The Conservative leadership election

I have not yet decided who to back in the leadership election. I want to see who does put in Nomnation papers, and want to hear their answers to two simple questions. I would also like to hear from Conservative members in Wokingham which two candidates they would most like to see on the final ballot paper at the end of the MP phase of the race.

The questions to candidates are

1. How will you get us out of the EU by or before October 31?
2. How will you develop a programe to expand our economy, raise living standards, raise our reputation in the world and restore our self confidence as a nation, using all the new freedoms we will have once out of the EU?

I will also write a few blogs on progress in the race. Today I will assess Rory Stewart’s offer.

Mr Stewart has provided the most persistent advocacy of the May deal which has just gone down to the most crushing defeat in the history of the party. The only Conservative plank for the Euro election was that Withdrawal Agreement and it was opposed by more than 90% of the voters.

Mr Stewart thinks 17.4 million people were wrong to vote to just leave. He spent time in recent weeks telling me I was wrong not to understand the brilliance of the Withdrawal Agreement. He being a very intelligent man and an important part of the establishment exudes confidence in the Remain view and seems to think those of us who disagree lack understanding. He has an old fashioned last century view of UK politics, defining pro EU Libdem voters as centrists Conservative need to attract, whilst ignoring the 17.4 m Leave voters. He says he wants to unite the Conservative party yet he also says he could not serve in a Boris Johnson led government.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Having read the statements of various leadership hopefuls, the approach of Esther McVey looks the most promising – i.e. Leave with (the misnamed) ‘no deal’ on 31st October, clearly telling the EU she will not seek to reopen WA negotiations, but being prepared to consider a revised deal which is attractive to the UK only if the EU makes the move.

    This leaves UK businesses with clarity of the process and they can plan accordingly. The EU, having said they will not renegotiate the WA, has time to consider the consequences. If they come forward to negotiate further to mitigate the negative effect of the ‘no deal’ on various EU countries, then the UK has leverage to state what it wants. Humiliation of the UK on the world stage is at an end. No more costly pitiful pleading trips to Brussels by inept and traitorous negotiators. If the EU wants to talk, let them come to London.

    I am not sufficiently au fait with Esther McVey’s personality and capabilities to suggest she would be absolutely the right choice, but the formula for delivering Brexit looks excellent to me.

    • Dougal Hamer
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Excellent plan. You only also needed to mention that German carmakers will make sure we get a great deal and that the EU needs us more than we need it, and you would have won first prize in the “Let’s Plan Brexit” competition – a unicorn and some fairies.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Dougal….better than being dropped off in a desert, handcuffed with ankle chains and told ‘off you go you are free’.

      • Hope
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Drinker/EU restated today the extension until 31October is not to be used for any renegotiation. This includes any new PM.

        Therefore it strikes me it is leave WTO or Mayhabs poisonous servitude plan. The candidates need be very clear which they choose of these options.

        Hunt has just ruled himself out with the public and consigned the Tory party to oblivion.

      • Steve
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink


        The EU does need us more.

        The EU is in trouble and the Commission knows it. Their federalism project is backfiring, and as seen from the recent elections nationalism is on the rise in virtually every member state. In France Marine Le Pen’s RN beat Macron.

        There will be other countries following our departure you can be sure.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink


          “the recent elections nationalism is on the rise in virtually every member state.”

          Oh dear oh dear – is that why the nationalists failed to succeed in any EU country except France?

          The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said Brexit was a factor behind a majority of voters favouring pro-EU parties.

          The European voters obviously see the disaster a Brexit has caused in Britain with a rabble rouser like Farage destroying the country.

    • bigneil
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      “Esther McVey’s statement looks the most promising “. And who say’s she’s telling the truth? Cameron said he’d get immigration down – he didn’t. Cameron said he’d trigger Art 50 if it was a Leave vote. He didn’t. May said she’d give us Brexit – but only on HER terms – which meant staying in. Loads of MPs said they’d stand by the Leave vote – then did all they could to deny it. Esther is in the same Party – and that Party has lied and lied.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Yes. I like her Blue Collar approach. Takes us back to our Tory roots rather than the arrogant we know better millionaires club. She also stuck to her beliefs leaving early rather than trimming and trimming as the rest did, solely to advance their own careers.

      With her background and personality I am sure the voters will take to her.

      As for Rory Stewart, the words ‘arrogant, jumped up, opportunist’ spring to mind.

      Advice to real pro Brexiteers, change the conversation, never say the words No deal.

      It is deal or the World Trade Agreement. The words No Deal allow a continuation of Project Fear.

    • jerry
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      @Pominoz; McVey is far to closely linked to the failed UC policy, good-bye to wavering Labour floating votes, even some Tory votes will be lost.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Like you, I like the way Ms McVey sounds. Comparing her no nonsense way of setting out her stall to, say, Mr. Hunt, then the lady comes across like a cool, fragrant, breeze in room full of warm farts!
      So far, she’d get my vote.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        She’s hated by Labour, so that’s a plus in my books.

      • Hope
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        McVey voted for Mayhabs great white Brino. She caves in under pressure. No reason to think she would not do the same.

        At present the Great White Brino is still alive waiting for one of the eight to date to take it forward! Why would anyone believe those who have put their names forward. They all lied. The whole cabinet failed, they supported Mayhab not to leave the EU by 29/03/2019! All cowards who supported traitor Mayhab. They did not force her resignation. It was Farage through local election defeat and EU elections. JR, might try to spin it differently in after years like the EU referendum. But it will not wash with the public.

        Only one of thirty could be remotely trusted. To date none of these have put their name forward.

        Farage achieved more in six weeks than any Tory candidate in five years! Leadership, courage, self sacrifice, vision, team building, nation first before EU.

        • Steve
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink


          “They did not force her resignation. It was Farage through local election defeat and EU elections.”

          My sentiments exactly.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      There is a very good reason maybe for the candidates to nominate their wingman or running mate at the start of the process. To be fair the May, Hammond team was doomed to failure from day one. It might just spice up the selection process and also bring into play the need to work as a team to justify and further consolidate one’s point of view. It may also help the elder members to be useful in the distribution of their knowledge and experience.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      But what then? Do you really think she has sufficient life experience to do this job?
      They really need to match candidates up against the guy who just won 33.3% of the UK vote from scratch, who could reach right into fundamental principles and come up with the answers, rather like our host. Yet to be convinced McVey could match that.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Couldn’t possibly be worse than May.

        One thing the Tories need to do is stop trying to impress the BBC.

        It is clear that Tory voters aren’t listening to the BBC anymore.

        What’s the betting Anna Soubry is still the voice on the EU on the BBC. Trying to impress the BBC is toxic for the Tories.

      • stred
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t Esther and Phil cave in and vote for May’s capitulation at one point?

        • What Tiler
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          The only candidates who didn’t are Steve Baker and Priti Patel, both of whom appear to be being a bit quiet at the moment. Esther and Phil caved at MV3, like many others. Since that was, apparently when the thumbscrews came out, it /may/ be almost forgivable.

          • Butties
            Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            “it /may/ be almost forgivable.” No Way.

      • hefner
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        SJS, sorry but Sir John has indeed come up with answers, whether one likes them or not is a different question.
        Where is the document with the fundamental principles Nigel Farage is following and the answers he has come up with? They might come if TBP keeps on its trajectory and wants to be a real participant in the next GE. But to this day TBP has practically no program(*) worth the paper it has not being printed on.
        Or does such program come while sleeping to TBP faithful ones only?
        (*) apart from leaving the EU obviously.

        • Hope
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          And what paper did Labour or Tory produce that could be believed or relied on, oh so clever one?

          Moreover, who would be so stupid to believe anything either of these parties write or say! How m any times do they repeat lies before the public stop listening? It is clear to me that no one listens to them anymore.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Try Googling ‘Brexit Party Constitution’. That gives a lot of insight into the party’s aims.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink


          I find having no manifesto a refreshing change

          As the party manifestos are either complete fairy tales or virtue signalling pork barrel fantasy it makes a change not to have one.

          All party manifestos should be roughly the same anyway

          We aim to manage health, education, social care, foreign policy , defence and law and order effectively and within the budget we have.

          It would be brilliant if the Brexit Party went with why dont YOU tell US what you want

    • Hope
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Tories are done. The first eight want to continue with Mayhab’s poison servitude plan which they supported. Traitor Hammond threatens he will side with Corbyn to bring down your next leader if the UK leaves without a servitude plan! Read Bradshaw in con woman today.

      Three times the UK voted to leave and three times Torieis broke their promises. Referendum, general election and EU elections -that Tories promised would not happen. Now remainers want a fourth vote!

      Trust is gone. Cuckoo socialist Stewart wanted you and your likes gone.

      • Hope
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Mayhab and cabinet destroyed your party. Arogant Tory MPs still think this election will be forgotten and is meaningless. After all there was only 30 or so of you who would not vote for the national humiliation of our nation. Robbins, chief negotiator, thought the servitude plan was a delay and bridge back to the EU!

        Raab accepted a job that left Mayhab in full control of EU negotiations, per her written public statement 28/07/2019. Now he claims he pushed hard! How so when he was not the lead negotiator. All in cabinet prepared to have our nation humiliation throughout the world. The rest as bad with their false pitches. Gove chief backstabber and fake leaver responsible for Mayhab in the first place. Who would be stupid to trust him.

        Those who resigned went on to vote for her poisonous servitude plan! Who would trust them in a crisis! Why do any of the current candidates think the public will trust them ever again after repeated lies for years based on the biggest democratic vote in history and the biggest betrayal by them!

        Hammond, Rudd, Gauke, Greg Clarke, Ken Clarke, Vazey, Harrington and Stewart demonstrate clearly why no one will trust your party ever again unless these types are ousted by your party in the first instance. Indicative votes showed who these EU fanatics are. Tory associations need to withdraw all support immediately. National. National motion made to oust these MPs instead of Mays resignation in June.

      • rose
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        People voted four times if you include the unexpected victory in 2015 when the referendum was in the manifesto.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink


        Following Mayhab’s route does show a lack of understanding of the numbers, particularly shown by Mr Hunt. Leave got about 37.5% of the electorate out to vote Leave in the 2016 referendum (17.4m votes). At these EU elections the total UK turnout was estimated at 37 to 38% (including EU27 citizens in UK). The truth is that there was not a huge number of people sufficiently committed to remain (and going against democracy) to get out and vote LD/Green/CHUK. The opportunity existed, it wasn’t taken, the numbers don’t exist. Any viable Conservative candidate will recognise this, state it and behave appropriately – all resource focussed to a no deal leave at the end of October (if the EU offer something then listen). I had advocated for a second referendum, even though I think a clean Brexit is best, but having seen the no show of the supposed multitude of remain supporters at the EU elections I see no point. The conservatives should stop wasting time, pick a leader, leave and use the freedom to design the country that the party wants – it is that future that will either win/lose the next GE. (BTW I am not convinced that Conservative MPs have the vision for a future UK, but I hope to be proved wrong here as well).

      • L Jones
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        ”Cuckoo” is a good word to use. Often the mimicry is so refined that it’s not recognisable at first…..
        But even as it grows stronger and more strident, still the hosts nurture it – yet it’s obvious to everyone else it’s a cuckoo.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        ……and we want Stewart gone, together with all his cohorts! In very short order!

        • Hope
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Only a week ago traitor Gove wanted Mayhab to reach agreement with Corbyn at any cost! He did not care for the Tory party its supporters, volunteers. The same when he put the knife in Boris. It is in his DNA, he is not going to change at this stage of his life. A traitor. He needs to stay in office at any price. Far more important than national interest or party. If not for backstabber Gove a leaver would have been in charge and the UK would have left the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink


    • L Jones
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Perhaps it would be interesting if Ms McVey explained what made her vote for Mrs May’s surrender treaty at the third time of asking, as she’d voted against it twice before.
      Did she suddenly think it was a great idea?
      Or did she she think it right to play political games with the country’s future?
      If she didn’t like it at all, then what was her reason for supporting it?

      I suspect that those who did vote for it can’t be trusted not to resurrect it and use it for their own basis of negotiations with the EU.

      However, since WE don’t get a choice of who’s the next leader, (and my vote is going to go to the Brexit Party, if the EU allows us to have another opportunity for a GE) I don’t much care which of these people are elected – except that I’d much rather it was one who voted against the ”deal” all three times: our host, Ms Patel, Mr Baker, Mr Paterson, etc, who want true independence for the UK.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        “if the EU allows us to have another General Election”. I thought about that
        too , LJ. Just how far will the totalitarian EU go to protect its numbers?
        As far as the USSR? Perhaps I shouldn’t give it ideas but clearly we should not be joining in a European ‘Defence’ Force.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          No edit. Sorry.

      • Butties
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks LJ, good questions which no doubt will not be asked in the MSM.

    • George
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure about McVey’s overall capabilities to hold the office of PM, but one other thing she has said is absolutely essential. That is to cut the Foreign Aid budget by 10 billion or more.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink


      “Humiliation of the UK on the world stage is at an end.”

      Oh course it is – after Brexit there won’t be a UK left, just a rump England.

      After centuries of sacrifice to bind this island together the Conservative party is about to destroy itself and take the Union down with them. It is too sad to watch.

      Scotland will go as will Ireland. Rather than your forlorn hope that EU members will be willing to negotiate they know that a Brexit England will have about as much influence on world affairs as Liechtenstein.

      • Pominoz
        Posted May 29, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink


        Appreciate your wisdom. We shall see whether it is the UK or the EU which disintegrates first.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 29, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        The idea of “just rump England” is a rather enticing prospect.
        Over 80% of the population and wealth and tax revenue.
        England would still be one of the world’s biggest and most powerful nations.
        Freed from the need to send Scotland and Northern Ireland many billions every year we would be even better off.
        Perhaps England could have a referendum on this too.
        Again you missed off Wales in your cut and pasted re run of a post Margaret.

  2. formula57
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    … he also says he could not serve in a Boris Johnson led government” – although no-one has asked him to do so!

    • Peter
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Rory Stewart – former Labour supporter and Old Etonian.

      Hence his supreme confidence and Blairite approach to politics.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        He is not, nor ever has been, a Conservative.

        • JoolsB
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Same can be said about most of the current parliamentary party who are masquerading as ‘Conservatives’.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Peter…Eton ‘we are superior beings’ training to the fore again. They will be proud, often stupid, but proud.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      A big plus for Boris.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      It always seems to be the Remainers who have this intolerance of others, its not a good look .

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        I hold my hands up Iain, I am a Brexiteer who is intolerant of others – those who are patently wrong, and a threat to the sovereignty of my country, as I would have been in 1940.

    • Jagman84
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      It’s a good indication that he’s the backstop, Stop Boris candidate, just in case Michael Gove fails in his own back-stabbing mission. Rory Stewart is a Bilderburger attendee so, in all probability, takes his orders from afar. He’s best avoided like the plague.

      • Mitchel
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Besides which,how could anyone possibly vote for someone with the nickname “Florence of Belgravia”?!

        Not exactly the Iron Lady is it?

  3. Tabulazero
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    At some level, you must be very proud to have utterly destroyed the Conservatives party with your pig-headed stubbornness and intransigence.

    Congratulations for having succeeded where generations of marxists have failed.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      It is T May, Hammond, Cameron, Osborne, Major, Heath and all the rest of the pro EU Libdim or Socialists pretending to be Conservatives who are destroying the party. They are totally out of touch with their members and at war with the voters. They have also delivered ever higher taxes, ever more damaging red tape, delivering very poor and declining public services too.

      The only way now for the Conservative to go is for a clean Brexit on or before Oct 31st. Also to become a party of a real Brexit, far lower simpler taxes, small government, a bonfire of red tape, go for cheap reliable energy, freedom and choice.

    • agricola
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      A remain definition of logic. When presented with a solution drape it in bile and nothing else of substance.

    • David in Kent
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero, I presume you are a Remainer so perhaps its unsurprising that you are too arrogant to see that it is your love for the EU and intransigence which has destroyed the current conservative government.

    • William Pentelow
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Oh dear.

    • sm
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero, like many others who have voiced their opinions on various media sites and personal blogs, John Redwood represents precisely the kind of Conservatism that we would like to see in a reborn Party.

      I am not interested in faux ‘One Nation’ sloganeering, nor in the persistently unsuccessful attempts to ‘move to the centre’, nor in ‘our Party is a broad church’ – these are all demonstrable failures in 2019.

      There should be a Party that represents those who would dearly like a federal Europe, and there is: the LibDems.

      There should be a Party that represents those who believe in nationalisation and overarching State control of all aspects of citizens’ lives, and there is: the current Labour Party.

      And there should be a Party that firmly believes in a completely independent UK and a market-based low-tax economy with minimum State interference: and currently there isn’t.

    • J Bush
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      It would appear you have an issue with people who believe in standing by the Manifesto they were elected on and upholding democracy by respecting the result of the referendum.

      But heyho, some do take losing badly and try to twist it to blame others because the result of the vote didn’t go the way they wanted.

    • Woody
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      May, Hammond, Clarke and the likes of stewart are the reason the tories are being destroyed .. but carry on fooling yourself as many from the europhile side do .. but don’t think you can fool others.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      I rather suspect Sir John is quite proud, in a quietly modest sort of way, but not for the reason you assume. Few politicians have demonstrated the integrity to stand by their principles, promises and beliefs regardless, and it is the distinct lack of same in Parliament which has brought our country to this impasse — and, yes, which has in fact also brought the Conservative Party (deservedly, in my opinion) to its knees.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Well said.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Julie….I imagine Sir John is thinking I told you so ‘carry on with this nonsense and we will take a hiding’. The Tories kept driving towards the cliff edge as if the car would miraculous soar through the skies. Oh dear.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink


      Hmm I think you’ll find that the extremist remainers are the problem, If you can’t be trusted to implement a very clear democratic mandate then you deserve to be destroyed as a party . Its also happening to Labour

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        It is not our job to implement the lies you all told in 2016. It is our job to expose them – which we have.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          So why did a majority vote for Brexit last week ?

          43% Leave, 40% Remain and 60% of eligible voters at home with art 50 still in play (aka Leave.)

          CHUK 3% and no seats.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink


          Ha ha ha Only someone as naive and simple as you can only just have found out politicians tell lies. No idea what you will feel we you find out about the lies of the EU/Remain camp

        • NickC
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          Andy, Which lies are they, then? The one about “an immediate and profound economic shock” due to voting to Leave? Or the one about “falling into a year long recession”? Or was it the 500,000 increase in unemployment in the wake of the Leave vote?

          Or perhaps it was the lie about a Brexit vote “immediately lead[ing] to an increase in the premium for lending to UK businesses and households”? Or the porky about TTIP being concluded before a UK-USA trade deal was possible? Or the one about every family being £4300/yr worse off? Or the lie about Brexit helping ISIS (A Campbell)? Or maybe it was not being able to sign footballers? Or even Brexit being the cause of WW3 (Juncker)?

          Or was it the lie about Leave voters not knowing what they were voting for . . . even though Remain told them? Or the one that Leave voters are thick (based on the Remain being unaware of the low availability of degree course for older voters)? Or the lie that the French government would ship ferry loads of its illegal immigrants to Britain the day after a vote to Leave? Or was it the lie that a second referendum is valid but the the first was not?

          Or perhaps Remains have adopted the tactic of pretending that Leave lied to cover up their own lying on an industrial scale?

          • Steve
            Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink


            “Or even Brexit being the cause of WW3 (Juncker)? ”

            Well Juncker can be interpreted as saying he fears a war if the UK leaves.

            So what….I don’t give a monkey’s. We shouldn’t be going to their rescue again, let ungrateful Europe rot as far as I’m concerned.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Rory Stewart is a product of Cameron’s “open caucus” selection process which I believe also produced Sarah Woolaston and Heidi Allen- so a good process for selecting Conservative MPs that non-Conservatives like but Conservative members don’t because they aren’t actually Conservatives. Stewart strikes me as quite an unpleasant divisive figure who would be pulverised by the Brexit Party in any future election.

          • Steve
            Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            Roy Grainger

            If anyone thinks the world is laughing at us now…..see how they’ll laugh at Rory Stewart if he wins.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Still waiting for those 500,000 job losses Andy !

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          The bus, the bus, the bus .. sounds like Adonis with his stuck record about a promise what is possible AFTER we leave. No mention of no eu army, no eu superstate, the complete and utter destruction of our economy and society IF we even just voted to leave. Now remind me about these so called lies from the leave campaign.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Project Fear 1.0 were the lies we were told during the referendum campaign.

        • L Jones
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          And what about the lies you’ve tried to disseminate all by yourself, Andy? I know that not many people were reading them, or believing them when they did – but at least you did try.

          Well done for making an idiot of yourself. No! A COMPLETE idiot! Even better.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          What lies would they be? Or are you talking about all the rubbish and lies Osborne spun trying to put us off voting leave?

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink


    • SecretPeople
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the 17.4m are ‘pig-headed and stubborn’ too. Or could it be that you just don’t understand? Had we left, as the majority instructed, we would all have been getting on with our lives now. The fact the instruction was ignored and we are still in the EU is what is destroying the Conservative party. They have one last chance to save themselves – by Leaving.

      • Ken Garry
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        We will leave but enjoy the exact same benefits. That was David Davis’s promise. How is that panning out? We are not in this mess because the majority is being obstructed, we are in this mess because the majority voted for something utterly undeliverable, a fantasy pain-free Brexit. Brexit, we all now know, is all pain

        • John Hatfield
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          We haven’t left Ken. How are you hurting?

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        @ Secret People

        Does it occur to you that the mythical 17.4 million (a little more than 25% of the UK’s population) may not be uniformly in favour of one single version of brexit? I met a lady the other day who said to me : “I just want out” and after my question, why, she said “it ias too expensive”. When I asked where she got that from and also what it could mean, she said that she did not know but “everyone believes it”. That is raw coinviction for you. Forget economics and analysis.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard who posts on here does something similar about the benefits of being in Rien .

          That is the downside of democracy. Some people (on both sides) believe anything and don’t do their own research.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          Rien…..sounds exactly the same as the people who cant tell me why they want to remain.

          • NickC
            Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Fred H, I haven’t found any Remain able to tell me why they want Remain rather than independence. Rationally, I mean, rather than a mere puerile demand. Instead Remains just try to makes yore flesh creep with fear, or tell us we’re thick. Neither course being either sensible or persuasive.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          Rien Huizer

          I met a remainer the other day , when I asked them why they wanted to remain in the EU they said it was because they gave us the NHS

          That is terminal stupidity for you.

          Just so you know Remainers aren’t in agreement on one form of remain either , a large majority talk of reform from within

          There is NO MYTH about 17.4 million its a factual figure easily verifiable by anyone who can do basic research , maybe ask someone to look the numbers up for you?

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink


            Unnecessary nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            Well said Libertarian
            I’ve noticed more remainers like hans now calling 17.4 million officially counted votes by the people of the UK “mythical”
            It must in their latest propaganda memo.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            Should say Rien
            I get confused as their posts sound the same to me.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          The lady was right of course. The EU costs the UK far too much for the mythical ‘benefits’.

        • Steve
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

          Rien Huizer

          You obviously ignored the European elections then.

          Listen; we’re leaving the EU, maybe not now, perhaps now who knows, but we are leaving at some point.

          One thing most leave voters have in common – we don’t care what effect our leaving has on Europe. We’re sick to the back teeth of Europe quite frankly, and want nothing to do with it.

    • Jagman84
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      The Marxists did not fail. They joined the party and did it from within. But trolls like you know that perfectly well.

    • bishbashbosh
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Laughable. The Tories are destroying themselves. JR is one of the principled few that talks any sense.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero, According to the rules laid down in the EU Referendum Act 2015, Leave legally won. The government promised to implement our choice in a pamphlet sent to every household. We were warned by your side of the “dire” consequences of voting Leave – yet, despite this, a majority still decided we should become independent of the EU. If you won’t accept that result, why is any democratic decision safe?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid that it’s the Marxists that have done it.

      The Marxists in the BBC et al that the rest of the Tory party lost their voters trying to impress.

    • Malcolm Whistance
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      What has destroyed the Conservative Party is the dishonesty of a majority of MPs who stood for election on very clear manifesto promises they had absolutely no intention of even trying to deliver, and in many cases worked against delivering from their first day after being elected. That sort of contempt for democracy and those who voted for them will always carry a price at the polls.

  4. Ian wragg
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    An ideal candidate to follow May and ensure total oblivion of the Tory Party.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Ian wragg

      Totally correct Ian, too many wearing rose coloured glasses.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Hunt on BBC news spouting No Deal would be a disaster. Another limp wristed Maybot who is happy to have Colonial status conferred on us.
        Didn’t he see the EU election result.
        Mad the lot of them.

    • robert valence
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      “He being a very intelligent man and an important part of the establishment exudes confidence in the Remain view and seems to think those of us who disagree lack understanding”.
      Occasionally, my views differ from those of Sir John.
      He may “exude confidence” but he’s a complete prat who shouldn’t even participate in the local town council let alone parliament.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed May gets the Tories to be the fifth placed party and Rory Stewart suggests yet more of the same to finish them off. As do most of the other PM contenders!

      Rory was already the voice of Theresa May on TV and Radio anyway, as she hardly dared to be questioned.

      So Alastair Campbell has been kick out of the Labour Party – not for his appalling part on the dreadful war on a lie that killed so many and caused such damage, nor for getting a sound BBC journalist fired, nor for talking drivel & propaganda for very many years but for saying he voted Libdem.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Was that Andrew Gilligan?

  5. Duyfken
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    When you referred to the “Conservative plank”, I was sure you meant Stewart.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      My thoughts precisely.

      This is one May toady we can really, really do without. It seems to me he was promoted above his talents and abilities and for no reason other than his willingness to fawn and grovel and toe the government line of the day.

      If Stewart were to become PM, the very next day he would be in Brussels licking Commission shoe leather and begging forgiveness for our poor, misguided country, promising that we shall hereafter be on best behaviour.

      Honestly, I feel nothing but revulsion for the man.

      • robert valence
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        …that’s what I meant above !

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      No, the guy is actually intelligent but misguided. Somehow, these people are “got to” at some stage. Sometimes people have to be able to see round corners, and that isn’t necessarily related to intelligence, although intelligence helps.

      Remember – Homer was intelligent, but thought that the earth was a disc.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        That maybe the case, but when it was found the Earth was a sphere, they changed their minds.

        The trouble with pro-EU people is that when shown what a filthy disgusting corrupt anti-democratic place it is, and one that is going down the tubes, they still want us to belong to it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but Homer did not have really have the evidence to the contrary whereas Rory Steward has overwhelming evidence of this and that May’s agenda will bury the party.

        Then again all the other object in the sky appear roundish, even when view at different angles so perhaps Homer did have some indication it was rather likely.

  6. Mark B
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I guess it all depends to who he playing to the gallery. If the majority in the HoC are for Soft Remain then he will won votes. The next GE is not until 2022 so they are safe in their jobs for now.

    I think the Tories think they can blag it with another Remainer. After all, the last one managed it for 3 years.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed. He epitomises the current majority crop of Liberal Conservatives who sit under the convenient flag of “conservatism” when he is nothing of the kind! Problem for the Party is we all know it and there needs radical reform.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Mark, do not the Tories have majority thanks to the DUP? A few bye elections might soften their coughs. So to speak.

  7. Cormorant
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    There should be one criterion guiding your vote – which candidate is best able to do the deal with Nigel Farage which is essential (i) to achieve Brexit and (ii) win the next election. There is no future for a Conservative party that does not embrace, and give high status to, Nigel Farage. That is where the votes are!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party pose less threat at the next general election than Jeremy Corbyn and his tax and spend party.

      The 10% who voted UKIP in 2015 will vote Brexit Party again but few others will give up their vote for a single issue party.

      The second question Sir John poses above is at least as important as the first.

    • Turboterrier
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Agree, ignore him at your peril.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        And realise that you have to choose between the BBC or your own voters.

        It is clear that you cannot please both. Does the BBC vote Tory ? Is the BBC helping the Tory party ? No. It’s killing it.

        Proof: Farage was completely unsupported by the BBC – in fact they have proven themselves to have been hostile. He took them on.

        He won an impressive victory.

        Now all the BBC can do is pretend that he didn’t win by offering dodgy statistics.

        And they don’t mention that the EDL/Tommy Robinson affiliation caused our wonderful people to – yet again – reject a BNP like party when those in the *enlightened* EU are delivering a real right wing extreme.

        A little BBC analyses showing that would have done much to reunite our ‘divided’ country but they don’t want to see it any more than our “burning injustices” Prime Minister who effectively tells black people that they are living in 1950s Alabama/Sth Africa to keep the race industry pot boiling nicely for our next PM.

        Tory voters or BBC.

        The party has to decide and do so quickly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Indeed he also has the right policies for the party on most other issues. Low simpler taxes, cheaper energy, smaller government a bonfire of red tape, cancel HS2 ….

      • Cora Green
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        He has no other policies. He has explictly said he has no policies except no deal Brexit. You are deluded

  8. oldtimer
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Mr Stewart gets a thumbs down from me. I am not persuaded by the arguments he has presented in TV interviews.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Stewart and Hunt are just Continuation May (as are most of the other Candidates). Leadsom supported May’s putrid W/A three times which is even worse than remaining.

      Boris, McVey, Rabb and Baker (if he stands) are the only ones I could possibly support. Anything else destroys the party. Even with these people as leaders there are huge dangers of getting Corbyn – given how big state/pro EU/lets commit suicide most Conservative MPs still seem to be.

      Good to see how appallingly the Soubry, Allen, Chuka lot did, that party and UKIP are surely now dead.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        Or rather “let’s”

      • Fred H
        Posted May 29, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic…..overwhelming numbers DID chuka sourberry.

    • matthu
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Stewart was talking about deferring the difficult decisions on Brexit to a Citizens’ Assembly.

      So in essence, 500 “ordinary citizens” (probably selected in the same manner as a Question Time audience!) would be manipulated to produce the fudge necessary to make the government’s compromise seems as if it was selected by “The People”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Exactly or worse still selected like a Question Time panel or Chairman.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        If the Tories can’t rid themselves of people like Rory Stewart and Theresa May, they’re not worth voting for and need to split.

        These people have infested the orchard. They have wormed their way in and the maggots have spoiled the crop which must now be written off. Everything needs to be sprayed and cleansed to stop this malignancy coming back.

        Unless that message is properly absorbed, the Tories stand no chance from here on out. They didn’t believe their diseased and precarious position before the local elections, they didn’t believe it prior to the European Parliamentary elections, and if they still don’t believe it and ignore the truth, they are beyond redemption.

  9. agricola
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Au revoir Rory Stewart. Not required on journey.

    I too would like answers to those questions. I have my own solution which you are well aware of by now. It is dependant on the power invested in the PM and Cabinet. Handing it to the playground rabble in the HoC to get their approval is for the birds. They are too intent on what is in it for them. For most I see oblivion at the next GE. The solution to your second question hangs on replacing the Lib/Dem element in your party with true Conservatives who have work experience in the real world. No more career politicians.3

  10. Dominic
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    He’s a rank hypocrite and a careerist imbued with an overwhelming sense of his own importance. An irrelevance

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    This candidate would not do anything for me , in fact I can get ‘no satisfaction’ in even listening to him. To consider him as part of the Tory front bench would imply that ‘It’s all over now’ for the Tories…

  12. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I think Sir John should throw his hat into the ring. I would consider emigrating should the party elect the appalling Boris Johnson as PM

  13. Newmania
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    As the leader of the Conservative Party is in fact Nigel Farrage one wonder what the point of this process actually is ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Well actually we’re waiting for the outcome of the Tory decision.

      Do they want to be dictated to by the BBC or by Nigel Farage ?

      At the moment they’re dictated to by the BBC which is why their vote has slumped to below 10% and why you’re talking tosh as usual.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        If they were led by Nigel Farage they would be sitting on 43%, so what are you talking about, Newmania ???

  14. What Tiler
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Continuity May; no thanks. I suspect there might be some “adjustment of attitudes” after Peterborough, too.

  15. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Just seen Kit Malthouse spouting “compromise”.
    It’s compromise that has felled the Conservative party in power. The electors have told the government that compromise convinces no one – that is the twilight zone between leave and remain that is worse than either.
    I recommend the Conservative party embraces leave wholeheartedly and push up the leave curve by offering the EU continuing mutual free trade to the benefit of all.
    Time for the Conservative party to wake up.

  16. Richard1
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Odd re serving under Boris. Normally Etonians stick together.

  17. Robert Bywater
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    ” .. seems to think those of us who disagree lack understanding.” Yes, that seems to be the prevailing attitude among Remainers and WABbers. Leavers are assumed to be mainly proletarian, uneducated people (as if there was something to be ashamed about being in that category (and “Leave” might indeed be a good strategy for such people wishing to improve their lot, the EU has certainly failed to do that)). In their arrogance they (the Remainers & WABbers) have failed to notice that there are many extremely well educated and well informed individuals who for good reasons support Leave. I leave it to the reader to think about who these people are. They might be worth listening to.
    Oh, and as to the choice of leader of the Tory party and PM: I would vote for Raab, he does not have the kind of bumpy background that the Goves and Borises of this world have and he is articulate, expresses his views with clarity. A committed leaver and not afraid of “no deal”.

  18. Lifelogic
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Roger Bootle yesterday says “the next PM must have a sound grasp of economics”.

    Well after the many economically illiterates at numbers 10 and 11 – May, Hammond, Cameron, Osborne, Blair, Brown, Darling, ERM Major, Ken Clark …… it might be nice if they at least had a rough grasp of economics. Pro EU, tax, borrow, piss down the drain and regulate to death dopes the lot of them. With expensive intermittent energy, greencrap, political correctness, expensive housing, restrictive planning and absurd employment regulations to make things even worse.

    Then they wonder about the lack of UK productivity!

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I agree too early to make a call yet, as none of them have given any real details, only short soundbites.
    Having said that no candidate who voted remain should get a look in, we have tried that and it clearly failed big time.
    I would discount completely anyone who voted for Withdrawal Agreement 1 and 2 and I would treat as suspect anyone who voted for Withdrawal agreement 3.

    The above unfortunately for me means a number of candidates have excluded themselves, and does not leave too many choices left.

  20. Dan Rushworth
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Stewart is continuing to show the delusional likeness of Mrs May and Mr Hammond. This is it now, the Tories last chance for a transformative, younger, enthusiastic person, who can relate their experiences of taking risk, and succeeding. They really need to relate to the masses. Down to earth and unthreatening, with complete integrity. Showing good wisdom and intelligence. Mr Stewart maybe younger than retirement age, but certainly doesn’t look it. Everything else, he comes nowhere near.

  21. APL
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    JR: “I have not yet decided who to back in the leadership election.”

    Back one who isn’t a drip.

  22. Graham Wood
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Your description “old fashioned” is spot on. Stewart is a patronising statist with a sense of entitlement to government and power. Amazingly he is till in favour of the appalling WA in spite of its rejection and the electoral defeats of his party. That alone disqualifies his bid for leadership IMO.

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Anybody who rules out the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without any deal should instantly be ruled out as a potential UK Prime Minister, unless the EU formally announces that it too has ruled out the possibility of the UK leaving without any deal.

    Otherwise it would be like having allowed a useful idiot from CND to unilaterally disarm our country while our potential adversary had retained its nuclear weapons.

    I see the present Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is the latest to announce that he would be happy to be sent naked into the conference chamber*:

    so that should automatically narrow the field by his exclusion.


    Nye Bevan, speech at the Labour Party Conference, 4 October, 1957, on unilateral nuclear disarmament:

    “I knew this morning that I was going to make a speech that would offend, and even hurt, many of my friends. I know that you are deeply convinced that the action you suggest is the most effective way of influencing international affairs. I am deeply convinced that you are wrong. It is therefore not a question of who is in favour of the hydrogen bomb, but a question of what is the most effective way of getting the damn thing destroyed. It is the most difficult of all problems facing mankind. But if you carry this resolution and follow out all its implications — and do not run away from it — you will send a British Foreign Secretary, whoever he may be, naked into the conference chamber. … And you call that statesmanship? I call it an emotional spasm.”

  24. Caterpillar
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Rory Stewart appears to be from the nasty, dirty side of politics, this was made clear when, still in his prisons role, he started to paint Farage and supporters as right wing extremists. A misplaced arrogance is obviously common in politicians, perhaps inevitable, but going against a simple democratic decision by traducing those who support it is a step too far.

  25. Old Albion
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Stewart is a no hoper. Andrea Leadsom with Boris as deputy is a win win.

  26. Oggy
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    SJR- Rory Stewart ‘exudes confidence in the Remain view and seems to think those of us who disagree lack understanding.’
    So he thinks leavers are all thick and didn’t know what we were voting for. Sheer arrogance, he is just another Theresa May in different clothing. The Tories have just spent 3 wasted years with that approach which has led to their worst ever election defeat and he wants more of the same ? So just who is it who lacks understanding and is thick then ?

  27. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Very classy put down Sir John.

    Mr Stewart reminds me of Chukka Ummuna and Anna Soubry with a hint of Heidi Allen.

  28. BOF
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Rory Stuart’s position supporting the utterly failed deal is extraordiry. For an ex army man to support complete compromise of the armed forces and security services is beyond belief.

  29. Turboterrier
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Stewart is just typical of what we have been served up with since the arrival of CMD. All trained with the same outlook, that the voters stand for three fifths of naff all as they know best. He and his like will ensure the fatal blow is delivered to our badly wounded party. To hear Hammond and his elves talking about bringing down the new PM unless they do it their way should demand their removal from the party forthwith. We have too many backstabbers as it is at the top table.

  30. Ian Wilson
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Brexit is the first priority but further ahead we need someone to stand up to the Green Blob and end the destruction of our economy with the obsession over climate. Since the Climate Change Act our aluminium production has gone, as have 28 chemical plants according to Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos to take just two examples. I don’t understand how switching production to China helps the planet.
    The only politician I have heard make a sensible comment on climate is Nigel Farage, and I’m sorry to say he will have my future vote if all the Conservative hopefuls simply follow the Greenpeace line.
    Climate has changed throughout history and evidence points to little or possibly no human involvement.

  31. margaret
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    It is a difficult job whoever undertakes it. Whilst many are longing for the prestige , we need someone who is able to manage and direct, yet still understand and openly build relations with the EU to enable the Countries in the EU to feel more confident that trading in a new way will also benefit them.

  32. Simeon
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    If the soft Brexit (BRINO)/Remainer wing of the party have any awareness of the wider situation, then they will recognise that any candidate explicitly offering any degree of continuity with May will be emphatically rejected by the membership. Given that arranging for two such candidates to be offered to the membership is impossible (this wing simply does not have the numbers to do so – they are a minority), their calculation will surely be to swing behind a candidate that will deliver a soft Brexit, in all likelihood subject to a referendum, but who has a chance of selling this to the people as a satisfactory Brexit.

    This plan is of course a very bad one, and will be a boon to the Brexit party. But I suspect that the calculation will be that probably one of either Gove or Johnson could do it. Johnson will like this plan, because it gets him into no. 10. Gove, I suspect, would actually believe in this plan, and believe he was the best person to deliver it.

    Stewart is not a serious candidate, and I’m sure he knows it. He is simply attempting to steer policy, and of course angling for promotion.

    • Simeon
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      I should clarify that I am referring to the group of MPs who would self – identify as sift Brexit/Remain. The majority of Conservative MPs are in fact soft Brexit, but most would reject the term, and would think of May’s WA as much closer to a hard Brexit than a soft. It’s this kind of mentality that is of course such a big part of the problem.

  33. Demeter.
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Did you use the term ‘Conservative plank’ deliberately?

    Reply It’s about the platform not about any person!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Except the person needs to be genuine able to stick to it and to actually deliver (not lie and cheat as (Cast Iron, low tax at heart, Eurosceptic “Conservative”) Cameron, (I promise you a £1 million Inheritance Tax Threshold) Osborne, I am cutting taxes and reducing the debt Philip Hammond and “we are leaving on March 29th Theresa May 100 + times, (this WA agreement is leaving the EU – plus countless other lies & deceptions from her) have all done.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      That’s as maybe, but when the cap fits, they should wear it!

      That bloke has very little resonance with the public. He’s a figure of ridicule even before he starts!

    • Fred H
      Posted May 29, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Reply It’s about the platform not about any person!

      Yeah….we believe you. (ha ha).

  34. Nicky Roberts
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    There is still a view in the government that TBP is a flash in the pan, a few people stamping their feet. Not so. The sense of betrayal runs deep and brought out voters sick to death of deceit and duplicity, a government prepared to rubber stamp the WA without a second thought. Please continue to talk down the WA, Sir John, there is still confusion about this.

    People like Stewart will not accept that the great British public cannot be so easily manipulated. We do our own research now and do not accept blindly the instructions of the political elite. He is finished I am afraid unless he understands this, and so is the party.

    I note that you have been attacked in a previous post as being a Marxist! Rather wide of the mark I would say. You and others from the ERG have remained steadfast in the belief that this country should not be shackled to the EU indefinitely, and that the referendum should be honoured. Without your determination, this country would have been sold down the river. I still find it difficult to understand why Conservative politicians would consider this a satisfactory outcome.

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Rory Stewart is an example of why the Conservatives have received such a drubbing in two sets of Elections.
    Cameron turned it into a Centrist Party with no standards or principles.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      No, no, Rory Stewart, and Michael Gove, have got principles. And if you don’t like those, they have others to show you. Ka-boom!!

      • Beecee
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Michael Gove – brilliant orator, intelligent, and a disciple of the ‘what band wagon can I jump on today’ brigade.

        Never thinks his ‘decisions’ through, either!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          Gove idiotically wants to kills private schools – when really a sensible government should be making nearly all of them private (with tax breaks and state education vouchers).

          They are also a very good export and save the tax payers a fortune (as the users of them pay three times over once in tax, again in tax on the money needed for the fees and then the fees). Doubtless he wants to do this to private medical care too – where they pay four times as there is a 12% tax on medical insurance (thanks to Hammond’s recent increase in it).

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Spot on!

  36. Adam
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Rory Stewart is Raw EU Stewardship.
    His motives are backward, so he shall remain there hopelessly.

  37. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Totally unsuitable. He had to apologise after making up a Brexit statistic whilst on BBC Radio 5 Live. He claimed 80% of the British public supported the prime minister’s Brexit deal. When pressed by Emma Barnett as to where he had got the information, he said: “I’m producing a number to try to illustrate what I believe.”
    Trust in politicians can hardly get any lower we don’t want such a person as Prime Minister.

    • Bob
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink


      “I’m producing a number to try to illustrate what I believe.”

      If a pro leave person had said that the MSM would have had a field day with it.

  38. Fred H
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    You are right to await final nominations. I also think you must have read so many of our views on here, and absorbed those you can emphasise with, for surely they are likely to put conservative views and support in certain policies, but not others. We trust you use those points in advising others on the way forward to win back confidence and votes.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      It will take some sorting out. Looks like it will be a bigger cast than Ben Hur.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Is does not matter about the final nominations, the Establishment/conservative cabal will not allow a Brexiteer to become PM. Nothing will change. Who was the main influence in endeavouring to take down Donald Trump? Why did Hannigan of GCHQ resign? Why did May resign? Why is Donald Trump having discussions with our controller H M?. It is all interconnected. I read these comments most days and I am disturbed by the number of persons who make references to the MSM, the MSM are the Establishment. Check out who owns/controls the MSM? We need change throughout our system. How many MPs are there, 635+ in a country of our size. How many in the HoL and why? What do they really do and do we need that many or them? Ask yourselves these questions. By the way I used to vote conservative many years ago

  39. Turboterrier
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    This country is embarking on a very dangerous route with this growing demand for a second referendum. Historically if a vote has been too close a recount is the accepted way to decide the winner. If the party gets in by one vote that is it until the next election or the government is bought down. All this open revolt for such a second referendum should have been put down before it even started. The Libdums are in open revolt against the peoples choice and as such they are preaching revolt and civil disobedience. Labour is is also being dragged down this route albeit the so called leader is kicking and screaming. The country has spoken and no amount of manipulation of the figures can alter the outright winners and losers. All these parliamentarians should be given the choice of mass resignation or that in future what ever is voted on inside and outwith of Parliament will be passed back to the people for their agreement and verification and then and only then can a law be passed. This is the slippery slope to where we are heading at ever increasing speed. Modulation prevents me from saying what I and thousands of others are thinking it’s just ####### ########. The elder statesman within the house should be presenting this view at every opportunity. Those wishing to destroy our democracy have no place in our society let alone our Parliament. Time to open up the sludge valves of the swamp.

  40. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    There is no outstanding candidate, one who can achieve a genuine and timely exit and command the support of the Libdems masquerading as Conservative MPs.

    Dominic Raab is probably the best available but the dreadful Gove will probably be selected.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I believe Mr Raab supports continuing with the 0.7% International Development budget.

      I’m really not convinced that this is used effectively to either relieve third world poverty or promote the UK 🙁

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        True. I heard him say it.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        They all love this virtue signalling. One of them the other day said it should be increased.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Well we know that a huge amount of it is wasted. Give the money back to people and let each of them give to overseas charities if they want to. That is real democracy, freedom and choice.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      A Sedgewick, According to Guido, Raab approves the enormous DfID budget, and only vaguely questions HS2 and Huawei. At least Raab is honest (ish) about how out of touch he is. Gove will say what ever needs to be said to advance Gove. Boris is the only one left who is anywhere near pulling it off. But frankly I think Theresa May has accomplished Olly Robbins’, and Labour’s, goal of finishing off the Tory party for good. I don’t think Boris is a miracle worker, which is what is needed.

    • Big John
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Dominic Raabs campain slogan is :-

      For a fairer Britain

      Does he mean :-

      Fair is you get to keep the money that you earn and get to choose where it

      Or does he mean :-

      Fair, he chooses how to spend my money, whether I like it or not.

      I suspect the latter, so no thanks.

  41. Andy
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Your two questions are contradictory.

    It is not possible to get us out of the EU by the end of October – or indeed to get us out at all – while improving our reputation and growing our economy and improving our living standards as fast as we would without Brexit.

    There is no debate about this anymore. Even Mr Mogg reckons the economic hit of your Brexit will last around 50 years. He said so. Virtually all of the contributors to your blog – and most of your colleagues in Parliament – and your party will be dead by then.

    The real questions are why are you so determined to make us all worse off? Why do you reject evidence? And what do you think the next generation will do to politicians who have knowingly harmed our country? (Clue: public inquiry, then prison).

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      “Once in a lifetime decision which we will uphold”

      “We warn you that voting to Leave will mean leaving the single market”

      “Leave the European Union or Remain in the European Union ?”

      The people heard all of the arguments and voted on that information.

      Then – last week – a majority voted again on all the new information and again decided to leave the EU. 43% Leave 40% Remain 60% of eligible voters relaxed enough to stay at home with Art 50 still in play – so I’d say defaulting to Leave rather than Remain.

      What are you not getting, Andy ?

      Anna Soubry got 3% and no seats.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink


      Give ONE real world example of an industry that will be hit totally by not being in the EU .

      This childish drivel about “no deal” exposes the hard of thinking, the ignorant and the liars

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      As you seem to be absolutely obsessed with money beyond everything else (like democracy, the rule of law, accountability of politicians) let’s try this. The overwhelming majority of economists agree that a Corbyn/McDonnell government would be an economic disaster. There is no debate about this, it is a simple fact. According to you then, any general election that they win should be totally ignored and any Labour MPs who promoted their manifesto in that election should be jailed. It’s an idea I suppose, pure fascism of course.

      A Green government, along the lines suggested by that poor little girl paraded in front of Ed Milliband, would also – by design – make us all poorer, so let’s ban them from standing too.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Actually – I am not obsessed with money. I have frequently said on here that the economics are just about the least worst thing about Brexit.

        But then my family are in the fortunate position to not have to worry about money. We are a classic example of a self-made couple who will never vote Tory.

        And I won’t ever vote for Corbyn either so I don’t know why you all raise Corbyn with me.

        Incidentally – when Brexit makes you, your kids and your grandkids poorer, which it will, I hope you will enjoy it. Moreover I hope you will be able to explain it to them. Because your grandkids will look at you and wonder why the hell went wrong with grandpa to make him so irrationally angry at the wrong thing.

        • NickC
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          Andy, In most EU countries the EU makes their kids poorer with horrendous levels of youth unemployment. Why do you want that for your kids (and mine)? I hope you will be able to explain it to them.

          Your dishonourable rants which set your EU above our democracy will result in the Labour racist party being elected. Whether your Mr Corbyn is still leader, or has been stabbed in the back by McDonnell by then, won’t matter very much as your kids slide into their Venezuela experience.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Andy, If your view was correct, why isn’t the whole world clamouring to join the EU? And usually, after a struggle for independence from an empire, it’s the collaborators, Quislings, and traitors who are imprisoned.

      Moreover, you are teaching your own children not to respect democracy, and not to respect their elders. So how will they treat you when you get old, do you suppose? You better hope they will not follow your example, for your own sake.

    • MickN
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      (Clue: public inquiry, then prison).

      We could always get Lord Chilcott to do it 🙂

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        We must get the inquiry completed quickly enough so we still have time to punish the elderly Brexiteers in the Tory party – many of whom are well into their 70s and 80s.

        • NickC
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Punishment for wanting independence? Like all the rest of the world? My, how your gloating exposes your puerile hatreds.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      You are misquoting Jacob Rees Mogg because he never said the economic hit will last around 50 years.
      You need to listen to the interview again and stop spinning his words to suit your views.

      We have had recessions during the last 40 years whilst in the EU, are we going to have a similar enquiry for that?
      Everything good is despite Brexit
      Everything bad is because of Brexit.
      It is just you being silly again Andy.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Ah – you get it at last. For 40 years you lot of have said that everything good was despite EU membership. And everything bad was because of EU membership.

        Annoying – isn’t it? Still – just another 37 years for you to put up with it until we’re even.

        Incidentally you are correct. We have had recessions while we are in the EU. We will have them outside too. This is what you have not understood. We are already in control of our own economy. You voted to take back control of something we already controlled. And all you will end up doing as a result is making all of us pointlessly poorer than we would have been.

        • NickC
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Please be consistent. It is because the EU has so much control of the UK economy that Remain insists we should not leave (on pain of the dire economic consequences)!!

          And you are at your strawman tricks again. Your claim is invented: what “we” have actually said is that anything the EU “does” for us we could do for ourselves at least as well, or better.

          Moreover you still cannot say after 3 years why you think it is (supposedly) impossible for the UK to be as independent as New Zealand.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          I not heard so much nonsense in repeated posts in here in years Andy, you are getting more hysterical by the day.
          Not one point I raised have you commented on.
          False quote…no response
          Enquiry for previous recessions…no response.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink


            that is about the same for your response not serious feedback

          • Edward2
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            Then with hilarious irony you post a one line comment hans.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 29, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          So we can expect some dramatic EU policy changes now that the Brexit Party (and like) are dominant in the EU Parliament.


    • L Jones
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      We won’t be ‘worse off’. Project Fear, Andy?
      And most thinking people believe that our country will be MUCH better off unshackled from your much-admired EU – and don’t forget it’s not all to do with your bank balance. Personally, I am glad that my children won’t be involved in the EU’s militaristic schemes which, with their expansionist plans, might well involve them in a war, or at least civil unrest. Speaking hypothetically, I’d rather they were poorer, but free and safe.

      The ‘next generation’, thank goodness, won’t all be like you. Very few, I’d say, knowing my own family. Many of us here (though we don’t keep banging on about our ages) are young, with youngsters of our own, whose wellbeing is important – and not all of us are concerned with being ”well off” to the exclusion of everything else.

      Not everyone thinks that politicians’ behaviour merits prison (if it doesn’t agree with what YOU believe), even when it’s deliberately misleading – rather like your EU masters’ game plans. Your exaggerations constantly undermine any weak points you are trying to make. I don’t say ‘arguments’ – you don’t have any.

      • Andy
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        You’re already else off. The EU has no militaristic plans – member states do not want it to.

        And, alas, most younger folk are far more like me than you. Sure you always get that odd exception – but it is you, and not me, that is odd as research repeatedly proves.

        • NickC
          Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Not read the Lisbon treaty yet, Andy? Not heard of PESCO? Or the EDA? Try the section entitled “Provisions on the Common Security and Defence Policy”. I’m not sure whether you are irredeemably naive, merely dim, or outright lying, but none gives you any credibility.

    • Robert mcdonald
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Mogg did not say the hit will last 50 years, he said “The overwhelming opportunity for Brexit is over the next 50 years.” The disaster of the eu has taken c45 years to be highlighted so his opinion has merits .. its balanced.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Mogg has not said that. It shows the paucity of your arguments that you are obliged to misquote him. He said the benefits of Brexit would be shown over 50 years.

  42. javelin
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    1) How will you counter the rise of the greens. It’s not just a case of taking what they say on board because what they want is eco Marxism. The next leader needs to ensure the scientific evidence is not based on man made data adjustment warming.

    2) How will they counter the Liberal open boarder policy. They need to understand low paid migrate dilute tax. So what will be a sensible immigration policy. We need to make sure this is transparent as it is open to corporate lobbying for cheap labour, which the voter will pay for. In otherwords privatise the profits of mass immigration and socialise the costs.

    3) How will they counter the socialist policies of the Labour Party. Best way is to deliver jobs and lower taxes.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      The Greens have had all manner of Extinction Rebellion and Attenborough exposure in recent weeks – so surely not all of that vote can be apportioned to Remain.

      There are people who might want to Leave but who voted Green because there is a ‘climate emergency’.

      The Green vote is exploding all over Europe where there isn’t a Brexit issue going on.

  43. Alan Joyce
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Readers of your blog may like to recall what Mr. Rory Stewart said on Radio 5 Live on the 15th November 2018.

    Speaking to presenter Emma Barnett, he claimed 80% of the British public supported the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. When pressed as to where he had got the information, he said: “I’m producing a number to try to illustrate what I believe.”

    He later added, “I totally apologise and I take that back”.

    His application for the top job shows Mr. Stewart manages to combine overweening ambition with an underwhelming attraction for voters and a dodgy grasp of facts.

  44. GilesB
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    A significant flaw in the governance of the Conservative Party is that the leader has in effect to pass three separate tests in order to command the confidence of the:
    – Conservative MPs
    – members of the party
    – electorate (so that the threat of a GE can command the respect of the House of Commons (let alone the House of Lords which is another can of worms).

    In the past there was broad alignment across these constituencies. But currently there isn’t it. An ideal candidate for one constituency is anathema to another. And no one wants a compromise candidate.

    Lying to one group in order to win curry with another is not a good start to a premiership.

    A further challenge is the media with their constant demand for clarity and details and specific ‘red lines’. Negotiations require flexibility and involve multiple parties in a dance of give and take. Declaring too many red lines makes finding a solution impossible, too few and it is just a surrender, declaring red lines and then giving up on them is a series of capitulation.

    As you have said, repeatedly, the only thing to be said is ‘Here is a free Trade Agreement. We’d like to sign it with you. If not we’ll trade under WTO terms’. And to mean it. Oh, after that there can be some discussion about financial obligations under past commitments

  45. gyges
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Rory Stewart’s delusion was betrayed by his pre-political career visit to Afghanistan.

  46. Iain Moore
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The Conservative leadership contest is taking the Tory party to new lows, not only are we seeing a lot of no hopers throw their hat into the ring on daily basis , which might be fine if you were in opposition, but with the clock ticking down to 31st Oct we just don’t have the time for this indulgence. But the front runners are doing their best to show what unsuitable people they are to become PM. Rabb throwing in tax cuts as a bribe and not part of any discernible economic strategy. Gove wanting to give 3 million migrants British citizenship without bothering to check if they have that right, and Hunt on the Today programme crashing and burning as he explained his EU negotiating strategy, which seemed to be May mark2, taking No Deal off the table, negotiating by committee, and go to the EU with a less confrontational approach than May. God help us. Someone in the Conservative party needs to get a grip, because if this is supposed to be renewing our faith in the competence of the Conservative party its doing to opposite.

    • James Bertram
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, the 11 Tory candidates announced so far give me 11 more reasons to vote for the Brexit Party.
      Where is Steve Baker and Priti Patel?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I absolutely agree Iain! Such a choice, it’s enough to make a prospective voter want to spit feathers!

      Who the hell let these people in, in the first place?

      We should be fighting these nonentities, not voting for them or inviting them to lead the nation!

    • Timaction
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Who in their right mind would take any deal in a negotiation? It shows the extremely poor calibre of the majority of MP’s. Accentuated during the EU debates in Parliament. The Spartan’s being the exception! That’s why they are not allowed to hold Ministerial Office and a further reason that the Tory Party is at existential risk.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Kit Malthouse said on radio today that he is ‘volunteering’ to do it. Such sacrifice brings a tear to the eye. Perhaps if he gets it, we won’t have to pay him or house him and feed him and all the other baubles they scrape by with.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Iain, voting for the Brexit party in the next general election looks more attractive by the hour. Honestly, ate the Conservative party really this stupid? It would seem so.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        I watched the story of Mrs Thatcher last night, it put in stark contrast the quality of her leadership compared to the poor quality of the Tory candidates in this leadership contest , and generally how low our Parliament has sunk. It was depressing. They really aren’t up to the job.

  47. oldwulf
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Stewart is more of the same.
    Not a good idea.

  48. gyges
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    ps … the usual complaint,

    “whilst ignoring the 17.4 m Leave voters.”

    You’re (John) ignoring the other 17 million or so voters who voted remain BUT believe in democracy. All those people who went into the voting booth with the expectation that the majority outcome would prevail. That view isn’t limited to leave voters only.

    • old salt
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      gyges –
      Something about democracy and losers consent.

      • gyges
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Loser’s consent was given when the voter marked the ballot paper. Their expectation that winning would mean that their intentions would be carried out is the opposite side to the same coin that the losers gave consent for the winning intentions to prevail. They both arose at the same instant. It is more than specious to pretend otherwise …

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      16 million, in a “binary” first past the post referendum.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Like in any democratic vote. You lost, get over it cry baby. We had to tolerate the EU for over 40 years against our wishes!

  49. percy openshaw
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I think you have despatched Rory Stewart, Sir John. But please prevail upon the likes of Hunt and Hancock to stop putting it about that the way to retain power is to win back “Remain” voters. It flies in the face of good sense, not to mention the facts. The Brexit party vote was made largely of defecting Tories. Indeed, I am among that number. Only a small percentage of Labour voters joined us. If the Remainers in the Conservative party take comfort from the idea that Labour will sink as badly as them in the case of a clear Brexit betrayal, they are fools; utter, utter fools and bigots. However, since it has emerged that that is precisely what they are, you and other true Tories should be making plans to join Farage yourselves.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink


    • James Bertram
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Percy. ‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’.
      If the Tories fail to elect a strong ‘Leave’ candidate (Steve Baker, Priti Patel) then the 28 True Tories must join the Brexit Party – not to do so will destroy their credibility, and waste their talents; and too, deservedly consign the Conservative Party to the dustbin of History.

  50. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    In your assessment of Mr Stewart you use the phrase ‘Mr Stewart thinks ..’ which I am forced to challenge.
    Any more public statement from the myriad of hopefuls reaching levels of stupidity that leave us speechless, and all hope of the Tory Party having the wherewithal to recover will be stamped out. Hunt this morning reached Stewart levels of incomprehension. He is worried that from a level of 9% a new leader might do something which will ‘be suicidal’!

  51. Kevin
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Time to start handing out eviction notices in Westminster. The 75th anniversary
    of D-Day – June 6th – sees the Peterborough by-election. The Brexit Party
    managed to get 38% of Thursday’s vote there. I don’t see what difference an MP
    makes over an MEP as regards dispensability. It’s a source of wonder to me if
    you can cherry-pick your representative regardless of his or her policy on Brexit.

    Returning a Brexit MP to Parliament now should finally shake the complacency
    of the Tories. 17.4 million people may have voted to leave the European Union,
    but this is meaningless when all you need is to command a sufficient majority
    in a chamber of only 650. I heard recently that the idea of Scottish devolution
    needed the kick-start of Winnie Ewing’s win in the ’67 Hamilton by-election to
    stun Westminster. The Tory leadership contest needs exactly the same kind
    of shock to bring it home to the Party that, unless they change, their days are

  52. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Strangely the man could have grown in gravitas with becoming part of the government, but instead became a sycophant.

    Count me out.

  53. Christine
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Thank you for canvassing our views.
    Rory Stewart is a complete no-no. Having read his views about how to negotiate calls into question his ability to do so. He would be a complete disaster. I would sincerely like you, Sir John, to throw your hat in the ring. Failing that my choice would be Steve Baker. He is principled and has consistently voted against the WAG.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I’m saving my views on Steve Baker until Sir John raises the subject, but they’re not at all negative.

  54. Julie Williams
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Good luck: glad it’s you not me, although it’s easy enough to weed out the chaff there won’t be much grain left.

  55. Original Richard
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I would like to ask the continuity May candidate, Mr. Stewart, how he is prepared to sign a treaty with the EU from which there is no lawful exit and which gives enhanced rights to EU citizens over and above those for UK citizens.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Well, in 1972 Edward Heath, and then the UK Parliament, agreed to a treaty which had no withdrawal clause, you can see it here:

      But despite the apparent absence of any “lawful exit” from the treaty, and with its Article 240 actually saying somewhat to the contrary:

      “This Treaty is concluded for an unlimited period”

      in 1975 we had a referendum on whether to withdraw; and as far as I know nobody said at the time that it was a pointless exercise because even if we voted to leave we could not, there being “no lawful exit”.

      It was only later that some eurofanatics started to try on that specious argument to get it widely accepted that our EU membership was irreversible and so there was no point in even discussing whether we would be better off leaving.

      At the time of the 1975 referendum the government leaflet was clear on this:

      “Fact No. 3. The British Parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973. Thus our continued membership will depend on the continuing assent of Parliament.”

      And the same will be true of any future treaty with the EU.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Hi Mertyl

        I think the EU have a somewhat different take on that. They are convinced that should we sign the WA we would be stuck in it forever.

        There is a get out clause but it is wholey dependent on us agreeing to all their demands

        No thanks.

      • Original Richard
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        DC, I thank you for your interesting post and links.

        So are you saying that the AG is wrong when he writes in Paragraph 30 of his “Legal Effect of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland” dated 13/11/2018:

        “In conclusion, the current drafting of the Protocol, including Article 19, does not provide for a mechanism that is likely to enable the UK lawfully to exit the \UK wide customs union without a subsequent agreement. This remains the case even if parties are still negotiating many years later, and even if the parties believe that talks have clearly broken down and there is no prospect of a future relationship. The resolution of such a stalemate would have to be political” ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

          Clearly he is correct insofar as the text of the protocol does not provide any such exit mechanism, but as I say that was also the case for the 1957 Treaty of Rome; and indeed that continued to be the case for the EU treaties right up to December 1st 2009 when the Lisbon Treaty finally came into force and introduced Article 50 TEU. Yet throughout that long period, half a century, few people were prepared to argue that this meant that EEC/EC/EU membership was irreversible. I will recall that one reason for the introduction of an exit clause with a unilateral right of withdrawal was because many people believed that right of unilateral withdrawal already existed, and I will also recall my suggestion that our Article 50 notice should make it clear that we were proposing to use that procedure in EU law without prejudice to our rights under wider international law.

          • Original Richard
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

            I think there is a definite distinction between the rules of our membership of the EU, where treaties have changed membership and rules over the decades and our signing a special, specific international treaty.

            This treaty should never be signed under any circimstances whatever happens next.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 29, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            Well, I don’t quite follow the logic of that but in any case the treaty we agreed in 1972 had not been changed before we had the referendum in 1975.

            I have previously quoted Charles de Gaulle:


            “Treaties, you see, are like girls and roses; they last while they last.”

            And I also note there:

            “The UK has unilaterally withdrawn from 52 treaties since 1 January 1988.”

      • NickC
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper, I have consistently argued here and elsewhere since 2013 that not only can we abrogate the EU treaties via international law (principally the Vienna Convention), but that we should preferably do so. Invoking TEU Art50 is a trap which puts the negotiations under the control of the EU. As we have seen.

        I see no reason why Vienna should not apply to the WA treaty too. The issue is one of time. It is easy to show that, after 45 years, many treaty changes, and a vote, it is reasonable for us to abrogate the EU treaties. It is not reasonable to sign the WA treaty and only 6 months or a year later seek to abrogate it without substantial change of circumstances. Better to walk away now, than attempt to walk away having just signed a new treaty.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

          Well, the 1975 referendum was held less than two and a half years after we had joined the EEC. In fact that was the main reason why I decided to vote to stay in and give it more of a chance, rather than throwing it back in the faces of our neighbours so soon after we had joined … I do not recall anybody saying that the referendum was a waste of time and money because our membership was irreversible, in fact there were some hints that if we voted to stay in that time there could be another referendum in some years’ time just to make sure that we were still happy with it. Obviously it was damn stupid to agree to that protocol in the first place, but I do not accept that we could never escape from it.

  56. Michael Keating
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Why waste time. The focus should be on Johnson, Raab and Gove. The others are long shots.

    • Rd
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Why waste time. The focus should be on Johnson, Raab and Gove. The others are long shots.

      When Ken Clarke said Rory Stewart was being promoted by the Bilderburgs, I took 200-1 on him being next PM. Its looking good so far, but for the good of the country I hope I lose.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Michael, Gove???? Gove??? You are joking? I wouldn’t trust him with my cat let alone the Brexit negotiations. He knifed Boris in the back and that is why we are where we are. Rudderless and up the creek. Gove would be a disaster and not the right person to make me want to vote Conservative again.

    • Simeon
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      That’s my sense too. There is no realistic prospect of one of the good guys making the final 2. None has a high enough profile, and what they stand for is anathema to the rest of the party. Furthermore, the ambitions of the phoney Brexiters must be indulged. It becomes increasingly obvious, day by day, that the Conservative party’s days are numbered.

  57. Doug Powell
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I see that the Foreign Secretary is a fully paid up member of Project Fear. He is warning that leaving without a deal would be political suicide! Has he forgotten the result of the EU election already? Or has he been asleep for a few weeks?

    Others are giving prominence to uniting the country before Brexit! Stupid! Brexit has to be achieved, then the remoaners have to make of it what they will – either accept it, or emigrate to Shangri La just 21 miles from Dover!

    • Original Richard
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Whilst Mr. Hunt may well be right that pushing through a “no-deal” Brexit would lead to a GE the results of the recent EU MEP elections are showing that the CP would do well in this GE.

      On the other hand, if the CP succumbed to Mrs. May’s/the EU’s surrender WA where we accept EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign etc) but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit – the one described by Mr. Vehofstadt’s assistants as reducing the UK to EU colony status – would be “political suicide” and ensure for certain that at the next GE they would be obliterated.

  58. libertarian
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    It seems that just about the whole party is putting themselves forward . Its hilarious, they have no self awareness at all .

    Of the 10 self declared runners so far only one stands a chance and if he got the job he would be forced to resign in about 18 months over things he’d said in the past

    The Party is dead, those with a brain and a democratic approach should already be looking to jump ship and move somewhere with a future ,

    Unless someone out of the blue suddenly catches the imagination of the imaginless its going to be a fiasco

    Steve Baker and Priti Patel should be front runners but of course they have no support in the parliamentary party at all.

    Until you change the rules and let party members choose from day one , you will keep ending up with these self selecting failures

    Total lack of leadership and vision

  59. steadyeddie
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The first question is irrelevant if the second is answered satisfactorily. Rory Stewart is no more ignoring the views of 17.4 m than leavers are ignoring the views of 16.3 m. What is important is what is best for the country and that is being argued out at present by the representative democracy of Parliament – if Farage wishes to participate he needs to get elected as an MP and argue his case in the Commons. Till then he is just a rabble rouser.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Steadyeddie, So you too think being elected into the fake parliament of your EU empire gives no legitimacy? Interesting. Moreover ignoring the democratic Referendum decision to leave the EU is not in the best interests of the nation. Even for Remains.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        *applause !*

        It shows that steadyeddie subconsciously acknowledges that an MEP is of no democratic value.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I bet you remainers wish you had someone who could raise the public profile of your cause and your funds in the same way!

      And this isn’t a ‘rabble’ as you do sneeringly and disparagingly describe them. These are the epitome of respectable middle-England. The very people remainers need to get on their side. Clearly, that isn’t happening. Why can’t you people just admit your mistakes – you got it wrong!

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      steadyeddie – the remain side lost – get over it. If remain had won I’m dam sure you remainers would not be calling for compromise or for the losing side’s views to be taken into consideration. We voted to leave the EU and that doesn’t mean half in half out – it means out.

  60. BOF
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Listened to Jeremy Hunt on Radio 4 this morning. He seems to want to continue with Mrs May’s negotiating policy of negotiating with opposition in Parliament and asking the EU to change their non negotiable agreement! Is this not the failed strategy that has led to the resignation of Mrs May? Delusional is too kind.

    • bishbashbosh
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      The definition of insanity..

    • Ian
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      His nickname is Theresa in trousers, so you shouldn’t be suprised

    • rose
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      He sounded almost plausible until he used the phrase “cliff edge”.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Unbelieveable – he’s as deluded as May. To think according to Con Home he’s top of the list for MPs so far. They certainly do have a death wish.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Just seen it. Hunt is one totally unsuitable candidate! Does he really believe he can unite the Conservative Party?

      I smell a Tory con!

      I doubt if trying to build bridges between Tory leavers and remainers is ever going to be anything other than a temporary fix – in effect a sticking plaster – and the problem will only rear up once again further down the road. There will always be a void between them. It has gone well past a permanent repair, and arguably the separation began with Maastricht.

      The division boils down to what constitutes a true-blue patriotic pro-UK Conservative on the one hand who believes in the British people’s right to self governance, and a condescending grovelling EU-loving ‘wet’ on the other who wants us to be governed by a foreign political entity that wishes us to become a mere colony with very little autonomy.

      Yet hunt seems to think he can heal that rift. Best of luck with that one!

      There comes a time when so-called ‘broad churches’ become so broad, the extremes are irreconcilable. In the Tory party’s case, the Brexit way is the view of the bulk of the party and is therefore moderate. The extremists are those leavers who would sell this nation out, yet they have stealthily gathered a disproportionate amount of power unto themselves by lies and misrepresentation.

      It’s well past the time when remainiacs were shown the door – the process should have started even before Margaret Thatcher was forced from office nearly thirty years ago. It was a latter day inevitability the Tories would come crashing down in flames if they simply and meekly tolerated this evil in their midst, and acquiesced to their pinko push. Just look at the useless Prime Ministers these remainers have served up – Major, Cameron, and now the hapless hopeless May. Surely Brexiteers can do better than this?

      So a new leader must be prepared for the inevitable severance and grasp the nettle. And as shown with Change UK, once these types are cast to the wilderness, they cannot hold their own and wither, so it isn’t that much of a wrench.

  61. Robert Riley
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    People like Mr Stewart (ie. an avid remainer) are part of the Conservatives problem and definitely not the solution if they wish to win back the voters. For me the main problem with considering to vote Conservative in the future is trust. Mrs May has shall we say been ‘conservative with the truth’ on so many occasions that it’s going to be hard to regain that trust. How can we trust people like Boris and others who openly condemned May’s Deal calling it a trap then subsequently went on to vote for it knowing the consequences that would bring to the country. Unfortunately the Conservatives are now known as the party of trying to block Brexit and in doing so have lost their credibility with the voters and worse still for them us voters now have another party to give our votes to.

  62. Everhopeful
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Before the party elects a new leader it should change those leadership rules….so a dreadful leader can be got rid of …ASAP when necessary.

  63. Prigger
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Candidates who spell out “No Deal should be off the table” are seen as fools by many people and at best fraudsters given the simple notion that you can’t negotiate anything at all if you do not give the distinct impression you could very well walk away.

    The Remainers could add some false logic to arguments of theirs if they added “In real terms both sides must have an agreement.”
    However, the EU are playing their cards quite properly in keeping to their own idea that “We have no deal ON the table”. They are prepared to walk away.

    Well in realpolitic of course they would be back eventually. The Remainers are fooling remain voters who are genuine and those who just wish to stay in the EU and love lack of democracy as they feel safe doing as they are told, socially, at work and politically. They are still at school. They never left.

  64. NickC
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    In the autumn of 2016 the UKIP hierarchy squabbled over what they assumed to be the spoils of victory. Now the Conservative party and its MPs are squabbling over the spoils of defeat. The first was hubris; but the second is delusional.

    Tory MPs should be very very frightened. But they aren’t. The rogue PM, Theresa May, is still in power for a couple of months, and still capable of causing trouble. The government is hollow. The Conservative party is deeply split.

    All their touted options – the WA Remain, a second referendum, BINO, revoking Art50 to Remain – undermine the UK’s democracy. There is no point in voting if our vote is ignored when it’s not the “right” answer. Do Tory MPs want to go down that road?

    For the UK to survive, never mind the Tory party, MPs will have to ensure that the UK ceases to be under the legal, financial, and judicial, control of the EU. So even Remain Tory MPs will have to accept the fact that the WTO deal may be the only one they can get.

  65. Prigger
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    It’s a poor state of affairs when our media continues to show both sides of the question as being morally, socially and politically equal.
    Those who oppose the Referendum result have been shown as somehow good. Well they are not. They are opposed to democracy, now. They have a right to free speech and their opinion. But their very British version of fascism is unacceptable, but not to our media. Their opinions can be shown and heard from time to time, say once every six months briefly but otherwise no, of course not. This is a democratic country not a public toilet.

  66. Dominic
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    There are no printable words to describe the contempt that I feel for Hunt after listening to his tosh. A politician that embodies all that is wrong with the party that I used to vote for

    Does this fool not to understand that by suggesting talks with a Marxist that he’s affording Marxist Labour political legitimacy? Such a move is disastrous for the UK

    The Tories should be demonising Marxist Labour not pandering to them

    You belong to a political party that is empty, vile and dead

  67. Longinus
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    The Tories will have fewer MPs than the current number of leadership candidates after the next election unless they back no deal. Can’t say they haven’t been warned.

  68. Know-Dice
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    For me, anyone who takes No-Deal (In future to be called the “Clean Brexit”) off the negotiating table, must not be even considered as Conservative Party leader.

  69. Anonymous
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I want the next leader to understand this if they haven’t already got it from the EU election results.

    The BBC are not being listened to by the Tory voters so don’t worry about what the BBC says.

    So stop letting the BBC set the agenda because they aren’t the ones giving you the votes.

    Stop trying to impress the BBC. It’s destroying your party.

  70. Alison
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The political columnist Sam Coates, ex Times, now at Sky, had an interesting comment. He that with Hammond and a few others threatening to vote against the government in a no confidence vote, if the proposed new PM backs retaining no deal as an option, it might be more difficult to demonstrate that the proposed new PM can command a majority in parliament.
    It will be up to Sir Mark Sedwill to advise the Palace on this.

  71. Pat
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    My takeaway from the EU elections is that at least 35% have leaving as their top priority, at least 3.5% have remaining as their top priority, all Tory voters are prepared to leave even if they’d prefer not to and the rest may or may not have in/out as their top priority. After all if Scottish independence is your top priority you have to vote SNP regardless of their stance on other matters. If environmentalism is your top priority then you have to vote Green regardless of the Green stance on the EU.
    From the Tory perspective the Tories have decisively alienated those who have remain as their top priority, so there is no point trying to appease them. The only way forward is to attract back those who have leave as a top priority, and hope to win over with other policies those who have a mild preference for remain.
    A leader is required who recognises this, and who actually believes that this is best for the country and not just for the party, because otherwise it will be poorly executed.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      And 63% who didn’t vote are unmotivated with art 50 activated and a leaving date set.

  72. ukretired123
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Conservatives have been railroaded into a cul-de-sac by the ‘Remainer Rumps’ and this train “ain’t going nowhere” full stop.
    Reverse gear required pronto to get the hell out of the mess they cannot see due to the default inward looking status quo.
    The Brexit Train is now at top speed and will shunt them off the line “Look behind you! Look behind you!”. But still they don’t get it. A massive crash is predicted as I cannot think they all get it like Sir John and will eat their own words.
    Street Cred is in desperately short supply and you either have it or you don’t like Farage or Esther McVey. Boris once had it.
    If folks cannot trust you hard luck. That is why your track record is the only thing you can be judged on. RS is lightweight in a heavyweight bout. Posh talking cuts little ice with folks and sounds like many shiny pants brigade who have passed this way before. Johnny come lately telling us what to do and what to think! Amazing lack of self-awareness, in the same mould as stale Madam May if you please.

  73. Ian
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Sir John, as with others that have already posted here, Esther McVey appears to be the only contender that like yourself read and understood referendum question.

    As for the rest that a currently serving in the cabinet, they are not conservatives and let’s be honest they are closet LibDems.

    Its not just about leaving the EU it is also it about getting on track with Conservative values, being confident in the Country and creating an environment where everyone can achieve their potential. As of yet I can’t see that in the bulk of those that are offering themselves up.

  74. BillMayes
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Wisely principles to select your candidate.
    A pity that they are not a mandatory requirement for all MPs. In particular, the point of consulting your Constituents who are not only essential to your own selection but also a major element in British democracy. These days the PM is actually first selected by the Constituents, then by the Party.
    As for Stewart. Well, he would had been better off just telling those who would listen that he promised more of the same! More Theresa WA which was thrown out three times! The man is either arrogant or deluded or carrying a mental blockage and he will be excluded as a danger to the Tory Party and to the Nation. After all, what would he know about life in the back streets of Britain, he is another of those disreputable Professional Politicians

  75. Richard416
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    There is very little point in making concessions to your political enemies all the time. When they win an election, they can do what they would do. Since they didn’t win, you should be doing what your supporters asked you to do. The more you look after your own supporters, the more you will attract, and the longer it will be before your enemies win. Leave the e.u. in a clean break, on the prevailing terms, if a managed transfer of responsibilities really is impossible.

  76. glen cullen
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    We haven’t yet, but we want to see a leader come forward with the passion and commitment for ‘no-deal’ i.e WTO.

    And to clearly state that the next 5 months negotiations with the EU is only to plan for a successful WTO outcome

    This is the only option to save the party and comply with the referendum result

    I only wish such a leader would have the bottle to declare that the Withdrawal Agreement in any guise is dead

  77. hans christian ivers
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Interesting perspective.

    Unfortunately, the two raised questions are too biased to have any real value for a proper analyses and it is therefore not very useful

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Hans, Why do you bother to post such a vacuous comment? You add no facts, no deductions, no rationality. Leaving on 31 Oct (ie late) can hardly be dismissed as “biased” when we had a vote to Leave. Or were you asleep when that happened?

    • Oggy
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      The same could be said about your useless comment.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 29, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink


        thank you for your constructive and useful feedback

  78. Sharon Jagger
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Anyone who voted for the WA should not be leader of the Conservative Party. Having caved under pressure, they will likely cave under further duress. And I believe that with the way most remainers behave – the duress will be considerable!

    To be leader and achieve a true Brexit – the fight will be considerable! It’s not just remainer MPs, there are the Blairs etc to contend with, and he and his ilk are determined we will not leave the European Union!

    The next leader must be someone who had the courage and determination not to have voted for the WA. Steve Baker for example?

  79. Mad Dog
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    why do you not stand for the leadership yourself? You appear to understand Conservatism, Economics and the need to preserve our democracy by implementing the referendum result.

  80. John Probert
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    They can all talk the talk but who is tough, robust, argumentative and above all
    Able to Influence Others
    Thatcher is The Blue Print
    Where are they ? most of them are soft in the head
    The conservative party better get it right or it will be extinguished
    Boris is good but he is lazy and lacks structure

  81. BW
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    It makes no difference who you vote for as leader. If he or she is pro Brexit on WTO. They are up against an overwhelming remainer House of Commons led by Mr Bercow. These people will do anything to stop a WTO Brexit. Some will do anything to overturn the result. Until we have a general election and a clear out of those that went against their own manifesto after being elected, were are as we were before.

  82. BR
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    You’re right about Stewart. He initially showed some promise when expounding on his core brief / areas of knowledge. This evaporated fast when he began to expound on national and international issues. He does seem to adopt an intellectually superior tone which is rather irritating and totally unfounded.

    Presumably he was promoted at the back end of May’s tenure to do some damage in these elections – watch him and we will know more about the latest Remoaner plot(s).

  83. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t think any of the potential leaders will get us out by October – Hammond and co will seize control of parliament again to demand a further extension. So you should be wary of any of the potentail leaders to make that promise.

  84. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but interesting to hear from Tony Blair’s own mouth that he never actually won any general elections and that no Labour policies should have been implemented as a result of those elections, because if you add up …..

  85. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    You might not know who to back, Sir John, but two candidates appear not to want the PM’s job: Hunt, with his tacit support for the ‘bring down the government’ mob; and Gove, with his dish out free British citizenship to millions of EU nationals living here plan, who will probably vote Re-join given the chance. We seem to be infiltrated more deeply than I first thought.

  86. BR
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Regarding candidates. Your Question 1 may be slightly tricky.

    Anyone starting from the WA is a non-starter in my view. That includes Raab, who seems to believes that he can remove the backstop and that’s ‘job done’.

    However, being fair, perhaps no-one can get elected if they say that they will aim for WTO. It may be difficult even to say that they will allow it even as a last resort. I suspect that will end McVey’s campaign – even though she’s right, it’s the only way.,

    In the end, this is not about what they SAY, it’s about the degree of trust. Almost anyone in Cabinet by the end is untrustworthy – unless you take the view that they stayed simply to prevent a 100% Remain cabinet. Leadsom may be able to claim that with some justification. Gove… hmmm, it depends on whether you believe Boris will take us out properly – or at all – as to what you see in Gove.

    The bottom line here is that to get to WTO, someone will almost certainly have to be fairly Machiavellian at some point – or bloody-minded (such as proroguing Parliament if they try to bring a VoNC). Therefore they cannot say now what they will do to achieve Brexit since it would not sound good at all to the listener.

    And actions speak louder than words – after May’s duplicity…

    This is not about what they SAY now or in the near future, it is about what they have DONE in the past that is the guide to what we should believe.

    In the words of JR – “We don’t believe you” is an appropriate approach to politicians.

    Or: “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear”.

    Remain will have a cunning plan to see one of their number over the line.

  87. BR
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink


    To prevent the inevitable attempts at a Remain stitch-up, I suggest the following changes to leadership contest rules:

    1. 4 candidates are put to the membership, up from 2.

    2. At the later stages, when someone drops out (as opposed to being voted out) the most recently ejected candidate gets to come back in.

    That prevents ‘coronations’ and prevents tactical voting.

    • Ian McDougall
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      2 you can’t drop out.

      Anyone brought back in would have no legitimacy

  88. Sue Doughty
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    If Boris Johnson is not one of the final two my membership of the party is at risk of discontinuation. I want out of the EU without any deal written by Barnier and we need to be out soon to regain certainty in investment.
    Boris or nothing.

  89. Paul Cohen
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    To what end are we regularly inflicted with Thornberry/Campbell/Cable and Blair by the BBC? These …………… individuals have nothing to offer and have been discredited many times – is there really no one else capable of reasoned comment on these important matters. I thought even RT made a better attempt than either the BBC or Sky. Blatantly fiddling the figures was the last straw for me.

    Think that Raab is the better candidate, followed by McVey – with Nige as special adviser of course

  90. Original Richard
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    It is quite clear that political parties are now being defined not by left/right but by submission/sovereignty.

    So I think the two questions that should be asked of all Conservative Party leadership candidates and the Conservative Party itself is :

    1) Do you believe in democracy and therefore that our government should implement decisions taken by the voters ?

    2) Do you believe the UK voters should retain a strong and direct influence over their laws, taxes, foreign and military policies, borders and assets by retaining the ability to directly elect and remove those who make these decisions and policies ?

    If the Conservative Party selects a leader who does not answer unequivocally and emphatically “yes” to the above, then the party will become just another competitor to the Labour, Lib Dem and Green parties, and will have no reason to continue to exist.

    The Brexit Party will then become the only major party for those who believe the country should be a democratic and independent sovereign nation state.

  91. JoolsB
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May mk 2. The opposition must be laughing their socks off at the prospect of Stewart as our next Prime Minister. And that goes for the majority of the candidates. After all that has happened Hunt and Hancock are still dismissing a no deal option – the EU must be praying it’s one of them. Johnson, Raab or McVey are the only suitable ones and if the parliamentary party are stupid enough to deny us choosing one of them then that really will be the final curtain for the party calling themselves Conservative. They will be annihilated come the next General Election and quite right too.

  92. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s great pity that Theresa May did not take any of the advice I offered through my letters printed in her local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, even when advance copies were sent to her directly and her assistant assured me that “Theresa is grateful that you have taken the time to forward your thoughts and she has taken them on board”.

    If she had just had the sense to listen to me, rather than to the Director General of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, and the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, then she could have saved herself, her party, and our country as a whole, a lot of trouble and pain.

    For example, the Naked Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (see above) is suggesting that a wider group of MPs should be allowed to actively participate in negotiations with the EU, but that is at a couple of years too late.

    From a letter published in the Advertiser on June 1st 2017 under the heading:

    “Effective democratic control is needed now”

    “The Liberal Democrats propose to hold a second referendum once a new deal has been agreed, with the choice being to accept the deal or to remain in the EU.”


    “It seems to me that effective democratic control has to be exercised at a much earlier stage, that is during the negotiations rather than when they have been concluded and it is too late to change anything – which is what has happened in the past with the negotiation of EU treaties – and that could only be done by a committee of MPs following every twist and turn of the process.”

    Of course despite being given this excellent advice, free gratis and for nothing, Theresa May chose to do the exact opposite and keep it all under wraps until she could spring her package on Parliament – when MPs refused to approve it.

  93. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This process hasn’t made a good start. The candidates occupying the airwaves so far are likely to do more harm to your party’s reputation. Duplicity seems to be the order of the day coupled with arrogance and a lack of credibility.

  94. Dominic
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Raab – ‘A Fairer Britain’. How long do we have to tolerate this vacuous, left wing tosh? It’s bad enough from the idiots on the other side but from the Tory side it’s becoming intolerable

    We have had decades of this trash sentiment. We are sick of it

    We want fight and confrontation not One-nation platitudes


    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, Good point.

  95. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    There’s an obvious need for some associations to all their Remainer MPs in and to tell them to be open to the idea of No Deal if the EU won’t agree to some amendments to the WA.

  96. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    The EU election results confirms that, of those that can be bothered to vote, half want to Remain in the EU and half want to Leave. For a long time I have thought that we should simply Leave and have done with it. But is it right or fair to do something like that when the majority to Leave was so tiny? And, now, if you add the votes of the Lib Dems, Greens, SNP and Plaid – they exceed votes for the Brexit Party + UKIP.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that, the appalling mishandling of this by the government notwithstanding, we should, now, say to the people:

    ‘You said you wanted to leave the EU. We weren’t expecting that result and did not prepare for it. We have spent the last couple of years talking to the EU. Here is where we are at.

    We can leave with the agreed Withdrawal Agreement. This means a, b, c, d and e.

    We can leave on WTO terms and seek to trade under GAT 24. This is not straightforward but could mean a, b, c, d and e.

    We can leave on WTO terms. This will mean a, b, c, d and e.

    We could stay in the EU. This means paying £11 billion a year to them and a, b, c, d and e.

    Given this is such a momentous decision with consequences lasting decades, I have come round to the idea that we must ask the people again.

    The first referendum should have been couched in terms of … ‘we just want to find out whether, in principle, you want to Leave or not. If you do want to Leave we’ll have to find out what it really entails and then ask you again.’

    All that being said, the intransigence and bloody-mindedness of the EU has been infuriating. How can we make a sensible choice about the future if they won’t discuss the future.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      The 63% who did not vote did so with art50 and a leaving date in place.

      They did not want to do anything to change that. What do you conclude ?

    • Simeon
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      I have great sympathy with this view. The unvarnished truth is that, despite the best efforts of coherent, consistent thinkers, of which our host is an all too rare example, the Leave campaign failed to communicate with the entirety of the electorate. (The same criticisms can be levelled at the Remain campaign, with the additional charge that the UK establishment had been lying to the people for over 40 years.) That is partly the fault of politicians who themselves are inconsistent and incoherent, and very much the fault of the media. A heavy burden of responsibility also lies with the electorate, many of whom wilfully remained ill- or misinformed.

      But of course this last point might suggest that another referendum is not a good solution – and certainly is no magic bullet. The difficulty is that Pandora’s box has been opened; the country’s divisions have been laid bare by a criminally misconceived referendum. An almighty mess was made when the result returned was so evenly split, and of course the wretched political class of this nation then proceeded to make it much worse.

      There is no easy way out in practice. In theory, an entirely honest appraisal of the facts of our relationship with the EU would be presented to the people, who would then make a properly informed decision about whether to leave or remain – with the choice necessarily being that stark. But the prospect of this happening is nil. As such, what must happen is a political war, and to the victor the spoils. It won’t be honourable or fair, and there will be casualties, for that is war. And the result? Who can say, but, as with all wars, the most important consideration is how the peace is won, if it is won at all…

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson, We have already been asked. There were no conditions attached to the Leave option, so it is perfectly legitimate to leave the EU treaties and trade under the WTO framework. And looking at the entrails of party voting is not straightforward when all the supposed Remain parties have voters who voted Leave (eg: YouGov states that 32% of LD voters voted Leave).

    • Oggy
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      ‘All that being said, the intransigence and bloody-mindedness of the EU has been infuriating. How can we make a sensible choice about the future if they won’t discuss the future.’
      You answered your own question. We leave and then can make all our own decisions about our future without EU bloody mindedness you speak of.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted May 30, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        That is what we were told would happen…watch youtube online or check Hansard 15th June 2016 re the last PMQs before the referendum, we were told and voted on the basis that we would leave and THEN discuss a trade deal.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted May 30, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      I once liked Rory Stewart and thought he had a future in Conservative politics. But watching his support of May and the traitorous WA on Peston, a week or too ago, I thought a man who thinks that die job on his hair is convincing should not be in charge of our country. Watching him on Question Time tonight I thought the same.

  97. Brexiteer
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Unless the Tory Party has some lucky charm up its sleeve it may as well sit back and pray The Brexit Party can carry over its success over to a GE, then Tory MPs join it. It’s that or enforced unemployment for many.
    We can be sure the Tories will choose the wrong one and lose!

    • Longinus
      Posted May 29, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Why would Farage want Tory MPs, particularly those that backed the WA? Carswell & Evans infiltrated UKIP and helped destroy it.

  98. ian
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    People who want to leave the EU will not vote for the TORY party and risk sliting their vote for a maybe TORY PM because they are all maybes, they KNOW that the Brexit party is the real deal, why would anybody want to shoot themselves the foot by voting for the TORY party, same goes for labour leave voters as well, the chances of getting Brexit done before GE are next to nil, so just gets on with it, I can’t see the TORY party staying in office till May 2022 for the official election date.

  99. Treacle
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I seem to remember that Mr Stewart had some difficulty finding a seat, and secured Penrith and the Border only after being rejected by local Conservative associations for seats much nearer London. Perhaps his views are not typically Conservative views. In that case, he would surely make a problematic choice for Party Leader.

    • Longinus
      Posted May 29, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      He’d make an excellent leader……of the LimDems.

  100. Paul
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    It’s only Boris, Raab and Leadsom who stand a chance let’s be honest. I wouldn’t trust BoJo to run a bath let alone to sort out Brexit and run the country. I like Leadsom but she voted for the WA three times, however I look forward to hearing her three point plan. My vote would probably go to Raab right now but I’m sure he’ll flip flop at some point.

  101. Julian Allder
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Sir John. You are the most consistent Brexiteer in Parliament. You are a no-nonsense MP who has a great deal to offer this nation. Time for you to step up to the plate and run for PM.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Julian….but Sir John probably values his life as it is, without having to deal with the thick idiots who haven’t got a clue, both in the H of C and in the EU. And thats not counting the ones on the opposite bench. I totally understand that is a step too far to remain sane and valued.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


      I proffered the same proposition last week but it seems that John will not entertain the most obvious course of action. Perhaps he believes he does not have enough support from his fellow MPs but that won’t be confirmed until it is tested.

    • Stuart K
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Sir John as Chancellor to a Serious Brexiteer P.M. would be sufficient for me.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Julian, I couldn’t agree more. It would actually make me want to vote Conservative again.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted May 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink


  102. Caterpillar
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Why are these prospective party leaders looking to hang their dirty washing out in public on the BBC? More ammunition for Bercow?

  103. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a couple more questions for each of the candidates:

    “Would you deny that liar Philip Hammond any role in your government?”

    “If so, would you also purge all other Remainers from the Treasury team?”

  104. hardlyEver
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know why you keep on with this nonsense that we are leaving. If there was somewhere to go to then I might understand, but given that we are only a few months away from default day 31st Oct and with the summer hols in between, also with no chance of the EU reopening the Wa, and with no recognizable new trading arrangements in place I cannot see that we can afford to go anywhere. So now the trick is for parliament and the new PM is to manoeuvre us close to the edge without pushing us over..the last word will surely be that since it is clear government, parliament and the people are hopelessly split on this whole matter and considering we are completely unprepared for making new trading deals with partners worldwide according to WTO rules- they’ll say ‘better stay where we are for the moment’- therefore revoke A50 and leave it to the next generation to sort out and stop all this nonsense talk and fooling ourselves.

  105. Steve
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    You know I’ve just realised Jeremy Hunt’s name rhymes. Who’d a thought it eh.

    • Old person
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      There was a petition (121152), ‘Consider a vote of No Confidence in Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary’, on the government’s petitions website that was signed by 339,925 signatures. Of course, this petition was not debated.

      He has also had an awful number of other petitions during his time as Health Secretary.

      You have to view the archive site to see all the actual numbers.

      A perfect choice for a future PM.

    • NickC
      Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Steve, Almost everyone else. Starting with the medical profession.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 29, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Steve… you are a bit slow. Rather a lot of others pretended speech impediment when recalling his name.

  106. John E
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Q. Is their name Boris Johnson?
    If the answer is no, then I might consider voting for them.

    ABBA – Anyone But Boris, Anyone.

  107. M Davis
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Rory Stewart?

    NO! NO! NO!

  108. Edwardm
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Two pertinent questions.
    Tory MPs can choose candidates for leader who want WTO/FTA/GAT24 else they can choose say Mr Stewart. I guess either option will make Mr Farage happy.

  109. yossarion
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Why not vote for the Ex labour Member and modern day anti English Jacobite who can’t get elected in His homeland Rory Stewert, like Gove et all who come south of the border to tell us how to think and feel whist having their own Parliament.

  110. Tapestry
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood must stand. The rest are more sell out as explained so well above. They all voted for the WA.

  111. rose
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    And to think that one of the many lies peddled by the May regime was that no-one else wanted to do the job or had a plan!

  112. Original Richard
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    The EU is absolutely clear that they will not re-negotiate the treaty (WA) agreed by Mrs. May – the one where we accept EU laws, budgets, taxes, fines and policies (trade, energy, environment, foreign etc) but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit – the one described by Mr. Vehofstadt’s assistants as reducing the UK to EU colony status.

    So there is only one way forward and that is to leave with “no-deal” (WTO exit) as both the WA and remain would not be respecting the referendum result and would therefore be showing the world that the UK can no longer be considered to be a democratic country.

  113. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May managed to keep the No Deal preparations “secret”, and then stop any more progress being made.

    If the Tories want to have the slightest chance of survival, they need a truthful status report on No Deal and take decisions on what to do next.

    This can only be done by a Leaver(s) with an open mind on possibilities.

    The “cliff-edge” liars will need to be bound and gagged for a while.

    There is no reason that the Cabinet cannot demand this No Deal check, as soon as possible.

    No deal has been blocked by Parliament, without data and information being available. Once the information is released, sensible decisions can be made based on this, and not just the blind dogma of blocking Brexit.

    • Longinus
      Posted May 29, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      No deal is still the default position voted by Parliament.

  114. GilesB
    Posted May 28, 2019 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, in addition to your questions, candidates should be asked who they would appoint to their cabinet.

    Any candidate who suggested there could be any role for arch-remainers would have to be extremely suspect.

    A candidate who proposed potential senior roles for leading lights of the ERG would have to be considered favourably.

    Politics is a team game: Mrs May spent far too much energy fighting the cabinet – that she had selected.

    Not that one would want all yes-men and yes-women, but you need them aligned with the government’s principal policy.

  115. a-tracy
    Posted May 29, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Rory Stewart “he also says he could not serve in a Boris Johnson led government.” well this shows a complete disregard for the wishes of the Conservative members. What would he say if Boris Johnson and others said we could not serve in a Rory Stewart led government – he needs to think and be more collegiate. He believes he is better and more intelligent than the people he serves. He was elected in 2017 on a ‘No Deal is better than a Bad Deal’ promise – MPs have agreed four times that that the Withdrawal Agreement is a Bad Deal. The EU have clearly said there is nothing else to negotiate to don’t bother. So any leader has to not bother to renegotiate until the EU comes to the table and get planning and telling us what they will do with no deal – will they ‘leave with no deal’ or ‘rescind Article 50’ and put us all in limbo for years ahead?

  116. James Barr
    Posted May 29, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Rory who?

  117. Freeborn John
    Posted May 29, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Rory Stewart is an example of the type of person that needs to be weeded out of the Conservative parliamentary party. How on earth did he ever get selected in the first place?

  118. jane4brexit
    Posted May 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I once liked Rory Stewart and thought he had a future in Conservative politics. But watching his support of May and the traitorous WA on Peston, a week or too ago, I thought a man who thinks that die job on his hair is convincing should not be in charge of our country. Watching him on Question Time tonight I thought the same.

    • jane4brexit
      Posted May 30, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      I thought the same about that England football Manager, not re a die job but whose carefully positioned hair flew around as he stood by the pitch whose name escapes me it sounds petty but I think not, he couldn’t even control or accept his hair…such people are deluded and cannot be trusted.

      You have natural hair Sir John..Sir JR4PM…

  • 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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