Nomination day

Today we will learn which of the many possible  candidates have eight MP supporters and the will to contest the leadership. We have seen a long phoney war. There will be fewer candidates than the commonly touted 11.

Esther McVey has come up with the clearest and strongest position on the EU. She has stated we must leave by October 31 with no further delays. She is a good presenter of Conservative views, using language that cuts through well and standing up to the abuse and attacks that come with the job. Like all the candidates so far she voted for the unacceptable Withdrawal Treaty on the third vote.

Several candidates have been diverted by stories of their past drug taking. As someone who did not take drugs because it was a criminal offence, I can say these revelations are not helpful to them, but have not proved to be a bar to high office. Mr Gove should not be supported for his long and futile support of the Withdrawal Treaty, his willingness to delay exit longer and his ill thought through views on VAT and sales taxes.

Boris has  said the Withdrawal Treaty is dead and any negotiation with the EU would have to encompass both withdrawal and future relationship matters. This is reasserting the position in the Conservative Manifesto of 2017. Given the attitude of the EU it should mean we just leave with or without free trade talks and a mutual agreement to avoid tariffs and new barriers during the talks. He has rightly stressed we must leave the EU with no further delays by 31 October.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Your fellow MPs will not allow Boris in the final two. They know they will be deselected. Their last hurrah will be to destroy the party. They will achieve what Labour have never managed. They prefer a Labour government rather than leaving the EU.

    • Gary C
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      @ Mike Wilson

      I agree.

      Unfortunately the remainers in the party (by choice) still have their heads stuck firmly in the sand, they have spoken loudly against democracy despising the electorate who will not forget.

      When the people get the chance they will pay the price and the Conservative party will cease to exist.

      • Ted Treen
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        “…still have their heads stuck firmly in the sand…”

        Heads stuck, certainly; I, however, had in mind a somewhat different and rather more personal location.

        • jerry
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

          @Ted Treen; But then so are many Brexiteers, I sometimes wonder why they want Brexit, at times it appears to be just to save money to fund more tax cuts, and someone to blame other than themselves for the state of UK manufacturing industry and society in general; 1979 it was all the fault of the Trade Unions, in 2010 it was all the fault of ‘Crash-Gordon’, now it’s all the fault of the EU.

          What’s the difference between camp Trump and camp Brexit, Trump believes in the USA (MAGA), Brexiteers believes in our competitors – just so long as they are not the EU27 – or that’s how it seems at times, were is our ‘MAGA’ message, heck there doesn’t even seem to be a Buy British (steel) campaign!…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Have you read the many posts on the Brexit subject on here over the years Jerry?
            The majority say leaving the EU is about refaining sovereignty, becoming independent, restoring the ability to make our own laws, control our own money and taxes and not to be a part of the future United States of Europe.

          • TheMariner
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

            You are entirely correct, well said and I hope someone in government thinks of this

          • jerry
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Have you read the many posts on the Brexit subject on here”

            Yes, unlike you, who at times appears to be no more than a b*t programmed to agree with what ever the ‘populist’ opinion of the day, not give analytical opinion. Am I always correct, no, but at least I do have an opinion of my own!

            “leaving the EU is about refaining sovereignty, becoming independent, restoring the ability to make our own laws, control our own money and taxes and not to be a part of the future United States of Europe.”

            Yet you say nothing about UK owned manufacturing, here in the UK, I’m a patriot, I really am struggling to work out if you are Eddie…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            Well if you have read the posts on here Jezza you should see that what I said was correct and your own opinion on this is unusual to say the least.
            I haven’t mentioned UK owned manufacturing because I didn’t see it as being relevant to the content on your original post where you asked why brexiteers wanted to leave the EU.

          • jerry
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; I note that you have still not replied to anything I’ve actually said, and unlike you I read many sources of information, not just what is said on this site. Wake up, go smell the coffee!…

            Still no support from Eddie for UK based and owned manufacturing either, and yes it is very relevant to Brexit. What is the point of “refaining sovereignty, becoming independent, restoring the ability to make our own laws, control our own money and taxes” if we are still subservient to the same (or other) countries due to the ownership of UK industry or the need to import such goods and services etc?

            Sorry Eddie but you do not come over as someone who is able to have any independent analytical opinion, it is not about who is right or wrong, most (even our host) are sharing our opinions, you on the other hand simply repeat what ever you are told by those you worship.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 13, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

            You originally said “I sometimes wonder why they want Brexit” and then you gave us some reasons if your own as to what you think they are.
            I replied saying that if you read the many posts on here the reasons are to do with sovereignty independence and regaining control of our laws money and borders.
            You have now gone off at a tangent talking about manufacturing.
            And you are getting all cross and personal again jezza.
            Try to be a bit more pleasant theres a good chap.

          • jerry
            Posted June 15, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “You have now gone off at a tangent talking about manufacturing.”

            Duh … and you wonder why I get so annoyed with you!

            I mentioned “the state of UK manufacturing industry” (and society) in the same reply to @Ted Treen were I questioned why some want Brexit, indeed it was in the same paragraph. Perhaps Eddie, had you bothered to read my entire comment before your europhobic knees jerked and you clicked the ‘Reply’ link…

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      They prefer to keep their jobs as MPs more though. Following the EU elections and Peterborough they now know only a strong Eurosceptic will save them.

      • Richard
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Slightly O/T, but given current concern over Peterborough postal votes, readers may wish to support this petition:
        If postal votes were restricted to just those who really need them then what is currently a material risk to democracy would become less significant.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:01 am | Permalink

        But it is simply not true that they prefer to keep their jobs. Some have already hinted they would vote to bring down the government rather than have the alleged ‘no deal’

    • Nigl
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Amber Rudd has come out in support of Jeremy Hunt. Why? Because she is committed to remaining and thinks he will do that in all but name proving your point.

      And Liz Truss supports Boris. Something to do with being promised the Chancellors job maybe?

      • JoolsB
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        And more amazingly, Penny Mordaunt has come out in support of Hunt as well. She’s already admitted in return he’s promised more money for defence. No doubt he’s promised she can keep her job as well. Same with Rudd. They disgust me. It’s not about who’s right to deliver Brexit but who ‘will scratch my back if I scratch yours’. They’ve all got their own personal agendas and stuff 17.4 million people.

        • TheMariner
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          Esther McVey will solve the Rudd / Mordaunt personnel type problem. She will bench them along with anyone else who isn’t 110% Brexit. I really hope she gets the job as PM. May pathetically tried to be the dancing queen. McVey WILL be the Brexit queen. !!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Well Truss (Oxford PPE yet again like Hammond) would be far better than him, but then almost anyone would be.

        Truss makes the right noises but I suspect she is not really up to the job of Chancellor.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Also Truss was President of Oxford University Liberal Democrats! So it took rather a while for her to come to her senses!

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Mike Wilson,

      I tend to disagree. If May were leaving a good situation behind her with the Tories doing well in the polls, you are right, they wouldn’t select him in a month of Sundays. As May has left a scorched earth unlikely to be recovered from in any type of election, I think they’ll “happily” vote him in to make sure he doesn’t have a long or successful tenure, leaving him no ability to seriously change the direction they’ve helped their party take.

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

      Any pretence that the ‘modern’ Tory party is conservative has been destroyed. Left wing elitism with a Ishtar to govern drives this monster of a party forward. Time for it to be destroyed.

      General election please. Move over and give Brexit Party a chance.

      • JoolsB
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        I’m with you there Hope. Time to give Nigel a chance. He’s got more Conservatism in his little finger than most of them put together, John and the ERG excepted. They are in the wrong party. There’s nothing Conservative about the party currently calling itself Conservative because the lefties have taken it over.

    • oldtimer
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      That remains to be seen. It has been said that self interest is a powerful motivator, no less for MPs than anyone else. The early prospect of a general election and possible/likely electoral annihilation will concentrate minds. I see Mr Johnson’s proposal to raise the 40% income tax threshold from £50k to £80k (and with it a potential £6k saving less any other offsets) as relevant in this respect. MPs with their enhanced salaries would be obvious beneficiaries. The question some Conservative MPs will be asking themselves is whether they vote him down and out before the members get their chance. If he gets through and elected leader and thus become PM the question all MPs will have to ask themselves is whether they take the tax cut or pass a vote of no confidence and risk getting Mr Corbyn’s hair shirt instead.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Others on here have recently described the Tory party as being like the Titanic;that’s far too grandiose,it’s much more like the Raft of the Medusa.It’s only day one,so a bit early for the cannibalism to have started but it will come.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      If they do not they will be making a big mistake. End of the Conservative party and start of the Brexit Conservatives.

  2. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Are you supporting Boris?

    • Hope
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Boris it is okay to snort cocaine we all did it, nothing to see here move on.

      No, he has flip flopped who supported Mayhabs servitude plan. For the likes of him the servitude plan would be in place. The same plan he resigned over and lambasted eloquently on several occasions, the same divorce bill he toldthe EU could whistle over is now up for grabs by him! He wants to tweak the backstop that is all.

      The rot in the Tory party remains, Hammond, Bebe, Clarke, Boles, Rudd, Grieve, Letwin etc are all still there.

      Tory associations need to get the power to replace their MPs if they wish on qualified grounds. Lewis still supports them. Hammond wanted the like of Allen to return!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I am certainly backing him. He is the best option who is running. Let us hope he can rescue from the appalling mess that May has left. I cannot see any of the others doing it. Most of the others are just daft, remainer, socialists just like May.

      At least Boris can win elections but it will be a herculean task, after May’s serial betrayals and blatant treachery and given the appalling quality & the lefty remainer beliefs of about 2/3 of Tory MPs.

  3. agricola
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    We may well be in agreement on two possibilities for PM, but I would not like to second guess what a disparate collection such as the conservative party in the HoC might want. Get it wrong and that is their political end. Watch this space.

  4. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Can Boris be trusted not to get bored and end up flip flopping.

    I agree with your other comments.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Boris is an opportunist , not a conviction politician like Churchill and was a remainer until a couple of years ago when he appeared to adopt a leave position to enhance his political chances .

      His promises of tax cuts to industry are completely M25 centric and miss the point that inadequate public infrastructure and services are more of an obstacle to companies which actually make things .

      One of the few remaining British luxury car assembly plants , a major regional employer in a major railway town , enquired of the Govt dept about reopening a rail spur closed by Beeching and were told it would take “at least 20 years” …

      This forces them to transport the bodies which are stamped out in central Europe by truck the whole way in order to avoid a change of mode of transport from rail to truck .

      We are constantly being told that the British workforce is poorly educated and sadly it is compared with the Polish one which still benefits from the Polish communists emphasis on the quality of education rather than the quantity .

      • A different Simon
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        P.S. , J.R. gave an example of the lack of pubic services and inadequate infrastructure a couple of days ago :-

        – Non-existent provision of cheap energy and overall shortage of peak power resulting in interruptable services for heavy users .

        One could also add lack of affordable housing due to lack of land taxation and lack of regulation of mortgate lending .

    • Beecee
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      He did rather well as London Mayor – not an insignificant job, nor did he flip flop.

      He put people with the right expertise into the important jobs like any good CEO.

      He says he will do likewise if he becomes PM.

  5. Simeon
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Assuming no other candidates stand, it would seem McVey is the best option, though not a great one, on the strength of a clear Brexit policy. But what of her other policies? Presumably these will be fleshed out as the contest progresses.

    Johnson’s position bears parallels with Labour’s Brexit position; but eventually, ‘constructive ambiguity’ must give way to a firm decision in one direction or the other. I would assume the party will have Johnson establish this before he becomes leader, as seems inevitable. Surely they will not wait until he’s PM before pinning him down, and then either supporting him, or rebelling against him?

    Reports suggest Steve Baker is sufficiently satisfied with Johnson as a candidate not to run himself. This might be seen as a welcome endorsement by the majority of contributors to this site. At the same time, it would have to put off remain-leaning MPs considering voting for Johnson.

    Sir John, I get the impression you’re unconvinced by Johnson. To what degree would a Baker endorsement of Johnson persuade you?

    • TheMariner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      McVey is the best option for Brexit. She will surround herself with fellow brexiteers in a cabinet that will be 100% focused on getting us out of the EU on WTO rules. Anyone who back benches Hammond, Rudd, Gauke etal has to be right for the job. She is also a hard nosed scrapper, no pompous ways in her or as I prefer to say “refreshingly ordinary”. Hope she gets the job.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    I think the important thing is surely what each candidate promises.
    I do not think OE charm or drugs or what sex you happen to represent is really relevant.

    1. Leave on Oct 31st. This means that we have to have some kind of trade with America as promised by Mr Trump – immediately. And we need to get recognised by the rest of the world too. Will the WTO do that though?

    2. Go back in the EU again. You have to obscure the truth to do this with a second referendum, whatever. But it is, thanks to M. Barnier, the safest option. And the most dangerous.

    3. Stay in the EEA like Norway or some such compromise. I don’t think this will wash now.

    PS M. Barnier and the rest now have their futures to consider as their terms come to an end: they are in no mood to negotiate before August when they hit the beach.

  7. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Gove – the cause of all our problems and now having managed to add to his discredit illegal dangerous drugs combined with ghastly (written) hypocrisy – appears not to have one jot of decency or self-respect. He of course should already have dropped out but his conceit alone has stopped him doing so. Totally obvious that the only chance – perhaps not a large one I admit given where we are – is Boris. He is brilliantly clever and interesting and above all inspiring. I wouldn’t give tuppence for all the others put together.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Postscript–How can the left wing and remainer rabble stand against his easy persuasiveness as routinely exemplified by his article in the Telegraph today? Diametric opposite of the hopeless, unconvincing, uninspiring and just plain wrong Mrs May.

  8. Shirley
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I dislike Gove, but I do think VAT is one the most horrendous taxes, is extremely complex, and is wide open to fraud. The simple fact that you can get a HUGE tax refund before the tax has even been paid is widely abused by criminals and costs countries £millions. Even the EU admits to billions being lost.

  9. Caterpillar
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Mr Gove should realise that a “serious” leader needs to not stab close colleagues in the back, not (apparently) mislead the public on his previous criminal hard drug lifestyle, not have knee jerk policy development and to not have so forcefully supported May’s WA.

    Ms McVey is correct on Brexit though she has supported the WA at least once. She also appears to.recognise the importance of democracy (shocking that this has to be said). Only her colleagues who know her well would be able to say whether she could hit the ground running as a PM.

    • Richard
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Sir John has warm words for McVey that chime with what I have heard from her. She is a Conservative (!) and the manner of her resigning showed that she has both strength of character & principles (!)

  10. Fed up with the bull
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Esther McVey is the only candidate that seems to know what Brexit means. She would get my vote any day rather than have the scheming rabble who seem to be favourites. If Gove is selected then the Tory party is done for. He cannot be trusted and the more we hear about him the less suitable I feel he is as a future PM.

  11. Dominic
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Assuming Boris Johnson is elected as leader of the CP then he knows what needs to be done. The British people are no longer prepared to tolerate deception, lies and subterfuge. We ask only for honesty, transparency and a restoration of our democratic nation

    If Johnson reneges I shudder to think of the consequences.

    • Richard
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      If Johnson wins and fails to keep his recent promises, then how can any Brexiteer ever trust the Tories again?
      MPs with fairly clean hands will likely be prized elsewhere.

  12. formula57
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Although candidates speak of their plans for Brexit, few articulate clearly and convincingly “positive action to get us out of the EU” and, even more disappointingly, none seem ready to say much at all let alone show enthusiasm for now they would “use the freedoms that brings for a better UK”. (Quoted words in italics from your post on May as a political leader.)

    I acknowledge that candidates for the time being are fashioning their appeals for their fellow Conservative MPs and not the public.

  13. Zorro
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    It would be good to see Esther McVey in the running just to see Mr Three Jobs squirm…


  14. Annette
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The very simple fact that all candidates voted for the surrender Treaty shows that none so far can be trusted to deliver us cleanly from the EU as it has been proved that their ‘principles’ can be bought, bullied or blackmailed (I don’t care which it was).
    None of them have stood with Sir Bill Cash (and yourself) pointing out that the Govt and Parliament, via the Speaker, have acted unlawfully & unconstitutionally in keeping us prisoner of the EU. Yes prisoner, as we are being prevented from leaving somewhere of our own volition as free people can. None are referencing the Robin Tilbrook case or saying whether they would contest the case if successful, a certain indicator of intention. It’s looking very much that the unlawful activities will be ‘managed’ by sweeping it under the carpet.
    None, I believe, has called for action to clean out the corruption of the EC, the so-called guardians of our democracy, following a Court’s ruling that they were ‘unfit for purpose’. Pure statistics demonstrate that something is badly awry in the Peterborough voting, that an ‘independent & impartial’ body should have immediately flagged by itself for investigation yet…
    Actions speak louder than words. We’re again hearing plenty of fine words but nothing is being backed up by action. We’ve heard plenty of fine words over three years which have not translated into action. None appear to have the ‘balls’ to do their electorate’s bidding, & seem willing participants in the climate ’emergency’ tax scam.
    What a shame that the candidates are all tainted, but then ‘clean’ & proper Conservatives will be buried. We watch as the ‘fix’ goes in as the Conservative & EU Unionist Party continues to think that no-one’s noticing.

  15. William1995
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Who will you support Sir John?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      anyone but Gove…..

  16. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I fear it’s all too late.

    The Tories should have split and reformed a decade (if not longer) ago.

    They are the LibDems with a Tory faction on the “…ext-reeeeem right” as the Clark-istas tend to call them.

    Look at the recent elections. 63% *didn’t* vote in the EU elections. Over 50% *didn’t* vote in the Peterborough by election. They didn’t vote despite Art 50 and a leaving date set. Clearly they’re not EU supporters.

    I’d also wager that THIS is where most of the *real* Tory support lies – the TRUE politically homeless (forget the tosh that Newmania comes out with – his view point is very well catered for in both media and Parliament.)

  17. margaret
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I cannot see why they have to reveal past cocaine abuse ? Talk about self destructive. The only reason I can see for doing so is to say’ hey I am an ordinary person, I have done things I shouldn’t have done in the past and that makes me real;’ stance. Not so in politics ;there are too many out there trying to pick at all bad times in peoples lives and use them as a weapon.
    Conversely they will also look and use in derogatory terms at’ goody two shoes there’ ; but perhaps this gives the muck stirrer less fodder.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      The reason for doing so in Gove’s case was that a book about him has come out disclosing his drug taking. I’m sure he would never have done so otherwise.

      In view that he also advocated tightening the laws on drug taking this added to his hypocrisy.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        an all round nasty piece of work, more appropriate with the Corbyn ‘team’.

    • Steve
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink


      I think it more likely someone’s thrown some dirt on him.

    • Nicky Roberts
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Voter turnout in all elections is always low. But what May has succeeded in doing over three years is to wear the Brexit voter down, combined with the vicious assault on Brexiteers generally from mainstream media, the BBC, The Guardian etc all this has undermined people and caused them to doubt their decision. I helped briefly in Peterborough and met with people who said I will never vote again, I voted to leave the EU and politicians have conspired to deprive me of that vote. Their is widespread revulsion for the political class which will be difficult to turn round. The Brexit Party is trying to capitalise on that but they are very new.

  18. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I am beginning to think that the members should select the shortlist from all sitting MPs. It sis s shame that Boris looks the best choice when there are many superior candidates on the benches. MPs have proven themselves unequal to the job time and again. I think of ‘Coke’ Cameron (as I call him – he asserts he did not take cannabis and I believe him), and many others. Selection committees could be deployed for the purpose sending in each constituency’s 2 best options. Then the 1st and 2nd are put to the entire membership. Selection committees are a wonderful asset to deploy – given the ability to freely select their candidates they generally come up with the most Conservative – no quotas!

  19. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The response to Gove’s cocaine comments has been interesting. The London-dominated media has by and large taken the position “So what ? Who hasn’t ? But the Tory blue rinse brigade won’t like it !”. That shows their selection bias. In fact only around 1 in 10 adults in the population has ever tried any Class A drug at any time in their life making it far from normalised or commonplace, and also that non-use is far from confined to older conservative voters. This issue (as I know from direct experience) is that cocaine use is endemic in London media, TV, arts, and journalism circles – the precise circles in which Gove operated. It would be a surprise if he had never taken cocaine, but he shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that a majority of people outside his bubble approve.

  20. Richard1
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    It seems politicians on the subject of youthful drug taking should stick to the strategy of obfuscation, amnesia and (almost certainly) lies established by such figures as bill clinton and David Cameron.

    V little in the media on the 1m or so Hong Kong citizens protesting at China’s flagrant breach of the 1997 agreement on HK in its intention to change the law so as to be able to seize HK citizens to take them to China – so they can be (further) politically repressed. As we debate issues like Huawei, we should reflect on how right President Trump most likely is on this ghastly regime.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Interesting that Russia signed up with Huawei for their 5g last week.Even though they have become best of friends with China-and are likely to remain that way for the next decade at least-it is hard to imagine that Russia-of all countries-would compromise it’s national security.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Actually to be fair to Cameron he always said what he did before politics was irrelevant so he didn’t actually tell an untruth.

      But if Mr Gove is chucked out due to this it’s clear that in future politicians must just lie, just as they would in filling out the US visa forms.

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    The biggest issue of this party election is choosing someone who can unite the EUphiles in your party and wean them off their Stockholm syndrome and the EUsceptics. Is that possible?

    A committed leaver will, unfortunately, not take the stay in wing of your party with it and so will not get their chosen path through Parliament. It will take a former EUphile turned pragmatist to craft a way out that is acceptable to EUphiles.

    Your parliamentary party is for remain in the majority. There lies your biggest problem

  22. Noneoftheabove
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I propose the following.
    Elect a leader who is determined to leave on 31st Oct, form a coalition with The Brexit Party and give the party every chance to offer unconditional support.
    If that support does not come from Tory MPs, call a GE. Many MPs who did not adhere to your 2017 Manifesto will either, be deselected or lose their seat to a Brexit Party candidate.
    A Parliamentary alliance of Brexit and Tory MPs will be able to form a Government in the National interest and get us out of the EU and lay the foundations for a prosperous future

    Whilst the Tory Party may be weakened for a few years, The Labour Party’s reputation will will be severely damaged for a considerable period.

  23. Steve
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I think the media, and the skullduggery driving it, should lay off Mr Gove. While I don’t think he’s the man for the job I do acknowledge the fact that he regrets his coke use. Besides it’s hardly the crime of the century, and the press are notorious for being raging crack heads themselves. I say leave him be on this one.

    I believe there are only two candidates who will get us out on WTO; Boris and Ms McVey.

    Ms McVey was having none of it from Andrew Marr, and is a committed brexiteer. This woman is made of stern stuff.

    Other candidates such as Sam Gyimah advocate another referendum. Let’s hope he doesn’t get the job or there will be trouble.

    The conservatives need to understand that if they get this wrong i.e elect a remainer then the extinction of the party will be the least of their worries.

    • TheMariner
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Esther McVey is a hard nosed scrapper who will rid the cabinet of remainers and surround herself with 100% focussed leavers. She has to be our best hope of getting cleanly out of the EU. I would support anyone who puts Hammond, Rudd etc to the back benches. Go for it Esther

  24. Fred H
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John…..isn’t it a secret ballot? Therefore keep your support unknown until the process reduces candidates to a few, although we would like to know of course.

  25. William1995
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Please may you do a post/comment on why abolishing VAT is a bad idea?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Why do you think it is a bad idea?

      Insidious tax that raises a huge amount.

      Taxes on consumption rather than income have their supporters but as has been reported when celebrities buy aircraft and then lease them out, this tax falls disproportionstely on those without the means to tax plan.

      Put a turnover tax on companies’ payable on the delivery point not the origin.

      Consumers will pay the same or less and it levels the playing field.

      Better still wean the government off the tax income VAT raises.

      • William1995
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        Sir John implied he thought it was bad in his post but did not elaborate

    • Gary C
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      “Please may you do a post/comment on why abolishing VAT is a bad idea?”

      Am I right in saying we could lower the rate to 15% but no further while we are a member of the EU?

      • Richard1
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:30 am | Permalink


  26. John Sheridan
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Given that Steve Baker and Priti Patel are now backing Boris, I will be voting for Boris in the ballot of the membership. Of course, that assumes he will make it to the final two.

    I trust that Boris will place a number of prominent Brexiteers in his Cabinet and inner circle to help secure a meaningful Brexit by the 31st of October.

    • sm
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Were I Mr Johnson, I would by now have politely but fervently asked our host to become Chancellor!

      • rose
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        I pray he will have the good sense to do that and let his lieutenant be Foreign Secretary.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink


    • Simeon
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I wonder if Baker and Patel are supporting Johnson as the least bad option. It could also be an acknowledgement that McVey is all but out of the running (although one could question the seriousness of her candidature anyway).

      Endorsements from across the full spectrum of the party do not alter the facts; either a proper Brexit is delivered, or it is not. There is no Johnson magic that conjures up a solution that all can be happy with. Should Johnson become MP, as seems inevitable, and if he continues to pretend to be all things to all people, then he will have to decide to make one or other of the constituencies that put him there unhappy. That will be the key moment

      • TheMariner
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink


        I couldn’t care less who Baker and Patel are supporting or anyone else for that matter. McVey is the “stand out” Brexiteer amongst this group of candidates. Her ideas on Brexit almost mirror those of Nigel Farage and TBP and just look how popular they are with the electorate !! Johnson will be a disaster, another Ted Heath. McVey is fighting on the right ticket and she is a hard nosed scrapper. She gets my vote.

        • Simeon
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry you got the impression I’m in favour of Johnson. I think his only merit, from a Conservative party point of view, is that many voters would, at least initially, be taken in by him and remain loyal to the party. Given this, he’d be worse than most other candidates, who would undoubtedly boost the Brexit party vote by not splitting the Brexit vote.

          This said, Baker and Patel have some credibility, not having voted for the WA, and so their support means something. McVey, despite having the most sensible prospectus of all the candidates, did vote for the WA third time round. I do think it’s a shame that McVey didn’t get their support – although I think either would have been more appealing candidates than McVey. Perhaps Baker, Patel and others recognised they, like McVey, were not in a position to be successful candidates, and have chosen the least worst of the candidates who can realistically be successful. I think the conclusion to draw is that if Johnson is the Conservative party’s best hope, the Brexit party will be making a very large impact. Vote Tory, get Corbyn…

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      John Sheridan, Let us hope that whoever wins the leadership, s/he conforms to the 2017 Conservative manifesto. At least then democracy might prevail.

      However once in office, whatever his intentions, the “winner” is then faced with intractable problems: our 2016 decision to get out of the EU; the Remain majority in the HoC; the Tilbrook case; the refusal of the EU to renegotiate the dWA, or to negotiate a trade deal; the summer recess for the EU and UK; the incoming new Commission; the conference season.

      The only option that solves all those problems – bar the Remain majority in the HoC – is a WTO Brexit.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      “meaningful Brexit”. That sounds too much like Theresa May’s “meaningful votes”, John.

  27. Richard1
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Trade deal signed with South Korea. Trade deals now in place covering 63% of trade covered by current EU agreements. Any chance of an apology from those who have posted here over the last three years saying this would never happen?

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      It’s the only true free trade deal that the EU currently have. That’s by their own loose definition! They have lots of association agreements though. The sort of things that remoaners would slate if UK agreed them after leaving. Satisfying the needs of 28 nations is a harder task than you can imagine. It’ll be easier for an independent UK, on a one-to-one basis.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink


      ” Trade deals now in place covering 63% of trade covered by current EU agreements.”

      If you have to hold up a trade deal with South Korea as a shining example of post Brexit Britain (that is if Ireland and Scotland have not by then voted for independence and only a rump England/Wales remains) then who are our other trade partners?

      Timbuktu? North Korea? Commonwealth countries like Tonga and Swaziland?

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the Faroe Islands!

      • Fred H
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Australia, NZ, and USA in the wings. You seem to forget the balance of trade with EU is them selling by far the most to us. Delaying, preferably stopping buying their cars, white goods, wine, cheese, pork, flowers, chocolate will do us all good.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          I remember the bitterness both countries felt towards us when we dropped them overnight when we joined the EU. Australia had a huge frozen lamb trade with us and NZ butter was the major brand bought by us (though personally I was grateful when the far superior Danish Lurpak came along)

          They recovered eventually by turning towards the East for new markets. Do you really think they will drop that and came back to us?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            Yes I do think Australia and New Zealand will trade with us after we leave the EU.
            Their governments have both said they want to do a deal with the UK to increase the current levels of trade.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            Margaret H, they weren’t the only countries that we did damage to. Several had to forge new trade arrangements with others (just like we will do after shaking off the EU protectionism holding us by the throat). Trade with the East, as you put it is not going so well actually. To mention China and Japan – both have had serious reduction in trade with ANZAC. AUS feeling the pain reliance on China for timber, lamb, mining brings etc.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        South Korea is the 11th biggest economy in the world. Best not to sneer about things you know absolutely nothing about Margaret.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


        Oh my word .

        South Korea is the worlds 11th largest economy , bigger than 25 of the members of the EU , it is at the forefront of innovative electronics and of course mobile phone, tablets and computers when in fact NOT ONE of the 27 EU members has any stake in that market

        Meanwhile after 40 years the EU has still failed to negotiate trade deals with the worlds largest economies, to be fair they do have a trade deal with Morocco and Madagascar wow Oh and of course the EU does have a trade association with Swaziland.

        You aren’t really on the ball are you Margaret

      • Richard1
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        What a silly post. South Korea is one of the most important economies with which the EU has an FTA. The point of course is Continuity Remain have always argued such treaties would not or could not be novated to the UK. They were and are wrong.

        Is Helena reading this?!

      • Andy
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        The South Korea trade deal is also less good than the one we already have.

        Brexiteers didn’t promise that Brexit would make things worse – and yet that is all they have achieved.

        Dr Fox is king of the charlatans.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Factually incorrect andy.

        • Richard1
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 3:33 am | Permalink

          Why? False it is equivalent. And capable of being improved upon once it gets extended to services. You are clocking up a lot of ignorant posts.

        • Jagman84
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

          The deal was done by the EU! It’s the only one that can be classed as a true and full deal. Try reading the posts for a change.

      • William1995
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Are you seriously comparing South Korea to these countries?! South Korea has a GDP >3,500x larger than Tonga. The Remain arguments are somehow getting even worse!

      • David Price
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        According to the BBC, as of May 2019; Norway, Iceland, Caribbean countries (11 countries of Cariforum), Israel , Switzerland, East and Southern Africa, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Pacific Islands, Faroe Islands, Palestine.

        Now plus South Korea.

        Plus MRAs with USA, Australia< New Zealand.

        I've probably missed some.

      • jane4brexit
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        A lot is imported from South Korea, I am writing on something that is made there…a Samsung tablet.

      • Steve
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink


        ” (that is if Ireland and Scotland have not by then voted for independence…)”

        Ireland became independent from England in 1922, but is now one of the EU’s colonies.

        So if Ireland did become independent again, it would be from the EU, not us.

    • EastDevon Tory
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      In addition we now have major corporates backtracking on Project Fear doom & gloom predictions. Project fear is slowly unravelling. Unbelievably, Airbus have announced that they will continue production in the UK irrespective of the outcome of Brexit. This is of course excellent news for Airbus workers in the UK, but no apologies have been received from Airbus for the important role played in Project Fear (or from the BBC which played up what was always an implausible story). Meanwhile the CBI have taken down their website page in which firms expressed fears about border delays which are no longer likely and in which the Ford Motor company said that no deal would no longer disrupt itsjust in time production. The former link now takes viewers somewhere else on the site.
      The ‘cliff edge’ nna=snse is fianlly being debunked for what it is – nonsense!

      • Al
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        I suspect such groups have not removed these pages because they are more positive about Brexit, but because it made it very easy for Leave to point at those incorrect predictions to counter any new ones they might make.

        The problem with deleting such things nowadays is that thanks to the Wayback Machine and Google Cache among others, it is very easy to see just how often someone has cried wolf.

  28. Ian wragg
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Much as I would like to believe Boris I am unsure he won’t buckle under pressure.
    He could be our saviour and have a permanently place in UK history if he faces down Hammond, Rudd and fellow travellers.
    If he doesn’t your party is doomed.

    • rose
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      He showed great strength of character as Foreign Secretary, despite what the malicious misinformation says, and at the same time was fighting all on his own for Brexit in the Cabinet. It must have been testing.

  29. George Brooks
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Boris is absolutely right to state that not a penny of the £39b will be paid until we have sorted out a satisfactory arrangement with the EU and from all accounts that appears to be bringing them to their senses.

    They thought it was game, set and match and our changing the PM was no more than a summer pantomime. They have conveniently forgotten ”that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”

    There is plenty of time and much has been done to get a workable frame work together before October 31 so it won’t be a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. At the same time all MPs need to be reminded and told the following.

    You promised us that you would implement the result of the 2016 referendum you were never asked to ”verify or approve it” and by trying to do so you have completely screwed it up.

    If a commercial enterprise had behaved like Parliament has over the last two years it would have been put into administration months ago.

  30. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Boris is making too many promises about reducing taxes.

    I never believe such promises in the run up to a Leadership contest. Ive heard it too many times in the past.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      We still do not have have the £1M Inheritance Threshold each. Promised by Osborne and Cameron many years ago.

      David Cameron promised to revive Tory promise to raise the IHT threshold to £1m. “Inheritance tax should only be paid for by the rich,” he said! Then again he said he was a cast Iron low tax at heart Conservative and Eurosceptic and would stay on and serve the section 50 notice next day.

      It is still just £325K each in general even now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        In the USA the threshold is $11.4 million I understand. Sensible countries have no IHT at all. We have 40% over just £325K.

        • rose
          Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          If Sir John becomes Chancellor we may get the IHT reform after all.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      If he is going to give away millions or even billions in tax cuts to rich people – -where is the replacement money going to come from? The govt needs a lot to fund the EU, HS2 and Foreign Aid – never mind the 700k people applying to get here annually
      (BBC2’s program later this week.

      • rose
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        The threshold needed to be adjusted. It was long overdue. It should have been index linked so that people like you wouldn’t keep saying “billions in tax cuts to rich people”. Not that I am blaming you: the BBC deliberately presented it like that this am.

    • Mark
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      It seems to be pitched to give a boost to someone earning £79,438 – an MP.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Agree! The candidates should have one message, and one message only – Brexit, Brexit, Brexit!

      All other promises are superfluous right now! Brexiteers may have differing views on tax and other policies, but the priority for Brexiteers is OUT! Once OUT, we can then argue over other policies. At the moment other issues are a pointless distraction, and will play into the hands of the remoaners!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      We suffer a marginal rate of tax in this country of over 90%! The Corporation have about £4 trillion in the bank – they need their customers to have some money to spend. Else they have no reason to remain in business!
      Bring on the Sovereign Government, taxes slashed, debt reduction (don’t want to hear the word deficit again!) and then we will secure a Conservative Government!

  31. Shieldsman
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Sadly there is no candidate I consider to have the right background and acumen to be a good Prime Minister.
    The vast majority of MP’s are not qualified, having no technical or business training to run Government in this 21st Century. We need more than amateur social scientists.
    The Brexit Party if it can get a foothold starts with a clean slate of selected individuals.

  32. libertarian
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I am completely unimpressed with ALL the candidates on offer

    What is striking is that there were one or two candidates who could have made a really strong bid for the leadership IF they had only understood the mood of the party and the country

    Alas we have all the usual suspects , nothing to see here, nothing changed

    ps Of course now they all want a job tax cuts, changes to vat, subsidies, ending waste are all on offer. Well for me that stiles them all out as pork barrel politicians as NONE of them suggested any of this in all the years they’ve been in office

    pps The easy way to win with the public is to promise to completely redefine our democracy , starting with the position of Speaker

  33. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    As stated, we need to be on our guard. All candidates voted for the WA, so all have a track record of back-tracking. There is no guarantee that this won’t happen once they are in no. 10 so our first presumption should be to support Brexit Party. That said, “we are where we are”, and need to rely on a steadfast Tory mind to both leave the EU and force through changes to the economy to propel it forward.

    The choice then has to be between Johnson and Raab. The latter seems to do detail, and would be the perfect foil to Johnson, who could use the broad brush. McVey, good at explaining things in straightforward terms. Ditch Hunt and Gove-both useless ditherers – May in drag. Keep Leadsom as an administrator.

    There needs to be a team effort here, also to ditch the useless. It should have happened 3 years ago.

  34. Kevin
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    There is no point holding back on this, given what has happened
    over the last three years, and how utterly predictable it was. Mrs. May was
    manoeuvred into signing the WA by the EU (so we are told). Mr. Johnson was
    manoeuvred into voting for it by Mrs. May. On this performance, he would likely
    yield to pressure again. The Tory electoral wipeout can’t come soon enough.

  35. Iain Moore
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Boris made a strategic mistake making a flamboyant tax cut gesture, for his problem is not one of being dour its lacking gravitas and any sort of forward planning. I am afraid the tax cut gesture has confirmed his character flaws.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Raising the threshold will cost approximately £9 billion roughly equal to our Nett EU contribution, I think this will be a tremendous selling point.
      Many middle managers and technicians at present fall into the higher rate trap and will see an instant gain from leaving the EU.
      A very Conservative thing to do.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Everyone should benefit from the Brexit Bonus, not just the better off. It is an attempt to buy MP votes, that’s all and will not be popular with the JAMS who the Tories will rely on to win a GE and Labour would tear it to shreds. One nation Conservatism? Died years ago, replaced by division – and a house divided against itself cannot stand.

  36. Henryb
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Been watching Boris over the years- he can do an aboutface with the best of them. In fact that is what he is likely to do if he can find an opportunity to ‘kick the can’- and knowing Boris he will find that opportunity.

  37. DaveM
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I’d rather have a PM who smoked a spliff as a kid than a terrorist sympathising Marxist (leaning ed).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Boris is the best/only hope but he will have a very difficult task leading this Conservative party of EUphile, death wish socialists and saving them from electoral destruction.

      Let us hope that the disaster of Corbyn can still be avoided despite May.

      Were socialists like Jeremy Hunt or Rory Stewart leading the Labour party (where they would clearly be more at home) the task would be even harder. It is a sad reflection on the Conservative party that of the many seeking leadership only three of the Candidates are not socialists at heart and not fully pro EU. It is rather sad that even these three still all voted for the putrid the £39 billion handcuff treaty on the last occasion.

      What a wet pro EU, wrong headed, left wing party the Conservatives are and have been since Heath (other than under Thatcher for a while – and even she made many errors. Closing many Grammar Schools, the poll tax, the ERM, John Major as Chancellor, not cutting taxes sufficiently and signing more powers over to the EU).

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

      Spliffs are at the root of much terrorism. Nearly all terrorists have smoked cannabis.

  38. Peter Wood
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Ms. McVey does present very well, why I wonder has she so little support: lack of a posh accent, gender, common sense, honesty – who knows. Why did she capitulate on the third vote?

    Given the lack of backbone and ethical behaviour in the leading male candidates, she should get a top job in cabinet for ‘leaving the EU’.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      She is the only leaver who has given absolute clarity; this may be as much to do with her communication skills as with the clarity of her position, deliberately leaving herself no wriggle room whatsoever. She has an excellent background in business and media. She also has better hair than Boris.

    • Ian
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      The only one with an once of integrity as well

    • John Hatfield
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Why did Boris and others capitulate on the third vote? Were they promised something or threatened? It seems more than a coincidence.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Wants power for the Unions and with her ‘blue collar tories’ campaign is resurrecting the long forgotten class war. She has good intentions but not enough intellect – makes a lot of mistakes!

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Tangentially, I’ve just dashed off this letter to the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    “Home Secretary Sajid Javid proposes that we should offer the Irish Republic a gift of half a billion pounds, notionally to defray the cost of any changes needed to keep their land border with Northern Ireland as open as it is now.

    But while any such friendly gesture towards our neighbours could do no harm I am afraid that it would cut little ice in Dublin.

    Irish politicians have not been making an unnecessary fuss about the border because they fear the cost of adapting their systems.

    Nor indeed are they genuinely concerned about a threat to peace on the island of Ireland, nor about contraband goods such as US-style “chlorinated chicken” finding their way across the border and contaminating the EU Single Market.

    What really worries them is the potential eight per cent loss of GDP if the UK leaves the EU on WTO terms, which with a GDP of around £296 billion would come to about £24 billion a year, a recurrent annual loss nearly fifty times greater than Mr Javid’s suggested one-off “Irish Donation”.

    That is why for nearly two years now they have been unscrupulously using these artificial concerns about the border as a lever to try to keep us subject to swathes of EU laws – customs union and single market rules – in perpetuity.”

    I could have added that Theresa May should have called them out on their nonsense, but chose not to do so to placate Dame Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI, but that might have been seen as unfairly kicking a woman when she is down even if not yet out.

  40. Charles Crane
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Sadly I feel that Boris will be kept off the final ballot which is an affront to the vast majority of party members amongst whom he is their first choice.

    Is the continued disintegration of the Conservative Party to be hurried along by ignoring the wishes of the members? I hope not but still fear Boris will not make the final two. If that is democracy then somebody is rewriting the definition.

    Your advice on candidates so far given is valuable, but who should I vote for at the final ballot if Boris is not on the paper??? Any pointers please.

  41. JoolsB
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I like Ester McVey – she’s a very rare thing nowadays – a no nonsense honest politician who says it how it is plus she is not trying to appease the remainers. For that reason alone her fellow MPs won’t vote for her. Pity because she would make a good PM and looks good as well but for all those EU loving MPs in the Tory party, she would deliver a clean Brexit so that definitely rules her out as far as they are concerned.

  42. Alastair Harris
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Boris seems to be offering a more traditional approach to taxation, and you can imagine he will enjoy picking a fight with Corbyn and co. Goves suggestion of replacing VAT with a sales tax is outstandingly inept. Does he have no idea of the likely cost and disruption to the vast majority of businesses in the country?

  43. John Lewis
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I despair with the intended tax reductions for the better off as proposed by Boris. Part of the reason the Yellow Vests have been revolting for so long is that many cannot make their incomes last out the month. Their Government has taxed them to the hilt. The same is happening here. Boris would be better advised to reduce the tax on fuel or basic income tax so that the Just About Managing(Jams) could get through to the end of the month without borrowing more. Get real Boris

    • David Price
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I’d rather see a significant reduction in VAT that would benefit all and demonstrate a tangible benefit of leaving the clutches of the EU than a selective tax cut for relatively fewer.

  44. Christine
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I’m not convinced about Boris but I think he is your only hope. He needs to get Brexit done and dusted and make a success of it before the next election. There is plenty of talent in your party; unfortunately, none of it has been in the Cabinet. Put in place some decent ministers who all have the same goal of delivering Brexit. Promising tax cuts to the better off at this stage is a mistake and I’m a higher rate tax payer. Money needs to be pumped into services and the economy. Save British Steel for a start until the ridiculous energy policies can be fixed.

  45. Rien Huizer
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    There is only a binary choice: remain or exit without a deal. The reason is that no candidate with a chance to get elected by the Tory membership wants to accept the WA as is and that the EU will not be willing, worse, unable, to negotiate any alternative before the deadline, given the fact that the authority to negotiate rested on the present commission and its representatives and that the new Commission will not be active before the deadline passes. No candidate claiming to be able to renegotiate (even the so-called managed no deal) will be able to do so.

    Of course exiting without a deal will not be costless (as various no deal leaning candidates admit) and the new Commission will not give any priority to negotiations regarding the future relationship (if any) but simply make some unilateral declarations, partly to refresh ones already made earlier this year. All of this will not help to build confidence with especially Japanese industrial firms that regarded the UK as their prime location wrt production and distribution in Europe. Given that without the Japanese the UK car manufacturing industry (and their tier 1 suppliers) the remainder of UK car manufacturing l;acks viability.

    Of course, under the WA there would be a high degree of uncertainty as well, but at least there would heven been at least two years of status quo and a reasonable expectation that a constructive arrangement would be negotiated. Iwould say, keep it up, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech republic will always be grateful.

  46. hefner
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    So Doris is selling her wares?

  47. graham1946
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I support Boris and am glad Priti Patel has backed him.

    However, if he thinks raising the starting rate for paying higher rate of tax to £80,00 in one big go will gain him votes from the average wage earner, he is deluded. Funny thing that this is pitched just so MP’s will be beneficiaries with their salaries just below his figure. Is he buying MP’s support? He is suggesting that NIC’s should be increased to balance it out, but according to the IFS those above £80,000 will still benefit to the tune of an 8 percent actual pay rise. Presumably those below this figure will just cop the tax increase, unless he is going to make a new level to charge only those above the threshold. Another reason why this method of electing a PM stinks, in addition to promising plum jobs to duffers based only on their crawling abilities.

  48. graham1946
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Whilst in office, most of the contenders for the title of PM could achieve nothing, blaming Brexit for sucking the oxygen out of Parliament even though there were some 30 sitting around the Cabinet Table and thousands more of their underlings. Suddenly, they can come up with what they think are bright ideas for what they will do if elected. How will this all be achieved? Was it Mrs. May who stopped proper political work and how will they convince us they can do better this time? In my view none of those Cabinet Ministers still in post should considered.

  49. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Both Esther and Boris appear to understand what is needed, not just for the country but also for the party.

    Esther’s problem is more a lack of visibility to the country, from what little I have seen she does not appear a motivational speech type. That is on its own not a bad thing, as Thomas Sowell noted, too often the problem with politics is too often that someone good at talking succeeds rather someone who is good at doing things.

    If I were voting I would likely go for Boris, there is more of a risk he might compromise badly, but I believe he understands the political reality.

    That is that the WA is dead, brexit much be delivered, and most importantly for the conservative party he must resist giving money to the EU since this leaves the conservative party with room to manoeuvre before the next GE.

    Both candidates have not mentioned much about trade deals, but Boris has clearly as he can make it the Donald’s approval and will likely do well with a FTA. I’d hope he puts you into his cabinet where you views can more often be put into practice.
    Politically I suspect much of the previous cabinet need a few years in the wilderness since the public were very disappointed with their government, they proved themselves horribly out of touch.

  50. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Letwin, Bercow and co are already manoeuvring to ignore precedent and have the HoC “block” a no-deal Brexit, while simultaneously whining that prorouguing parliament would be an outrage. They of course fail to consider that “no deal” is actually also in the hands of the EU. I wonder if we are seeing the start of a campaign by Boris to annoy Macron so much that he blocks a further extension anyway irrespective of what Bercow decrees. Certainly the laughably wrong-headed and absurd claim (or “lie”) by Macron’s people that failing to give the EU the free gift agreed by May would be a sovereign default shows they’re rattled. The next PM should immediately delegate the divorce fee to an independent third-party arbitrator to determine what is legally due, it is a lot less than £39bn (which for example contains two years of contributions covering a transition period that simply doesn’t exist with a “no deal” departure). Of course the EU would refuse arbitration I suppose, but it is a useful tactic.

  51. Shieldsman
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Reading the transcripts Marr is a spent force as the BBC’s biased interviewer with his crib sheet.

    The MP’s have all wised up, refusing to answer his questions and repeating their prepared statements.

  52. Pominoz
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Delighted to see Esther McVey in the mix. Like her assertations, but, from this distance, I have seen insufficient of her character and charisma to judge whether she is a natural leader.

    If she does not succeed, I do hope she is included in the cabinet. She has an important role to play.

  53. Beecee
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Mr Gove says he made a mistake – no! he showed a lack of judgement in his late twenties/early thirties which continues to this day.

    With his oratory he makes a good attack ‘dog’, and as such never to be trusted.

  54. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Yay ! The BBC is saying indirectly that Brexit is good for the environment.

    “Car production down because of Brexit.” Couldn’t you report that more enthusiastically, BBC ???

    No thanks to carbon taxes, the war on diesel the fetish for electric and the tightening of credit.

  55. BillM
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Is there any reason why we cannot leave before October 31st? Can the new PM state in Parliament that Britain intendeds to leave the EU as decided by the people in the 2016 Referendum on a date before Halloween without any Deal in place but immediately after leaving officially, set the wheels in motion to create a FTA with the EU if they are willing to do so?

    • Andy
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      The EU is willing to do a free trade deal.

      But you have to sign the withdrawal agreement first – and decide where you want to put the Irish border.

      It is no harder than that.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Well that is what they right now.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

        With Great Britain you mean? The EU want NI as part of a united Ireland. We politely declined.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted June 13, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


          Your imagination is running off again

  56. Peter Whipp
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Should the Conservative MP’s be insane enough t stop Boris being one of the final two
    is it possible the Members could reject both names as ‘Unacceptable’ and demand that
    Boris be included ??

  57. Jacqui
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I think the next leader has to be a Brexiteer from the beginning. The likes of Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock, Savid Javid, make me uneasy that they are pretending to be Brexiteers now and seem no different to Theresa May, remainders at heart! They would not persuade me to vote Conservative again. I would vote for Dominic Rabb, Esther McVey or Boris Johnson. Dominic Rabb’s interview this morning he came across as very genuine and I think can deliver Brexit. He has more personality than Jeremy Hunt, it Matt Hancock. Just watched Jeremy Hunt being introduced by Amber Rudd (confirmed remainer!). The video of endorsements for Jeremy Hunt were off putting, to much like being endorsed by the elite. I do fear that any candidates saying they now support Brexit are really still remainers at heart and will make little attempt to change the withdrawal agreement. I am not convinced they would ever leave with no deal. Rory Stewart and Sam Gyimah would sink the Conservatives without trace!

  58. Andrew S
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    If Hunt or Gove are chosen then expect the Brexit Party to capture so many votes at any future election, tories will indeed be annihalated. Corbyn may well then get to No 10.
    Too bad betraytor tory mps, you will be out! Corbyn will raid your comfy pension plans and investments, second homes, tax rich and middle englanders. The only chance to avoid that is a true brexiteer PM and out completely out by 31 Oct.

  59. John Probert
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I am not happy with Gove and worry that the party may support him because he
    is least likely to cause a no confidence vote and therefore a general election ?

  60. Robin Davies
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Like Peter Wood I find it surprising Esther McVey is not getting more support. The Conservative Party death-wish I suppose. She had the guts to demand the opportunity to register her protest against the way things were going and then resign from Cabinet. Only Dominic Raab did so as well and arguably he should not have accepted the job of Brexit secretary knowing he would have little real authority. (Boris had of course done so earlier). With Brexit now replacing class as a determinant of voting Esther is ideally placed to recruit the northern leavers to the Conservative Party and I hope she will have the opportunity to do so.

  61. Steve Noble
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    If we, as you put it, “just leave with or without free trade talks”, how can there be a “mutual agreement to avoid tariffs and new barriers”. If we “just leave”, there is no agreement, and so no mutuality. Or do you simply not understand the meaning of the word “mutual”? Whatever, it is pretty embarrassing that you, the famous “veteran Brexiteer”, offer an idea that is simply self-contradictory. You’ve had long enough to work up a coherent plan and you haven’t done it!

  62. Demeter.
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Esther McVey?? Do me a favour,she can hardly string a coherent sentence together.

  63. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    This is a really good article which all the leadership candidates should read:

    “Lessons for the next PM from the mistakes made in the Brexit negotiations thus far”

    An excellent “ten-point ‘benefit of hindsight’ guide to where we went wrong”.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper:
      ”The whole country, including all MPs and former Prime Ministers, should have got behind the Prime Minister at the start of the negotiations”.
      Here the analysis already stumbles at the very first point, because it is actually the other way around:
      The PM should have got behind the whole country, in other words, bring the country together on a position with the broadest based support possible, including from all four nations comprising the UK. Only after that, negotiations should have been initiated.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        We had a referendum and decided to leave.

        I realise that may mean nothing to you but it is nothing to do with you.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted June 12, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: I indeed think that the referendum was of very very poor quality but I agree with you leaving, which is my business too as we’ll be affected by it.
          The blindness to the need of bringing the country together at the beginning of the process, is why you are in such a mess now. Ignoring large minorities is never a good thing.

  64. a-tracy
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    “As someone who did not take drugs because it was a criminal offence”. As a fellow rule follower, I expect my lawmakers to stand by the laws they make. Gove wouldn’t have come clean about this unless someone was about to expose him and isn’t the matter that the risk of hiding indiscretions/law-breaking etc. that our people in the most powerful office have people in their lives that have something on them that could ruin their careers unless they do x,y,z? It wasn’t politicians having sexual relations that troubled people it was what they were prepared to do to cover that gossip up that troubled voters.

    It is said Gove put into law that teachers could get the sack and be unable to hold a teaching position (a lifetime ban) for the same offence as he has now admitted to – this seems to be the main attack line he is facing, I wonder how many teachers that owned up to illegal drug taking in their past before becoming a teacher lost their job or got barred since? (I don’t mean the teacher that got convicted of possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply). From Clinton to Obama and it seems more than half the Tory leadership contenders illegal drug taking in their circles is seen as normal.

  65. ferdinand
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Quite right. I have just heard Jeremy Hunt saying No deal would never get through Parliament and then goes on to say that we have to leave No Deal on the table on any new negotiations with Brussels. He is not the only one to make such a pointless comment.

  66. Ian
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The lack of quality in the line up is appalling.
    Sadly our host is not standing

    Are you sure Sir John ?
    You would walk it, there are few in Parliament who come close

    Reply I do not have enough MP supporters to make bid sensible.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      The Establishment absolutely does not want capable politicans in it’s Potemkin Parliament.

    • Gary C
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply “I do not have enough MP supporters to make bid sensible.”

      You have stood firm and honoured those that voted for you, unfortunately the majority of MP’s in the house are nothing short of perfidious, shame on them!

    • Fred H
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      to Sir John’s reply – – then you should reflect on what has become of the party that cannot find 8 MPs to support at least an attempt by yourself, compared to the incompetent, betrayors, back-stabbers, inexperienced bunch of butterflies (without the beauty) that imagines they are fit to run for the highest office. Jokers almost every one of them. Is it surprising that a Farage can come along, unite ‘half’ the country and in spite of all the fear rhetoric, capture support with simple no-strings argument.

      Reply I didnt say I could not get. 8!

  67. Chris
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Curiously, all the leading candidates seem to be Oxford educated, and this has probably not been picked up in the media. It would be interesting to see if there was any correlation between the education of candadates and their backers.

    • Chris
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Not me, the original Chris, posting the comment above starting “Curiously……”

  68. Dennis Zoff
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


    So far I/we have seen and evaluated the credentials of the leading Tory contenders for PM, and must sadly conclude they do not stand up to the basic scrutiny of competence from their civil peers.

    Throwing your hat into the ring, if people had the vote, would make you a serious contender? Alas, however, whoever takes on the PM role will be circumvented by those nefarious individuals skulking in the background, hell-bent on negating a true Brexit. I fear only The Brexit Party will make a true Brexit happen!

  69. Paul
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    The revelation that Gove is a hypocrite is hardly surprising. He was never the right candidate even without his drug taking past. Esther McVey would make a good interim PM to take us out of the EU but I don’t think her talents stretch beyond that. It’s Boris’s to lose and we all know he’s well and truly capable of that.

  70. Andy
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    You look at the assortment of loons, goons and malcontent in the Parliamentary Tory party at the moment and you wonder: Are they on drugs?

    The answer in many cases would appear to be yes.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Nice one !

  71. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Interesting perspective with Boris proposing we should not pay anything to the EU, which would probably mean breaches of the treaty and would put us in a difficult position in terms of sticking to our international obligations.

    However, if Boris has the similar qualities as he did as foreign secretary, we can be sure he will be a disaster as PM

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Hans, Has anyone told you yet that we are fed up with being the EU’s treasure island? The fact that Macron has threatened us with apocalypse now if we don’t pay up (and you have feebly copied him) shows that the infamous £39bn (net – really about £80bn gross) is a bribe. Your rotten EU is just a protection racket.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink


        “Hans, Has anyone told you yet that we are fed up with being the EU’s treasure island?”

        “Britain’s level of contribution to EU funds is the lowest of all EU countries when measured as a percentage of GDP”

        2014 Peston BBC article

        • Edward2
          Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          Clever use of statistics but it is cash we send the EU not percentages.
          And we have been one of the biggest contributors for 43 years.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            Edward….its the balance between our ‘contribution’ rip-off and what we get back that has always been the issue.
            Peston could equally have produced stats that said UK gets the lowest return for our money. Germany contributes the most BUT look what the manufacturing might and ‘influence’ buys them!

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

          Not clever use of statistics at all, but a classic example of Peston manipulating the truth. Only ten countries contribute at all in a net sense!

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 11, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink


            Margaret is actually right and our contribution per capita is the lowest

          • Edward2
            Posted June 12, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            So what?
            We have a huge population.
            We pay with cash not percentages hans.
            And we pay the EU a huge amount of cash.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Nick C,

        I was not aware it was MY EU, are you getting sentimental in your old age?

  72. Ian
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    The latest announcements still show that none of them will listen and still persist in fighting the will of the electorate.

    Unfortunately, Sir John you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, how could anyone vote for any of the. It’s not even a choice of which is the least-worst. Nowadays one nation conservativism means ignore the people they are not of us.

    Today Hunt gets the baking of Rudd, says it all. He has already suggested he will need more time for Brexit. How long is that? he has been in this weak cabinet since 2012, only 7 years, and he is still promising to get Brexit done

    Next up is the excuse as to why the 31st October has to be extended to allow project fear another last push before invoking article 50.

  73. miami.mode
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Additional question for all candidates. What will you do about re-introduction of BBC licence fee for over 75s? Great opportunity to sort it out once and for all and possible 3 million votes in it.

    It’s almost 1 week’s basic pension and how many workers would be happy to give a week’s pay to the BBC?

  74. Andy
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I am delighted that the BBC has scrapped free TV licences for the elderly.

    Now all we need is to get rid of her fuel payments, bus passes and – most of all – the ludicrously excessive state pensions.

    We need a level playing field for hard working young people – and for feckless older people to start (finally) paying their way.

    Long may it continue.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      The BBC has to cover the 3 million who have mysteriously stopped paying for it.

      I can’t possibly think why.

    • sm
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Andy, I’m surprised that you forgot to add compulsory euthanasia of pensioners at, what, say 70?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Andy….why not go the whole hog, confiscate their homes, issue them free tents for use in town centres, refuse them NHS services, force cheaper funerals to make it easier for their young relatives to get rid? Hope you have a car for that young mum, and the low income workers, because no OAPs using buses will mean the services will stop. Oh! and of course the free childcare from OAPs will stop, they will be dead, homeless, or unable to travel to support school runs, after school, child sickness etc..
      GOOD LUCK with that mate.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Refund all my National Insurance payments and I’ll give up my state pension. Simple.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Please suggest such a policy to whichever leftist party you support for the next election.

    • David Price
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      @Andy – a freudian slip perhaps?

      “Now all we need is to get rid of her fuel payments, bus passes and – most of all – the ludicrously excessive state pensions.”

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        As I recall,Andy has told us he isn’t speaking to his mom because of the way she voted in the Referendum!

  75. Mark
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Having read the answers given by the candidates today to the questions posed at ConHome, I agree entirely with your judgement that Esther McVey has by some margin the most sensible approach not only to the issue of Brexit, but also with what to do afterwards, including not going down the ruinous route of pursuing a zero carbon economic ruin strategy, cutting aid and HS2 etc. I could imagine another party might well steal her ideas for their manifesto.

    However it does look as though the Boris bandwagon will prove unstoppable until Mr Bercow gets a chance to stick his rudder in (he surely could never have wielded an oar). You have to hope he will be under the right influences when push comes to shove.

  76. BR
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Yes McVey is saying good things, as is Boris. Not sure I trust Boris, but he may at least realise that he and his party is dead if he does not deliver Brexit – but does he realise that people will spot a BRINO deal?

    Gove has it wrong on VAT. Moving towards tax on spending rather than tax on income would be a much better move. That rewards saving and it taxes those who deliberately escape the tax net such as travellers etc.

    Also, these are not ‘policy’ as such, they are simply legislation proposals. My question would be: “What is your vision for society as a whole and how it would change for the better if this proposal were implemented?”.

    That’s where you start with policy, rather than announcing the specific initiatives that deliver it. I would like to see a candidate start by articulating clearly what they want our society to look like in 5, 10 20 years and then say what measures they would introduce to get us there.

  77. David Hambley
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    John, I am a regular reader of your column but I would ask as it seems that you will never vote for a withdrawal agreement and as parliament is stuffed full of anti-democratic ‘Remainers’, including some of your Conservative colleagues who reportedly would support Corbyn et al in an inevitable No-Confidence vote to prevent a clean Brexit, would you and your more ideological Brexit colleagues stick by your principles and allow such a vote to happen rather than accept an imperfect Brexit? I voted to leave in 1975 (?) and have a long-standing hatred of the EU but I would be pragmatic and would opt for the lesser of the two evils as at least we would be out of the EU in some fashion and future governments could ‘tidy’ things up.

    Reply The Withdrawal Agreement locks us in for 2 to 4 more years with no guarantee of getting out.

  78. agricola
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    What strikes me from what I have seen and heard from potential PMs is their eagerness to erect the bogey of J Corbyn as an alternative to their modus operandi in relation to Brexit. Even when their solution to Brexit is not clear. They talk of negotiating a good deal. Do they mean re-visiting the WA or are they talking about trade.

    Nobody has yet suggested that the current trading arrangement can be frozen were we to leave on WTO terms, present the EU with a FTA and by mutual agreement invoke Art 24. That would be leaving with a deal in two parts. Part one stability, part two an ongoing trade discussion. Both the EU and any candidate who is honest would know that the refusal of the EU to countenance this would automatically lead to our departure on WTO terms. We would have tried but were forced to respond to EU intransigence. The EU would then have to answer to their industrialists.

    I would only go for the candidate who was prepared to spell it out in real terms. Parliament, that talking shop of indecision, are peripheral to such governing clarity.

  79. BR
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    P.S. Am I the only person to have noticed the ridiculous lack of detail in Gove’s VAT announcement?

    He will “…look to replace VAT with a lower, simpler, sales tax.”

    Did anyone think to ask him what he plans to replace it with? VAT is already a simple sales tax, what could possibly be simpler than 20% on goods with a few exceptions? Unless he plans to scrap the exceptions (political suicide). Or adjust the threshold at which businesses must register (plans for that are already in motion to avoid the ‘cliff edge’ that stops some businesses trading when they reach the limit).

    So his plans are… another sales tax – why would we care if it’s called VAT or something else, a sales tax is a sales tax is a sales tax.

    In the end he seems to be suggesting changing its name and reducing the rate. Wow. No cigar.

    Where’s the detail? Why does he think it’s necessary/desirable? What problem is he solving?

    • NickC
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      BR, You obviously do’t understand the structural difference between VAT and a Sales Tax.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      He did well to concentrate that long … for a druggie!

  80. Paul H
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I have to say that I am nervous about Johnson’s position. He seems to be sending signals to Brussels that if they tinker with the backstop he will try to get the WA through. That would be a disaster for him, your party, and – most of all – the country.

    As for the rest of his policies – what is this “one nation” nonsense anyway?

    • rose
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      “One nation” is an allusion to Disraeli’s novel Sybil in which he speaks of two nations, the rich and the poor. It is infuriating that the phrase has been hijacked by people who don’t even believe in having a nation.

      • rose
        Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Ps I don’t mean Boris, but Amber Rudd and co.

  81. BR
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    PPS – oh and, how will he fund this reduction in rate? Is that the 26bn sloshing around the Treasury spent? But then how will it be funded in future, when that’s gone?

  82. John Downes
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I have a bet on that Boris will not make the final pairing. Though I’ll be pleased to lose it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      The money-happiness hedge.

  83. Les.W
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    If Boris is in the final two, he will win. But I doubt he can be trusted to keep his word on leaving by October no matter what.
    I like Raab’s idea that all cabinet members must sign up to leaving with or without a deal – a key weakness of May was her poor choice of cabinet, leading to irreconcilable splits and chaos. With young Redwood as chancellor, Raab might be a good choice.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Sir John must allow his name to go forward as Chancellor. The Chancellor does not need to be a new age warm and cuddly sort.

    • Gordon King
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Several people have told me Boris plans to break the deadlock by agreeing a permanent customs union plus regulatory alignment with Corbyn, safe in the knowledge the ERG cannot bring him down once he is leader

    • Fred H
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Les….. she sold the idea of being fair and balanced in the Cabinet, too many Remainers was not being weak – it was calculated but spotted. Then the surprise Chequers doc(EU provided?) meant the key leavers walked away or were now divided or outvoted. Devious not a poor choice.

  84. John E
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear. You face a depressing choice. I will never support Boris Johnson or any party that he leads. I have my reasons.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      which are?

  85. Iain Gill
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    probably inevitable now there will be a general election and a brexit party government within a year

  86. Oliver Eills
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, I would be very interested to read your response to Michael Gove’s VAT / sales tax proposal. Thank you. Oliver

  87. TheMariner
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Esther McVey is the stand out Brexiteer amongst the candidates. Her plan to have a Brexiteer only cabinet will prevent any unessessary distractions. To get something done like Brexit you need like minded focused people that are fully commited and are supportive of each other.
    Esther is also a good scrapper a quality that is definitely required for this job. She is refreshingly ordinary not pompous and has a forceful commanding disposition that bodes well for strong leadership.
    She easily gets my vote as I want out of the EU on WTO and believe she will do it.

  88. Iain Gill
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    got to say if the government allows the BBC to start charging the over 75’s licence fees they dont deserve to win the next general election

  89. Dominic
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    If another Tory candidate for the leadership makes reference to ‘Brexit with or without a deal’ I shall implode into a point of infinite nothingness

    Brexit with a deal is not Brexit, it’s an act of vicious deception

    Moreover, I get the feeling that in the background May and her allies are massaging the outcome of this campaign

    Johnson’s rhetoric about One Nation Toryism is grating and insincere

    Raab’s reference to a ‘Fairer Britain’ is beyond contempt, the inference being that life in Britain is somehow ‘unfair.

    Someone tell Raab we’ve had enough of New Labour politics.

    We want basic clarity and direct policies. Thatcher promised to nail the unions. We all understood this direct threat and we all believed her. It is this form of determined, principled politics that we yearn for.

    See the threat, confront it and despatch it without compromise. It’s what the hard left will do should they ever get into government. The left will take NO prisoners

  90. Billm
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off subject I wonder if any of the Candidates have had time to consider today’s BBC announcement that they are going to means-test the TV Licence for the over 75’s.
    Not satisfied by robbing the unemployed to pay for their OTT salaries and pensions they now wish to persecute old pensioners who may not receive pension credit but nevertheless have household and food bills to pay out of the meagre British State pension.
    When will this country gain a Prime Minister who is going to take charge of this profligate Corporation? And made them taste austerity?
    The BBC is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the British people and deserve no funding from them whatsoever.

  91. agricola
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Question, what is a public funded body, the BBC doing by unilaterally deciding tax policy. On this they have exceeded their remit. Tax is decided by government and government alone, or are the BBC just ankther quango allowing government to shrug responsibility.7

  92. Dominic
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    BAN POSTAL VOTING and destroy the Labour party’s abuse of our democracy once and for all

    • rose
      Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      70% turnout of postal votes in Peterborough.

  93. David Price
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Have the DUP stated any preferences yet?

    • rose
      Posted June 11, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      They are far too proper to do that.

  94. Norman
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    In view of the menace of Iran’s aggressive policies in the ME, it would be interesting to know the thoughts of the Leadership contenders on this issue. It seems we are more in step with EU compromise, than standing with the US on this issue. I read that Iran is meanwhile boosting its nuclear activity whilst circumventing sanctions by secret oil deals paid for in-kind. And now, Britain, France and Germany’s proposed “Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges” (INSTEX), will allow the Islamic Republic to trade with European companies without relying on financial institutions as a means to bypass restrictions generated by US sanctions. Surely this stinks? Another good reason to escape the corrupting influence of the EU and align more with the current US administration? It seems that in so many important issues nowadays, our Government runs counter to what is right.

  95. Prigger
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I let upon Nicky Morgan, a good name, on TV being interviewed concerning her written-down support for Gove. Her face was a puddle o still tears.
    It was almost as if at the last moment she felt Gove had put her down stabbing her in the back. Not like him.

  96. Edwardm
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Esther McVey strikes me as having the clearest no-nonsense Brexit policy. She is also not of the metropolitan bubble, and is in tune with ordinary people.
    Gove continues to let himself down and so cannot be considered a serious candidate. Short of criminality there appears to be no lower limit to what is acceptable as an MP now-a-days, so he can confidently remain an MP.
    Boris is a good communicator but too malleable and Liberal.

  97. John Payne
    Posted June 10, 2019 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    We live in interesting times. Ten nominees for number ten. Ten-to-tennn Cowboy time 🙂

  98. Chris S
    Posted June 12, 2019 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    I am on a business trip to the Far East at present.
    We are opening a subsidiary in one of the more prosperous countries and while the paperwork is difficult, all we need to do is invest a modest £25,000 and employ four local persons for each Foreigner we send over. Premises many times the size we could afford in the UK can be rented for less than the rent of a UK 2 bedroom flat and in a couple of years we can buy land and build our own premises for a lot less than the same flat would cost to buy at home.

    From a distance of many thousand miles, the very idea that a Country with an economy several or many times bigger than those I have been visiting cannot prosper outside the EU seems just plain daft.

    It makes me wonder just what motivates extreme remainers to run their own country down in such a disrespectful and unpatriotic way ?

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page