Conservative MPs May Quit Party if Boris Johnson Becomes Leader

The Guardian newspaper has reported that several Conservative MPs may quit the party should Boris Johnson become the new leader in the event of Theresa May standing down or being forced out.

The Guardian noted:

“One minister said she would leave the party if Johnson and his supporters, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, took over the Conservatives. Another minister said he knew of five or six Conservatives who were openly saying they were so opposed to a Johnson premiership that they could not stay in the party run by him and a group of ‘Brexit ultras’.”

Currently Bet365 have Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid as the most likely to take on the Tory leadership as speculation at Westminster increases about the Prime Minister’s position.

Calls for Boris Johnson to be Suspended from Conservative Party

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has today faced growing calls for Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, to be suspended from the Conservative Party over a newspaper article which has been called islamophobic.

Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, said that he would quit the Conservative Party if Johnson became the party’s leader. Brandon Lewis, the Conservative Party chairman, and Theresa May have both called for Johnson to apologise for his newspaper article, which he has refused to do.

Baroness Warsi, a former Conservative Cabinet Minister, who wrote:

“He set out a liberal position, but he did it in a very “alt-right” way. This allowed him to dog-whistle: to say to particular elements of the party that he’s tough on Muslims. Yet again, he’s trying to have his cake and eat it”.

Brandon Lewis is expected to make a decision later on in the week on what, if any, action should be taken on Johnson.

Conservative Party Restores the Whip to Anne Marie Morris

The Conservative Party has restored the whip to Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot since 2010, who was suspended from the party following comments made in a speech.

Morris said in a statement:

“I have learned from this experience and have a new determination to uphold the highest possible standards in public life. I feel proud and privileged to be a member of parliament and I will continue to serve my community and my country to the best of my ability”.

Conservative Party Suspend Dover MP Charlie Elphicke

Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, has been suspended from the Conservative Party following allegations which have been received. A spokesperson for the party added that the police had also been involved in the case and were investigating.

Elphicke has represented the constituency of Dover since 2010 and he was appointed a Government whip, although he left the whip’s office when Theresa May became Prime Minister.

Elphicke said in a statement:

“The party tipped off the press before telling me of my suspension. I am not aware of what the alleged claims are and deny any wrongdoing”.

Sir John Major Calls for a Brave New Conservative Approach

Sir John Major, the former Prime Minister, has called on the Conservative Party to back Theresa May or risk Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. Major, was served as Conservative Prime Minister from 1990 until 1997, wrote in the Sunday Mail:

“I have watched the Conservative Party manoeuvrings of recent weeks with increasing dismay and have been saddened to see the news dominated by those who have been driven by their own personal agenda.

Their behaviour does nothing to repair the battered reputation of politics. It is not what our country wants or needs – nor does it serve it well. Politics is not a game. Government even less so. Their conduct has undermined their own party, their own Prime Minister, and their own Government. It is profoundly unbecoming and it must stop”.

He added:

I am among those who remember the far-Left influence on Labour governments in the 1960s and 1970s: the over-mighty unions; the strikes; the winter of discontent; the sky-high taxes. Thus, for me, the concept of a Labour government led by two convinced neo-Marxists is the return of a nightmare.

And if Labour were elected, no voter could say that they were unaware of the likely priorities of a Jeremy Corbyn government, for Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have already spelled out the disaster they would inflict.

Mr McDonnell has been admirably frank. Born out of his distaste for the free market, his economic plans would be pure poison to any hope of prosperity. As for Mr Corbyn, his entire career has showcased his convictions: his admiration for revolutionary causes and unsavoury leaders are part of his political DNA. He holds to his views with honesty and sincerity, but they do not represent middle-of-the-road voters – nor any but a small handful of Britons.

I do not wish to see any sort of Labour government – although a tilt to the Left or Right is always in the nature of politics – but I recoil from the prospect of a Corbyn-led government”.

Major called for a review of policies, including the controversial universal credit:

“We must be ambitious. Deep-rooted problems need more than a piecemeal, timid, toe-in-the-water approach that might one day offer improvements. We need brave solutions. Our plans must engage government and private sector alike. We need to involve faster and better public investment. We need to widen and accelerate educational reform. And we must demonstrate a clear priority for the interests of the ‘have-nots’.

I hope such a programme will include a review of universal credit, which, although theoretically impeccable, is operationally messy, socially unfair and unforgiving. It is time for the Conservative Party to show its heart again, which is all too often concealed by its financial prudence. We are not living in normal times and must challenge innate Conservative caution”.

He also wrote for the need of more housing and improvements in education:

“We must persuade the Treasury that – while the cost of long-term borrowing is low – there is an opportunity to vastly accelerate public development of infrastructure and, in particular, housing. Useful initiatives have been announced but we need to go further. If this increases public debt we should – and could – accept that (as I believe the markets will) provided annual revenue expenditure is kept under control.

An essential ingredient is for the frustrating delays in planning law to be speeded up. To house our nation better, we must unshackle the private sector. We must ensure that the windfall gains from planning approval are shared fairly between the vendor and the community.

Many education reforms are under way; that is excellent. But we must move faster and further to skill the next generation. All our talents will be needed for us to thrive in a competitive world”.

Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative Leader, Calls on Party to Unite Behind Theresa May

Ruth Davidson, the Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has called on the party to unite behind Theresa May, the Prime Minister, after a difficult political week.

Speaking on Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking, Davidson said:

“I would tell my party to get its house in order, get together, knuckle down and make sure our first, last and only commitment is to the country that we are incredibly lucky to serve and we should never forget that”.

Speaking about what would happen if there was a new leader:

“I think the instability would be very difficult if that were to happen, but I don’t think it will”.

Talking of former male Cabinet Ministers talking the Prime Minister down, Davidson said:

“She’s the Prime Minister of this country, none of you made it that far, so put up, shut up, get off the stage and get back to governing”.

Grant Shapps Claims 30 Tory MPs Back Theresa May’s Resignation

Grant Shapps, the former Conservative Party chairman, has said that some former Conservative cabinet ministers believe that Theresa May, the Prime Minister, should stand down. May’s position has been weakened since the General Election and speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Shapps said that the party should “stop burying its head in the sand”.

Shapps indicated that there were thirty MPs who would support Theresa May standing down, but he admitted that there were no current Cabinet Ministers calling for her resignation. The move comes days after a difficult Conservative Party conference speech where the Prime Minister struggled with a cold and a problematic stage backdrop.

DUP to Vote Against Government on NHS Pay

Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, has confirmed that her party intends to vote with the Labour Party on amendments relating to NHS pay and tuition fees. The vote, which is expected to take place next week, would be the first time that the DUP have failed to support the Government since the coalition which was formed following the 2017 General Election.

The votes will not be binding on the Government, meaning that the official agreement between the Conservative Party and the DUP won’t be broken.

Conservative MPs urged by the Party to Support the Government’s Brexit Strategy

Conservative MPs have been urged by the leadership to back the party’s Brexit Bill in the House of Commons or risk Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister. The second reading of the Bill will take place on Thursday and some Conservative backbench MPs have privately expressed concerns that they are being discouraged from making amendments to the Bill.

David Davis, the Secretary of State for Leaving the European Union, said on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr programme:

“Everything that is significant in terms of changes will be done in separate primary legislation, on immigration, customs you name it. This bill is about ensuring continuity. Every MP, whether leaver or remainer, should support this bill”.

The Guardian newspaper noted:

“Other Conservative MPs reacted angrily to demands from No 10 that they should not seek to table amendments to the repeal bill when it reaches committee stage in October. Should any pro-remain Tories table amendments that call for the option for the UK to remain in the single market or customs union, they are likely to attract cross-party support from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs”.