watch it. Maitlis constantly interrupted Johnson whereas the little creep on the other end was given far too much uninterrupted air time. Boris came across as dignified never interrupting the others who were constantly talking over one another. It was painful to watch. Boris was right not to attend the one the night before and from the two I have seen so far, I’m sure he would come across far more statesmanlike and it would do his credibility no harm at all if he boycotted any future ones. He should leave it to the four, soon to become three, underdogs to squabble amongst themselves.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      By god it was dire!

      The structure of the set made it appear that Johnson was half hidden by a pillar, and the angle of the shot made it appear that the person on the right (lc) was larger than Johnson, whereas the opposite is the reality. (Could it be there is some PC
      commandment that everyone should appear equal in size!)

      As for the lamentable questions? We had the BBC/Remain pseudo emotional scare – “I’m worried about my children’s future.” If they had cared to look they would have easily found people who are delighted at the prospects for their children’s enhanced future outside the EU!

      I know we don’t need it, but this programme is more ammunition for removing the Television Tax! If the BBC had to rely on programmes like this to finance itself, its subscription base would quickly diminish from ‘very few’ to ZERO!

  37. Kevin
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The “economic uncertainty” question was not met with any defence
    of the rights of those who voted for Brexit because of economic discontent. The
    move to universal suffrage effected a system whereby individuals could, by
    majority decision, protect their rights against vested interests. For forty
    years, Brexiters abided by that system. Which Conservatives will uphold it?

  38. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    This contest is not the be all and end all. The real contest is between Parliament and the people. The people want out of the EU, Parliament want in. The facilitator chosen here will be locked between the two, unless an election is called by them, in which case a certain Nigel Farage will breakfast on whoever wins this contest.

    • Ian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Or to rephrase, Parliament lost its purpose once it became controlled by the EU. It is now frightened of more responsibility than a local council would have. Ego more important than being truthful

  39. Amanda
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    The Conservative Party had one chance to show us they were a competent party to be trusted with the People’s sovereignty. They are not doing a good job.

    It was said, on the resignation of Mrs May, that the next leader had to be a Leaver and believe in Brexit. We now have a final group where that qualification is far from clear.

    It must have been realized by the Conservative Party that Channel 4 and the BBC are out to make mischief, both for the Conservatives, and for Brexit. So why are the candidates agreeing to take part in these charades, without ensuring there is some control of the fomat? These TV stations are turning the election of a new Prime Minister into a ‘game show’ – that is not edifying.

    As to R. Stewart, it is a huge discredit to the Conservtive Party that such a diversive and dishonest character, who wants to continue the plan Mrs May resigned over, is still in the race after two rounds. I would not ever vote for him as an MP, let alone a leader.

    I am glad the Brexit Party continue to evolve and grow – Mr Farage seems to have annoyed Mr Fox with a trade delegation to go to the USA. And there are some excellent articles by their new MEPs on first experiences with the sham EU Parliament – worth seeking out amidst the Tory candidate hubub. Both Mr Tice and Mr Farage have been successful in legal claims against detractors. Meanwhile the BP continues to show well in the polls and will soon announce its GE candidates; whilst the Peterborough election seems to have a cloud of Police investigation over it. Have the Conservatives noticed any of this?

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Well said Amanda!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Excellent post!

  40. Richard1
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Somewhat off topic there were two parallel interesting developments yesterday. One was the UK and China agreeing reciprocal trading of shares. The other was the EU in its bullying attempt to get more political control over Switzerland, threatening to cut off access to EU investors for Swiss exchanges. Why is there such focus on Trump’s trade pressure on China – which is actually justified by Chinese IP theft and trade protectionism – but none on the EU’s efforts to do the same thing to a free-trading and liberal democratic country in order to obtain more political control? In the event of WTO Brexit a minor move for week one would be to agree UK-Swiss reciprocal capital markets access.

    • Ian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      The EU has never been a supporter of Free Trade. It is an internal protectionist block.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Ian, yes…and within that the original 6 carved up the best bits.

    • Andy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I would think the EU, by their heavy handed and arrogant attitude towards Switzerland, are shooting themselves in the foot. They need access to the Swiss exchange becuase they need the liquidity. Restricting it is stupid particularly given the lamentable state of the Euro.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


        “lamentable state of the Euro.”

        Given that the euro has replaced the £ as world reserve currency after the US$ and our pound is dropping like a stone against it, how would you describe the ‘state’ of the £?

  41. Know-Dice
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Agreed, Emily Maitlis was awful – as usual, argumentative and constantly trying to interrupt. Was good to see that in many occasions she was just ignored.

    So Rory thinks that the dWA is the only way out of this, hmm…Rory, just do nothing and we default to Leaving…

  42. Sharon Jagger
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t bear to watch the contest last night. The very fact it was on the biased BBC didn’t bode well.

    None of the contestants are prepared to do the job of exiting the EU properly. It depends which side get to Boris first – the Leave side or the establishment side – as to how his premiership will pan out.

    And as for other items, it seems to me they’re approach is all think too LibDem and not enough conservative values.

    • James1
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Last night’s performance will have convinced many people that they were right to vote for The Brexit Party. If we are out of the EU on or before 31 October, much will be forgiven. If we are not, the Conservative Party is unlikely to be re-elected at the next GE or for many GE’s to come. It is reassuring to many that Boris is backed by the people who have declared their support to him.

  43. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I warned at the start of this that the longer this process goes on the less support there will be for your party. Last night’s “debbate” was an unmitigated shambles mmade worse by an appalling moderator who wanted to be the star. Not only are people seeing that contrary to the party hype you have a paucity of leadership talent. Furthermore the candidates are making if not already firing the bullets for opposition parties in the next election. Worse still, they are showing the EU that rather than a unified approach to leaving the EU there will be ongoing disagreement on the side of the UK government. Your MPs really do seem to have a death wish.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink


      “Worse still, they are showing the EU that rather than a unified approach to leaving the EU there will be ongoing disagreement on the side of the UK government”

      That’s because it reflects the mood of the public when
      Leave only just beat Remain.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


        Leave only just beat remain in 4 FOUR separate elections over a period of 5 years .

        The mood of the public is still to leave, yes of course there are a large number of people who wish to stay the same, sadly fear of change is still a psychology of the weak.

      • Andy
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Leave won by well over a million votes. YOU lost.
        You come on here and constantly tells us all we should cancel Brexit. Tells is all Margaret how DO YOU propose that the views of the 17.4 million people – a MAJORITY – be respected ????

        • Andy
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          No – fake Andy. We tell you to deliver the Brexit you promised. Which was all the benefits of EU membership with none of the costs. This is what Vote Leave promised. This is what you have a mandate for.

          Stop whining at those of us who told you it was a lie for it being an actual lie.

          • NickC
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            No – fake Andy. Advocacy is not the same as a promise. And No, again: we didn’t even advocate for the supposed “benefits” of the EU, much less “promise” them. There are no benefits of the EU, except to the apparatchiks who benefit from dirigisme.

            Stop whining at those of us who told you the EU was a lie for it being an actual lie.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Just the tiny amount of a million more votes to leave than remain despite the huge campaign against leaving.
        In the biggest vote in our history.
        If it was extrapolated to a general election leave would have a majority of well over 150.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          the vote in 1975 for the Eu was bigger

      • M Davis
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        … That’s because it reflects the mood of the public when
        Leave only just beat Remain. …

        Oh dear! Not that old chestnut again?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        margaret….or to put it a better way……Project Fear came a close second to common sense values.

      • Nickyroberts
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Leave did not only just beat Remain. 1.300 is not only just, plus had the voting been in Constituencies it was 63% Leave 37% Remain, that would have been a landslide.

  44. Tom Rogers
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson now seems to be softening his stance on Brexit and is talking about an extended transition period until December 2021, during we will remain tied to the EU.

    Reply I don’t think so. I think he meant Gatt 24 tariff free period after we have left if EU agrees to FTA talks.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      The problem is that people like you have to interpret what Boris Johnson means. Sorry, that just isn’t good enough.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Brian…..well its a case of possible interpretation versus complete fantasy. Take your pick.

    • Simeon
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Reply to JR’s reply to Tom Rogers

      To say “I think he meant…” is not reassuring. Isn’t the reality that we cannot be sure what Johnson means, where he stands, or how he intends to proceed? I assume this is deliberate ambiguity, for the sake of argument. But ambiguity is misguided with regards to Brexit, not only because it’s not credible when there are two clear options – revoke and remain, or a clean, proper Brexit – but because you cannot lead ambiguously!

      Johnson is making himself look weak, incoherent and untrustworthy. Of course, he may indeed be all these things. As and when the GE arrives, he, and the Conservative party, will be seen to be reacting to events and reality, rather than shaping them. And he, and you, should you persist with the Conservatives, will suffer the consequences.

    • Martinez
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Eu will not agree to anything until the terms of the WA have been met. Why do you keep talking in this frame that the EU will be disposed to ignore the WA and allow us proceed without consequence..more fake stuff

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        If the EU won’t budge, they might benefit from being made familiar with the good old British term, ‘then you can go and bollocks!’ And we walk away! If they want to be unreasonable, that’s their choice. We can be unreasonable too until such time as the EU comes to their senses.

        So tell me this, if a so-called ‘leader’ of this great nation had promised to give away the whole of the West Country or Yorkshire to a foreign power – something that is totally unacceptable and surely a resignation issue – would it not be incumbent upon that leader’s replacement to seek to cancel it?

        That the EU won’t give ground on the inappropriately named ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ is tough! May’s deal does not take us out and does not therefore keep faith with the result of the 2016 referendum which MUST be enacted.

        One of the candidates for her job seeks to get the same appallingly bad deal through, and I wouldn’t trust Gove or Hunt not to cheat us. That narrows it down.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Its reported the ECB is about to engage in further QE bond buying in light of fears about a recession in the Eurozone. It would be a lot cheaper for them to engage with us than pick a fight with a market where they have a £70 billion surplus and further agarave the recessionary problems they have.

    • agricola
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      John, I sincerely hope he has GATT Art 24 in mind, particularly as I have written to him on the subject. I assume thas those who can see the win win wisdom of it are keeping their powder dry. There are too many vociferous but ignorant voices out there pushing for remain come what may.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      He did mention Article 24 in passing, but it needs to be hammered home to the voters who mostly don’t know anything about it and just accept what the Remainers say about leaving. Boris was woefully under prepared and had no answer to the tariff question. Hopefully he will give the job his full attention when he gets it and leave the journalistic stuff behind – he will end up a multi millionaire anyway, all recent PM’s do, so money should not be the problem. I just hope he resists the Civil Servants aim to keep PM’s too busy to think by loading them up with red boxes and much rubbish.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      You THINK he meant? Knowing how much that means to his followers why didn’t he make that clear instead of needing you to interpret it for him? He is far too clever for that which means he is going soft on Brexit.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        You wish!

      • NickC
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard said: “which means he is going soft on Brexit”. Soft?? I didn’t know you cared.

  45. Michael
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Can we trust Boris to take us out at the end of October?

    • John Probert
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Not completely but he is the best we have got
      He is supported by the ERG and therefore under huge pressure to do so

  46. David Maples
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Right now, our great island nation needs a Winston Churchill as PM, not a Lawrence of Arabia, a Glubb Pasha, or a Walter Thesiger, which is what it would get were Rory Stewart’s ambitions to be realized. He is a quixotic figure, with hopelessly, dreamy and romantic notions, derived more from literature, and fictional inspired nights spent with Bedouin tribesmen.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      That’s how he presents himself. The reality is much more calculating – you can see it in small things, taking his tie off just before the debate to bolster that image for example. He reminds me of early-period Tony Blair – also a media darling – and look how that turned out.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I loved the comment in the Mail on Sunday from someone who,when living in Afghanistan encountered Stewart in his tribesman robes during his wanderings.Stewart knocked on her door,asked for a $300 loan and told her “Mummy will reimburse you.”

      I’m not sure whether Prince Charles has the vote but I would imagine he would be entranced by Florence of Belgravia!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I’d fit narcissistic in there somewhere.

    • M Davis
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      … Walter Thesiger …

      I presume you mean Wilfred?

  47. mancunius
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    “Rory Stewart wishes to turn the contest into a re run of the referendum”
    When you look at his backers, it seems more likely that he is just the front-man for the diehard Tory euro-fanatics. Another sign that, like the Hapsburgs, they have ‘learnt nothing and forgotten nothing’. I fear the Tories are about to suffer the same fate.
    (Btw: There seem to be curious patterns relating support declarations with some remarkable betting odds. I wonder if some Tory MPs might be betting large amounts on results they themselves can influence?)

  48. a-tracy
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I admire your restraint, unlike the supporters of Stewart who all fall over themselves to smear fellow conservative applicants for Prime Minister, you haven’t told all the media if Stewart wins you refuse to work with him, or you will do all you can to bring him down. Rory Stewart himself also was reported to ‘rule out working under Boris Johnson’ Independent 25 May, let’s face it who would elect a man that rules out working with other top people in the party he kept going on about how diplomatic he was last night but after pulling his tie off like he was about to be getting on with some hard labour, he came over very patronising and righteous as though he is the only one with the rule book. When Rory is trashing the Conservative record of spending since 2010 he should remember he has been in the party since 2010 and shouldn’t undervalue what the Conservatives have achieved on spending in the NHS, the pupil premium in schools (paid for by tuition fees – tell us how much that brings in each year that didn’t used to come in at all) this pupil premium has got good results for London and let’s not forget the added costs of incorporating so many languages into our system.

    Emily Maitlis wasn’t up to this job, simple as that really. It should have been Andrew Neil, Moira Stewart or Kirsty Walk.

  49. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    God, what a farce last nights so called debate was. Typical BBC style. Shut up the one person that most people are interested in and who might just say something we all want to hear and let the other useless idiots drone on. There was so much drivel about immigration and where they all came from I had to almost reach for the nearest bucket. The climate change question was answered with absolute drivel and with no idea of how or how much this crap is going to cost our economy and jobs and the slither of a woman interrupting all the time was so annoying I just felt like switching off. If this is the best the Conservative party can come up with then the EU have nothing to fear. Farage must think he’s died and gone to heaven. For goodness sake, what has happened to the party? They all looked and behaved like 6th form college students having a classroom debate. I was more deflated after listening to the programme than at any other time after being confronted with such drivel. Someone needs to get their act together and start thinking about what is happening to this country as it’s almost too late.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:51 am | Permalink

      Read it.


  50. ChrisS
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    It was a dreadful programme but how could it be otherwise when it was chaired by a BBC Remainer known for republishing Remain propaganda on Social Media ?

    Naturally she was going to try and make life difficult for Boris and go easy on Steward.
    The real story if the event was the body language of Stewart. He displayed clear contempt for his far more experienced rivals. He surely has to be today’s casualty.

    As for the facts, it is clear to me that the 27 are not going to enter into any renegotiation of the Irish Backstop or much else before 31st October. They clearly aren’t in a position to hold meaningful negotiations through the summer, even if they wanted to and they have repeatedly said they won’t.

    So it looks like the only possibility is that we leave without a deal. Perhaps this Remainer Parliament will be able to stop us leaving on 31st October under WTO but does anyone really know if they can ? Bercow will certainly do his best to facilitate any kind of blocking motion.

    If the Remainers do succeed, it really will completely ruin our negotiating position and the result will inevitably be a general election. Unless a deal is done with Nigel Farage, a ragtag Remainer coalition government of Libdems, Labour, Greens, Plaid and SNP will cancel Brexit altogether and trash the economy.

  51. Lifelogic
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    It was indeed dreadful. Foolishly selected questions one clearly to enable an attack on Boris from some Muslim chap, another from some woman whose husband was worried about his (unspecified) job in property. The real danger to the property industry is the Corbyn agenda to thieve landlords assets and kill investment (and Hammond’s idiotic property taxes).

    Endless stupid and irritating interruptions from Emily Maitlis, silly chairs. Still I suppose the questioners hit their diversity targets! Even Boris got his Muslim great grandpa (was it) in.

    It has been published that, at the recent Peterborough by-election, of the approximately 34,000 votes cast, just under 10,000 (or 29 per cent) were postal votes. It sounds very high indeed. What was the difference in the direction that these votes were cast (postal and in person) I wonder. Will the government take any action to ensure these were all honest votes? It seems rather unlikely they were. I suspect that very few postal votes went to Brexit and rather a lot to Labour. Is anyone investigating properly?

  52. Mark Richmond
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I have to agree that the debate was poor, although if I am honest I think that reflects the quality of many of the answers given by candidates. It seems a bit rich to blame the BBC for that!

    FWIW I am a member of the Conservative Party, I voted leave and I do not believe any of the scare stories surrounding the idea of a no deal outcome.

    However, Rory Stewart is absolutely correct to ask “how” candidates intend to deliver on their Brexit pledges. So far the silence on this issue is deafening and what it implies is there really is very little idea, of how to unlock change either in the EU or in parliament.

    I am coming to the conclusion, sadly, that the May years were worse than we thought because now there is no way out for the Conservatives. Brexit can not be delivered yet if it cannot be delivered, the Tories are toast.

    We will find ourselves on 31 October with MPs facing the same two choices: delay or revoke. The EU might even make the decision for us! How humiliating. The only candidate who is being totally honest about this and not setting himself up to fail on his own terms is Stewart. The key in a contest like this is to “up your game” and he seems to be the only candidate doing that!

  53. BOF
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    What a poor debate last night. Yes I know all are trying to avoid bear traps but surely people deserve more robust discussion and definite views. Did tie-less Rory think he was on I’m a Celebrity? I heard nothing to bring me back to supporting the Conservative Party from the Brexit Party.

    Emily Maitlis was hopeless. So intent on interrupting, especially Boris, that she became the prime source of disruption and lost control. Pathetic.

  54. Oggy
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I didn’t watch the debates, I have no interest in watching media controlled debates that aim to undermine the candidates they don’t want and support those that they do. They degenerate into slanging matches more suitable for the Jeremy Kyle show.

    Rory Stewart is a joke. He is Theresa May in trousers and look where she got us.

    If it came to it I would hope the Conservative members around the country would never endorse such a clown.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      I bought a Gonk years ago. I might rename it Rory!

  55. BR
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    When I saw it was Maitlis presenting and the stupid spindly chairs, I only watched a couple of clips afterwards on various sites. I didn’t watch Ch4 at all – lefty remoaners who’ve been allowed to become activists rather than presenters.

    Hopefully they will shift the final debate to another channel and continue to punish the lefty channels for their bias and their failure to take the real issues seriously.

    What I would like to see is to have no debate at all. I find it disgraceful that a channel simply tells so-called ‘leaders’ that they are having a debate, be there or be empty-chaired.

    An in-depth interview with A. Neil would be a far better format.

  56. BR
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    P.S. How can BBC put up Maitlis when she and Lineker are being investigated over anti-Brexit bias? It’s a joke.

    Please find a way to scrap the BBC licence fee. Enforced subscription to a media corps is nonsense in this day and age.

    • James1
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just a nonsense, it’s a disgrace. We should not be dragooned into paying a licence fee to benefit an appallingly biased organisation who push political claptrap, not to mention global warming and other lunacies.

  57. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Yes, at one point Maitless asked ‘can you hear me’ as she constantly spoke over the answers and the candidates had no choice but to try to speak over her. Who told her it is her job to argue her views. She really is a useless interviewer.

  58. Ian
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Everyone bar the candidates knew from the outset TV debates were about baiting the Conservative Party. Bring out silly sound bites, over play them, when in reality they have nothing to do with anything.

    No positives have shown up in any of the media accept of course the Liberal/Left remaining champions think Rory Stewart is wonderful. How he stood as a Conservative is a mystery. The Conservative Association in Penrith should hold their heads in shame.
    I am sorry but how can Party Associations keep supporting those that lie, lie in their manifestoes, then make Laws in Parliament they think should never apply to them. If the Laws Parliament makes don’t apply to its members why should they apply to anyone else?

    All this play into Corbyn’s hands, for his version of the world to happen, first he has to destroy the fabric of the existing. The Conservative Party is doing this for him in ‘Bucket Loads’

  59. BR
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The BBC debate seems to have gone down badly – widely seen as a shambles and the failure of the ‘editorial staff’ to vet the ‘Imam’ who Guido has exposed as a primary school teacher / deputy head who has told girls ‘don’t be alone with a man’.

    The root cause here is that there are no editors left at the BBC. They have given all their editorial roles to……..journalists such as Kuennsberg who take the title and salary but do no editing / policing. And they are certainly not themselves subject to anyone looking at their work either as individual pieces of journalistic output, nor across the whole for bias etc.

    In the past, when I have complained to them about the failures of editing, their response state that they do not have editors as such, but they do have ‘an editorial policy’.

    How can that possibly work? How can a policy go un-policed with any credibility? Editors are supposed to proof-read everything that goes out, even correcting spelling and grammar (which is clearly not happening judging by the schoolboy errors we see regularly).

    The BBC is no longer fit for purpose. Scrap the licence fee.

  60. ferdinand
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    No one could doubt that the BBC would show deliberate bias towards Remain. Idiots rarely become sane.

  61. libertarian
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Sky News, Channel4 News and BBC Politics are all a disgrace to democratic debate.

    We live in a world of social media. If I were the Tory Party I would hold a proper debate discussing the actual issues and post on YouTube Facebook Live Instagram live LinkedIN etc

    By pass the old, decrepit , biased 20th century media

    • Edward2
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Great idea Libertarian.

    • David Price
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Too late for that – it would appear that many are bypassing the old, decrepit, biassed 20th century politicians.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink


      “By pass the old, decrepit , biased 20th century media”

      Are you sure? The old, decrepit and biased are the Brexit voters and most can’t be reached through social media.

      • NickC
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, The old, decrepit and biased EU empire is a C20th answer to a misunderstood C19th problem. We are out of the age of empires, or hadn’t you noticed?

        • Mitchel
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          There have always been empires;there always will be-most probably.Both the USA and the USSR are/were empires,both whilst talking the language of anti-imperialism.

          The renowned American writer on international relations,Robert D Kaplan,has just (17/6/19) published a long article in The National Interest on this theme:

          “America must prepare for the coming Chinese Empire.”

          (Googleable and free-to-view).

  62. Derek Henry
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Trump is running a $ trillion government budget deficit.

    Smashed the US government spending record last year hitting $5 trillion and gave tax cuts across the board.

    These weren’t costed. Trump knew they didn’t need to be costed like a household budget. Trump knew who he was giving the $1 trillion surplus too.

    Paul Ryan who for nearly 20 years says the government accounts work like a household and wanted government budget surpluses preaching that the US was still on the gold standard had to to retire. Ryan was going to get found out.

    The US economy is booming because Trump knows how the monetary system operates after we left the gold standard. Trump isn’t going to run out of $’s if he keeps this up he will run out of skills ans real resources.

    • NickC
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Derek Henry, Complete bilge. Money printing, or debasement of the coinage, has for millennia been practised by governments and, other things being equal, always leads eventually to inflation. The reason is that money is a model of the economy. As the total amount of money is increased, without a commensurate increase in production, the more money exists per unit of production. That is inflation

  63. rose
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Very disturbed by Javid’s behaviour in trying to bounce them into having an external inquiry. Most people don’t agree there is such a thing as Islamophobia, and those who do, haven’t agreed on a definition. Javid is supposed to be Home Secretary, in charge of law and order, and presumably committed to proper procedures. This was no way for a Home Secretary to behave.

  64. Freeborn John
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    The most disturbing thing last night was Boris prevaricating on the first question of guaranteeing leaving on October 31. Anyone in Brussels or Dublin watching will have concluded he blinked even before opening negotiations with the EU and that there is mileage in them remaining intransigent. Hunt will clearly delay and find himself immediately back in the position May was and be stuck in a death trap where he has to keep delaying until a 2022 GE when your party will be annihilated. However Boris created a lot of doubts in my mind last night that he will avoid that fate too. Talking about renegotiating the backstop during an “implementation period” that would only come in if the current WA is ratified seemed other-worldly.

    The reality is Boris has to attempt to leave without a deal 31/10and if parliament stops him with a no-confidence vote then he must make it clear those who vote against the government will be deselected and he seeks to win a majority in a GE after October 31 on the back of having delivered Brexit. Boris has to state clearly to Conservative MPs that they must back him on taking the UK out Oct 31 or their careers are over in 2019 rather than 2022. You won’t get a 3rd chance to deliver so Boris needs resolution and did not show it last night.

  65. Dominic
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Milne. Brand. The BBC. Members of Labour’s protected minorities. All colluding with each other to target anti-EU politicians, slander them, expose them to threats of violence, create a climate of fear and impose self-censorship.

    I believe to protect our freedoms from further erosion the politics of victim-hood, the politics of identity, the BBC and Labour’s client state need exposing.

    Laws must be passed to codify fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression and open debate for all not just for a favoured minority

  66. ukretired123
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    The BBC is not fit for purpose.
    Andrew Neil should have been the host not Maitlis trying to be BBC s answer to the more professional Julie Etchingham who had famously skewered Theresa May s naughty wheat-field quip. No women candidates after May making toxic for them unfortunately.

    Remainer Maitlis succeeded in reducing it into chaos child like nonsense.
    My wife and I were appalled and found it irritating designed to aggravate not educate.

    Roderick Stewart’s body language proved he is disrespectful the the PM office and shouted nonsense ‘ad nauseam’ at both length and volume that we had the impression he was the host!
    Remember Stewart was appointed by Desperate PM clutching straws in her last days of power and has her backing as well as her Deputy and acts just like their Remainer mouthpiece.
    We thought Boris kept dignified as he has little to prove to the BBC and Jeremy Hunt was cool in the snake pit whilst Sajid Javid did best to be business like and polite to errant RS.
    Gove sounded convincing but is damaged goods as far as Brexit integrity is concerned.

  67. Martinez
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    First thing to happen after we leave with no deal 31st Oct is the dover calais route will be choked off..officialdom will see to that. JIT will cease and goods will have to be containerised and go through Felixstowe and Southampton..and here am only talking about Goods, not even mentioning will take more than a haircut to get us out of this.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      @GregH etc etc etc – Rubbish as usual.
      You need to give your semi-literate multi-ID propaganda the short back-and-sides it needs to render it legible, rather than risible.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      They sell more goods to us than we sell to them, so which side of the channel will have the biggest traffic jams if the EU play the dog in the manger?

      How long will German, Dutch, French, and Belgian exporters put up with that?

      Will they not put pressure on the EU to give ground?

      It sure seems likely to me! I have a dog in this race. I am reliably told that a certain German car manufacturer is lobbying to ensure there is no impediment to free trade after we leave.

    • cornishstu
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      The Mayor of Calais is on record as saying they have already taken steps in the event of us leaving on WTO terms to ensure minimal disruption to goods etc in the port of Calais so unless we cause problems our side there should be no problems.

    • NickC
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Martinez, Would you care to cite actual evidence for your absurd Remain propaganda?

  68. Paul Cohen
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Agree with last paragraph of your post JR – what an absolute shambles broadcast.

    The whole affair looked like a set up, all contenders perched on uncomfortable , inappropriate seating, Maitless using every opportunity to interrupt and wrong foot the speakers, (following instructions no doubt). The first question was banal and simplistic, not answerable in a few sentences and an air of chaos reigned throughout. BBC ought be censured for turning a serious programme into something like a game show.

    Not much of the Reith educate and reform last night.

  69. John Probert
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The debate was run for the benefit of the BBC

  70. John Probert
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Roll on Boris
    Hunt is still in Love with the withdrawal agreement and will continue to renegotiate it
    Goodbye Mr Hunt

  71. margaret howard
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink


    “the BBC pursued its agenda to make sure the candidates could not discuss the great opportunities that follow if we just get on and leave”

    Because there aren’t any.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      So full of negative bilge Margaret Howard. And then you want people to show an affinity with the Green party and vote your way.

      One thing I will comfortably predict, after we have left the EU and Britain is making a real go of it, you won’t have the bottle to post on this site and say you were wrong!

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink


        ” after we have left the EU and Britain is making a real go of it….”

        Only because I will be dead by then.

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, I ask Remain Andy why he thinks that, uniquely among the other 165 nations of the world, the UK is incapable of being independent of the EU. He has failed to answer. I ask you the same. You will fail too, because there is no reason why we cannot be independent.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

          Such perpetual negativity. I’d got you down for someone in her 40s, not approaching three figures.

    • John Probert
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Taking control of our Law
      Taking control of our Money
      Taking control of our Borders
      Not being a European citizen
      Taking control of our bright future

    • libertarian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard

      “Because there aren’t any”

      Yes because you have such vast experience of trading on international markets that you would know that….. oh no you wouldn’t as you dont have a clue

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        You are right – I don’t have a clue about trading on international markets. And neither do the millions of Brexiteers and it’s such ignorance that has brought us to this disastrous impasse.

        • NickC
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, At last! Finally you accept we have reached this disastrous impasse due to the ignorance of Remains like yourself who “don’t have a clue about trading on international markets“.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


        You really have to learn to argue as an adult and not just blaming the other children?

    • Ian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Something to do with the £4 million EU grant this year to the BBC and similar in previous years, I would guess.

  72. Kathy
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    One thing that worries me is the constant refrain about “The left behind”.
    I live in one of the wealthiest areas of London, Old Chelsea and all the neighbours I have spoken to voted to Leave the EU.

    Leaving is about Sovereignty, governing ourselves with English Common Law, leader we have voted for and can remove, control over our borders and our Courts free of control of the European Court of Justice. That is just for starters.

    Those that voted to Leave can see the problems of the EU and those that are coming. The high unemployment, especially of the young and the stupidity of open borders.

    Then I want to see our fishing grounds back and our fishing families helped to re-establish themselves.

    Boris was talking about “Re-negotiating the backstop”. If the Tories try to put the Withdrawal Agreement through they will be finished. It is on the internet and a disgrace!

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink


      “Leaving is about Sovereignty, governing ourselves with English Common Law””

      I have just googled ‘English Common Law’ where it says:

      “is a body of written rules and customs that were in place during the Anglo-Saxon period in England, before the Norman conquest. This body of law, along with early Scandinavian law and Germanic law, descended from a family of ancient Germanic custom and legal thought”

      Nothing new under the sun!

      As for having control over our borders – we never joined Schengen so have complete control.

      The fishing rights were handed out to all EU states but unfortunately many of our fishermen chose to sell theirs to other members (mostly Spanish) for a quick profit and then whined about ‘losing’ them.

  73. David
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Since this election is a Conservative event why do we have to go with BBC or CH4 formats when these have their own unfriendly agendas? Hustings could be organised in house and posted online.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      I agree entirely. It’s a lose – lose situation.

      • Xi Nao
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes, indeed, just restrict the whole information to the O(140k) Conservative members. Who else needs to know anything about what a future PM might be doing with our lives. It is completely irrelevant… or are the people who are saying such things completely disconnected of society like some goldfish in their aquarium?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


      Agreed. It is simply a situation of changing a party leader, the PCP part should be left to MPs and then the remaining two go out to Conservative party members. In agreeing to these public debates the candidates seem to desire a Presidential system. In putting forward policy ideas the candidates wish to behave as though they each lead a party in a GE.

  74. Steve Pitts
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    First the BBC needs to be changed in its funding and ethos as not fit for the 21st century. Also all contenders think the main threat is Jeremy Corbyn but we could even be looking at a Brexit Party government instead if Brexit is not achieved.

  75. Shieldsman
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party and Parliament as a whole are in the Doldrums. Definition: A state or period of stagnation or depression..
    WE have had three years of Theresa May ending in Brexit stasis.

    Five of the pretenders when asked how they would get Brexit through a recalcitrant Parliament did not answer. One can only assume they do not have one.
    Come 31st October we will be out by default, as Parliament will have no power to insist on a further illegal extension to the Article 50 two year period.
    Did some jiggery pokery go on, with a person or persons in the civil service tampering with the wording of Article 50 TEU. In 190314 Parameters of extending of Article 50, para. 3. becomes “the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend [it]”
    The correct wording is:
    3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
    The proviso relates to “this period”. The only period stated in paragraph 3 is the two year period.
    Recently the EU has imposed a further extension of time on the UK until the 31st October 2019.This imposition cannot be supported by the terms of Article 50, which seems to have been ignored.
    ‘ extend this period’ is specific to the two year period. and the latest extension is not contiguous to it.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      This is the EU, they make it up as they go along to suit themselves.

  76. Julie Dove
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    The brass neck of the BBC for pushing Boris on words having consequences when they aired and defended the comments made about acid attacks from Jo Brand!

    • rose
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      He is absolutely right to stick to his guns on this. His words are wrenched out of context and escalated. No-one knows which words will be subjected to this Maoist process next. It is terrifying for ordinary people who can lose their jobs and have their children suffer too. The craven Conservatives have been rotten at standing up for free speech, not understanding where this is going if they let it. If he can change the climate, he will have achieved something important.

  77. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I only managed to watch a few minutes of the shambolic debate, it only presses me harder to ask why conservatives that advocate free choice force people to pay a tv tax?

    For the past 20 years alternative tv channels have thrived despite competing against this tax funded monstrosity, we need a BBC that relies on voluntary contributions, tax funded clearly does not work.

    As for the debates, I really reject all this identity politics that literally devolve into Adolf’s racial theories if allowed to thrive.

    The same for the carbon nonsense where people celebrate forcing manufacturers to brown coal using countries like China yet happily then use products such as iphones produced in those countries. Yet the hypocracy is never challenged, nor is the science when we learn the earth has had 10x the amount of carbon diozide in the atmosphere.

    On brexit the simple logic is that we have just three options, revoke article 50, sign the WA or WTO brexit. The fact is that it takes action from the prime minister to prevent WTO brexit tells us it is in Boris’s hands. At the merest hint of trouble from parliament he should shutdown parliament, a GE with brexit delivered would be winnable.

    And I hope very bad news for the futures of the hardcore remainers in parliament.

  78. Tony Sharp
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    The PCP is pretty rotten if there are still over 35 MPs who support Stewarts’s position.
    Frankly, there are in reality more: Gove’s supporters can hardly be Leavers and the rest outside of Raab’s group are lukewarm at least.
    Leave is not a problem of ‘Commons arithmetic’ it is a problem of PCP arithmetic the majority of whom are as careerists purely pro EU. As you cannot reform the MPs you may as well split the Party and take its local membership with you – although perhaps you think the RemaINiacs will follow Stewart and Clark and embrace Starmer and Corbyn to RemaIN EU?

  79. Nicky Roberts
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The country will not be surprised by the BBC’s Remainer bias, they have been biased for three years, despite complaints and will continue to be so. Maitlis should do something else. She cannot help but shout down Brexiteers and indulge Remainers.

    But apart from all that this pantomime is quite ridiculous… surely MP’s and the general public know what these people stand for by now, surely they have made their decision with a mental note for second place. This whole thing is a charade, we see through it, and it is unnecessary when our new leader will need all his wits and every minute of his time to sort out the dreadful mess Theresa May has left.

    • Ian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      The BBC doesn’t want to loose the subsidies it receives for portraying the EU in a good light.

  80. Andy
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    The debate was dreadful. But I disagree that we did not learn anything useful.

    We learned, beyond doubt, that your party is unfit for government.

    We learned, beyond doubt, that the next prime minister will be a hapless no hoper.

    We learned, beyond doubt, that they have no ideas on Brexit.

    We learned, beyond doubt, that they are prepared to sacrifice livelihoods to deliver your Brexit fraud.

    We learned, beyond doubt, that young people are being criminally ignored.

    We learned everything we need to know. Viva la revolution.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Mixing up your Spanish and French in your last comment there Andy. Typical Little Englander, never bothered to learn another language, honestly freedom of movement is wasted on the likes of you !

    • ukretired123
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      “We learned, beyond doubt, that…”
      we can always rely on your usual hobby of repetitive propaganda.

    • Ian
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      The EU’s position is to close down British Steel, keeping all steel production in Germany.

      The EU’s position is that they are financing the removal of Jaguar Land Rover from the UK to mainland Europe.

      The EU’s position is to penalise UK CO2 emission while subsidising EU coal fired power generation.

      Now the EU has stated the independent sovereign country Switzerland, must change its labour laws and accept control by the EU.

      You don’t need a plan for a Clean Break you just need to do it.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Ian…..yes thats about right.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink


      • NickC
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, No Andy’s defeatist remarks were repetitive and puerile. We have learnt beyond doubt that you and Andy will sacrifice livelihoods and young people on the altar of your corrupt EU empire. That’s what’s happening in southern EU now.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        I thought there was too many paragraphs and no data to back up his claims.
        It wouldnt get a pass mark at most colleges.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s either “Vive la revolution” or “Viva la revolucion” (depending on whether you are referencing the French or (various) Mexican revolutions.

      Tut,tut…I thought you were in the language business!

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      We have also learned, beyond doubt, that some people who post on your blog are borderline certifiable.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Viva Venuezuela comrade andy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      We learned beyond doubt that the BBC can’t be trusted to host a fair and impartial candidates’ debate.

      We learned beyond doubt that the BBC cannot be trusted host an orderly candidates’ debate.

      We learned beyond doubt that the BBC that the BBC cannot be trusted not to plant dodgy audience members to ask questions during a candidates’ debate.

      We learned beyond doubt that the BBC employs overtly biased presenters

      We learned beyond doubt that the BBC has no special quality that warrants a state enforced licence fee.

      Viva la revolution… indeed !

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Revolution against the outcome of a democratic result ?

        Not for the first time in the EU’s history.

        • Andy
          Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          Fake news.

          If you read actual facts rather than hard right twallop you’s know this was not true.

          • NickC
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            Andy, The voters of France and the Netherlands were by-passed via the Lisbon treaty, and Eire was required to vote twice, twice – first for Nice, and then Lisbon. Those are the facts, Andy. Your EU is rotten; and all corrupt empires collapse eventually.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            is that facts as per BBC, or Grauniad?

  81. David Kemball-Cook
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    John, your logic has gone missing.
    How is Stewart pledging to get May’s deal through the same think as advocating Remain?
    You are supporting Johnson, and Johnson supported May’s deal, didn’t he?
    Was Johnson supporting Remain when he supported the deal?

    • L Jones
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      That is the elephant in the room so far as BJ is concerned – his voting for the ”WA surrender treaty” as the third time of it being presented.
      WHY did he after twice rejecting it?
      It’s a great pity he didn’t even attempt to justify that. Did he think it was good by then, though unchanged? Or did he, as you suggest, for one blind moment, support Remain?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        L.Jones….. a few weakened in the face of scaremongery rumour that Brexit would be lost entirely.. Project Fear architects must be identified and if possible removed from the party of Boris, the only hope Conservatives have.

    • NickC
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      David Kemball-Cook, Have you read the draft Withdrawal Agreement? The dWA locks us back into the EU. It’s just a different treaty to achieve the same ends as Lisbon.

  82. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The reality is that unless the Conservative party is prepared to challenge Parliament on a people vs Parliament ticket it will not be able to deliver Brexit. Parliament will opt for banning No Deal by whatever means is available to it with much help from John Bercow. Parliament is both supreme and rotten. If the Tories are not prepared to change parliament well before Oct 31, which, after all is the whole point of democracy, The Brexit party most certainly is.

  83. Caterpillar
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    It is with deep sadness that today I agree with contributor ‘Andy’ who stated that “your party is unfit for government”, though my reasons are no doubt different. Three dozen Conservative MPs supporting Mr Stewart, who, despite the excellent opportunities from which he should have benefitted (Dragon-Eton-Oxford) has, seemed to associate Brexit Party supporters with the far right, made numbers up for electorate support of WA, supported the WA despite it fundamentally giving up UK citizens representation, and now condescendingly wishes to get young people interested in politics. This is a somewhat artificial position – there would be limited need to vote if people were happy with government, nonetheless huge numbers turned out in the referendum to vote to leave the EU, numbers which were no where near matched by remainers in the EU elections. It is upsetting that so many Conservative MPs support this ‘chap’. Regrettably Andy is right the “party is unfit for government”.

    • Andy
      Posted June 19, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Not a problem as it won’t be in government for long anyway. It will take just a handful of Tory MPs to vote down Boris the Feckless.

  84. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    My post is still waiting moderation when I put it in at 08.02 this morning. I don’t see why John?

    • Mark B
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:56 am | Permalink

      There was nothing wrong with it other than you repeated much of what everyone else, including some Remainers here, have been saying. Not that that is anything bad and goes to underline much that has been said.

      Just so you know 🙂

  85. Ian
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    From general reports on the rating chasing show it would appear all the external questions came from Labour Party activists. Why?

    Which sums up the BBC, what part does the Labour Party members have in choosing the Conservative Party leader?

    Having written that, I remembered the Conservative party nowadays is for the most part a left leaning image of Labour. Our host and a few others being the exception but no longer the majority

  86. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I respect the result of the referendum. I know it took place – and I respect that. I am a respectful sort of chap. I respect the fact that a record number of people took part in a democratic exercise. I take the result on board and, as I have said, I do respect it. However, what the people of this country know about these matters you could fit on the back of a postage stamp in 27 languages. I will, therefore, be acting in the people’s best interests and ignoring the result of the referendum while, of course, fully respecting the choices that people made.

    Your faithful servant (sic)
    The Political Class

    Please do not reply to this message – it comes from an automated account and replies are not read.

  87. Fred H
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    What a surprise Rory has dropped out – NOT. So the MPs are starting to vote realistically, what a relief. Next ought to be Javid -we will see.

    The dear old BBC has managed to select 2 out of 8 TV questions from people who are now suspended. Biased? No, of course not….

  88. Dominic
    Posted June 19, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Seamus Milne son of Alasdair Milne. The BBC and Labour in each others pocket. And the docile Tories walk right into their trap

    Are Tory MPs naturally naive and accepting or are they simply just too nice?

    Either privatise this left wing propaganda arm of the Labour party or continue to suffer at their hands

  89. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    The only possible way to get a deal with the EU is to present what we want to them and say it’s either that or ‘No Deal’. The trouble is that ‘No Deal’ without a transition period is better by a country mile than Mrs May’s deal or anything approximating to it. I haven’t heard any of the candidates propose something that is different from ‘No Deal’ or Mrs May’s deal.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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