Grantham Tories feel ‘utterly betrayed’ by MP Nick Boles
Conservative Party members and supporters in Grantham feel ‘utterly betrayed’ by their MP Nick Boles.
Association Chairman Philip Sagar made the comment in a piece he wrote in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph.
The outburst follows the MP meeting association members in Stamford on Friday evening, after which the MP tweeted there had been “lots of disagreement and debate.”
It also follows an article on the ConservativeHome website that day, which said moves are underway to ‘accelerate’ the deselection of Mr Boles, with some talk of him even not standing again.
The controversy stems from Mr Boles threatening to resign the Conservative Party whip before Christmas should the government pursue a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.
Tensions have increased since with Mr Boles working with Labour MP Yvette Cooper on a bill that could delay Britain’s exit from the European Union if there was ‘No Deal.’
In his Sunday Telegraph article Mr Sagar repeated much of what he has previously told the Journal and party members.
He said: “Never in my four years as association chairman for Grantham and Stamford have I received so many emails, letters and comments from association members, angry Conservative voters and friends who feel utterly betrayed by their MP.”
Members and supporters felt the MP was being “petulant, self-centred and disloyal” and was undermining the Prime Minister.
“Our association are not all hard Brexiteers. The hundreds of emails demanding Nick’s deselection are in the main from moderate long standing Conservatives, not new ex-UKIP members.”
“Sadly, many view Nick as out of touch, arrogant, remote and living in the Westminster bubble. People tell me daily they will not vote Conservative again if he remains our candidate for the next election.”
Mr Sagar said Mr Boles has made his re-selection harder and added: “On Friday night he was, as usual, charming, and yet defensive when addressing questions from our members. But I am not convinced that even he knows whether he should stand again.”
Mr Boles has repeatedly given his views on a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, saying he is taking his stance in the interests of 80,000 Grantham and Stamford residents rather than 150 or so Conservative Party members.
In his Friday Journal column, the MP says he would vote for Brexit in a ‘People’s Vote’ and he opposes a second referendum. He feels the UK is unprepared for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. He voted for the PM’s ‘Deal’, which many commentators describe as a ‘soft’ Brexit and promotes his even softer Norway Plus model, which features many EU characteristics like the Single market and Freedom of Movement but claims to be outside EU political structures.
Even so, this has led the pro-Brexit Leave.EU pressure group to brand Mr Boles a ‘traitor’ along with Pro-Remain Conservative MPs, such as Anna Soubry, leading to clashes between them, as Leave.EU makes direct approaches to Grantham Conservatives, pledging support to help them de-select Mr Boles.
Mr Boles tweeted: "With apologies to Clint Eastwood, I have only one message for the tragic inadequates at http://Leave.eu Go ahead, make my day."
After a further online appeal from Leave.EU yesterday, Mr Boles commented: “The sad sacks at @LeaveEUOfficial clearly put their underpants on the wrong way round this morning.”
Today, Mr Boles attacked David Davis MP, who spoke at an association dinner last year, for a piece he wrote in today’s Daily Telegraph criticising efforts to derail Brexit from anti-Brexit MPs.
The Grantham MP tweeted: “Breath-taking humbug from the old knuckle duster. In 1999 @DavidDavisMP presented the Parliamentary Control of the Executive Bill to transfer treaty-making power to Commons! Now he wants to stop a majority of MPs being able to constrain the government.”