Tory MPs who say they will not support Boris Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit may stand as independent Conservatives if he goes through with his threat to withdraw the whip from them – effectively expelling them from his party in Parliament.
The Dictator’s warning is already seen as an empty threat by many, as he would lose his majority in Parliament if he goes through with it.
And if BoJob’s government falls as a result, then he will not be leader and will be unable to follow through his threat to stop them standing as Tory election candidates.
So it could be crippling to him that as many as 20 Tory MPs are preparing to defy him:
“Reports suggest 20 Tory former ministers are prepared to stand as independent Conservatives at the next election if they are cast out. That would be a historic split for the Conservatives and the country”
— Dr Tim Kinsella #FBPE (@51TJK) September 1, 2019
The Mirror report, to which the tweet links, states that potential rebel MPs had been expecting to attend a meeting with Mr Johnson today (September 2), but this was cancelled after David Gauke appeared on a TV interview and said he was prepared to stand as an independent candidate in a future election, in the “national interest”.
BoJob said he would hold a “summit” meeting with Philip Hammond instead, but it seems unlikely that this will mollify the potential rebels.
The Dictator’s ultimatum means MPs who were cabinet ministers just six weeks ago may find themselves ejected from the party they used to lead in a matter of days – including, possibly, former prime minister Theresa May.
— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) September 2, 2019
Also in the firing line are Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Dominic Grieve.
Some leading members of the Johnson camp have – astonishingly – claimed that nobody will be deselected at all, in what seems a transparent attempt to deflect attention away from what’s going on – particularly with reference to the apparent rebel ringleader, David Gauke:
THERE IS NO DESELECTION MECHANISM IN THE @CONSERVATIVES PARTY
— James Cleverly MP (@JamesCleverly) June 28, 2019
It has been suggested that James Cleverly’s tweet may be deleted soon, so let’s just repeat its claim: “THERE IS NO DESELECTION MECHANISM IN THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY. We have had these Leave EU stories amplified by the press for months and no Conservative MP has been deselected. David Gauke is a great MP and a huge asset to our party.”
The threat from the Johnson camp has already been likened to a Stalinist purge, with some commentators pointing out that the only reason the mass media aren’t using those words is because it is happening in the Conservative Party and not Labour:
If Jeremy Corbyn threatened "mass deselections" & said he'd "block any rebel" from standing for the party again, the media would print the words "purge" & "Stalin" before he'd even finished his sentence.
— Jack D 🌷🌹 (@JackDunc1) September 2, 2019
Indeed, the fact that Labour has not purged any MPs is being used against the Johnson regime:
For 4 years the Tories have used deselection of non-ideologically pure MPs as an attack line against Corbyn’s Labour. And now, before any MPs have been deselected by Labour, a Tory PM is about to deselect a load of MPs who were in the cabinet until weeks ago
— Henry Zeffman (@hzeffman) September 2, 2019
But the most clear comparison is with Adolf Hitler – against whom Dictator Johnson has actually made himself appear the less acceptable figure:
What’s the difference between Boris Johnson and Adolf Hitler?
People voted for Hitler.
— Bernie Banter (@BanterBernie) August 31, 2019
Some have even adopted the optimistic view that this crisis could finish the Conservatives for good:
The Tories are dead! The whole Johnson / Cummings fiasco will be the nail in the coffin. Do you agree?🤔
— Andy #FBPE #FreeNazanin (@SurreyAmps) September 1, 2019
This Writer would not go that far. Conservatives are resilient and seem to have the survival instinct of the mythical hydra; cut off their head and two more will take its place.
And they are wily, too. Where the stick seems ineffective, Johnson and Cummings may try to apply the carrot and bribe their wayward colleagues back into line.
But the possible loss of his majority could represent a quantum leap forward in the battle against Boris Johnson’s bid to become the UK’s dictator.
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