Kenneth Clarke warned of a Conservative leadership crisis if the EU referendum was lost [Image: Matt Dunham/AP].

On his way out: Cameron will probably leave if the public rejects his position on the EU referendum [Image: Matt Dunham/AP].


Cameron prepared a resignation speech before the result of the Scottish referendum was known; he’ll have it ready again after the EU referendum.

That’s no reason to vote ‘Leave’, of course – we’ll still have a Conservative government and the next Tory prime minister won’t have EU membership to hinder him or her from inflicting harsher policies of hate upon the poor.

Also, we don’t know how the political landscape will look by June this year.

Already the Conservative government has been pummelled by shock after shock – the disastrous Omnishambles II budget that ruined George Osborne’s chances of succeeding Cameron at Number 10; the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith in what most people see as an EU-motivated attack on Cameron; the Mossack Fonseca tax avoidance scandal that turned Cameron himself toxic.

The local and regional elections are less than three weeks away and the Conservatives are vulnerable. Who knows what further weaknesses may be revealed after the poll?

Recent by-elections have shown apocalyptic falls in support for the Tories – one in Cornwall last week showed them losing 40 per cent of the vote. That’s not the Tory vote, but the overall turnout.

Undoubtedly the Tory faithful will try to pour oil on their party’s troubled waters – as with the John Whittingdale affair, but – as with the John Whittingdale affair, they’ll be on a hiding to nothing if the facts are against them.

Whittingdale put himself in a compromising position and it seems certain that the press moguls exploited it. Anyone saying he is part of a “non-story” about his relationship with a dominatrix is trying to mislead you.

The British people aren’t as gullible as they were last year. The Tories may be set to learn that the hard way.

David Cameron would be overthrown as prime minister within 30 seconds of a vote to leave the EU in the June referendum, Kenneth Clarke has said.

In a direct challenge to Cameron, who told MPs this week that he would remain in office to negotiate Britain’s exit in the event of a vote to leave the EU, the veteran pro-European said it would be “farcical” for him to continue.

The former chancellor told the Week in Westminster on BBC Radio 4: “The prime minister wouldn’t last 30 seconds if he lost the referendum and we’d be plunged into a Conservative leadership crisis which is never a very edifying sight.”

The intervention by Clarke, whose frontbench career was revived by Cameron a year before the 2010 general election, will be seen by No 10 as particularly unhelpful. The prime minister has sought to quash questions about his own political future, as he did during the Scottish referendum, by insisting he would remain in office if he loses the EU vote. Cameron had in fact prepared a resignation speech on the eve of the Scottish referendum.

Source: Cameron wouldn’t last 30 seconds if he lost EU vote, says Ken Clarke | Politics | The Guardian

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