Sunday, 29 May 2022

‘Brexit under threat!’ Boris Johnson warned early election to spark reverse of EU ref

Boris Johnson: Nile Gardiner discusses future governance

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Divisions in the Conservative Party over the “partygate” scandal and Boris Johnson’s future as leader are bursting into the open, with some taking up the cudgels for the Prime Minister and others claiming his position is now untenable. A fully fledged Tory Party civil war seems to have erupted, as anger over a series of leaks about alleged lockdown parties in Number 10 are engulfing Mr Johnson’s premiership. But former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Nile Gardiner, has explained what unseating Mr Johnson could mean for Brexit.

Speaking to GB News, Mr Gardiner said: “There’s certainly a battle within the Conservative Party for the future of the party.

“There is a battle between more wet elements, and more Thatcherite elements, for the future of the party.

“There are many MPs who fear of course that if Boris Johnson goes then the whole Brexit project will be threatened.

“There are some who fear that an early general election could lead a far-left Government taking power in the UK that actually reverses Brexit.

“It won’t be part of their platform for the election of course but once in power, a Labour/SNP coalition could seek to fundamentally reverse the process and defy the will of the British people.

“There are major concerns here on so many levels across the board.”

Six Conservative MPs have called for the Prime Minister to quit so far, arguing that a change of senior officials would not reverse the “terminal damage” done to Mr Johnson by the allegations.

Former children’s minister Tim Loughton, in a post published on Facebook on Saturday, said: “It is not down to a simple Government policy change or a sacking of ministers or officials to put things right.

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“In this case all roads lead back to Downing Street and the person whose name is on the front door.”

Senior Tory Tobias Ellwood said the Prime Minister must “lead or step aside”, telling the BBC: “We need leadership.”

Backbencher Andrew Bridgen echoed Mr Ellwood as he argued Mr Johnson “has lost the moral authority to lead the country”.

The North West Leicestershire MP confirmed he submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s leadership “some time ago”.

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For a leadership contest to be triggered, 54 letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister have to be submitted by Tory MPs to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, asking for a vote on the Conservative leader’s future.

Sir Graham does not publicly state how many letters he has received, but reports suggest about 20 might have been handed in.

While strong words about Mr Johnson have undoubtedly been said by his own faction, many Tories have come out to promptly and passionately defend him.

Veteran Tory MP Peter Bone told LBC he had found constituents in his Wellingborough seat were “clearly in support of the Prime Minister”, while former trade secretary Dr Liam Fox – who was sacked by Mr Johnson – said it was the “wrong time” for a change of leader.

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