Johnny Mercer gave Guido a two word response for pointing out he’d ignored his own constituency referendum poll: “Total bollocks”. Johnny says his poll – which found 74% backed Leave – was “unscientific” and therefore he will be voting Remain anyway. Local voters aren’t impressed, mainly because of a promise Mercer made them on his website. This pledge is still up for all to see:
Step one: Promise your constituents “Direct Democracy – you call the shots”.
Step two: Poll them on their views on the referendum.
Step three: Ignore them when the results don’t agree with your career plans…
To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Tory MP Johnny Mercer finally came out for Remain yesterday. This morning he writes for ConHome calling Farage “pathetic“. What Johnny doesn’t mention is that just a few weeks ago, when he was supposedly still making up his mind, he polled his constituents about how they would be voting. Over 400 responded, with 74.1% of Plymouth Moor View residents backing Leave. Just 19.2% supported Remain. Mercer won his seat by 1,000 votes in 2015, with UKIP coming third with over 9,000 votes. Ammo for them in 2020…
Dozens of names have been culled from the Tory candidates list in the past two weeks, in a purge that is causing considerable ructions behind the scenes. Guido is aware of several candidates who were contacted by CCHQ and told they were being kicked off the list, with no explanation why. They believe the number booted out in similar fashion is well into double figures. The curious move has gone down very badly as the chances of appeal in time for the 2020 election are remote. Candidates are mystified as to why they have been dropped – the names include people who fought seats in 2015 and performed above expectations, others are highly thought-of up-and-comers who had support locally, in CCHQ and in parliament. Meanwhile many weak candidates remain on the list. People are very, very p*ssed off…
Downing Street/Remain have been rattled by Vote Leave’s recent strategy shift towards proposing a post-Brexit policy platform. In the last week or so Gove, Boris and Priti have begun to offer alternative policies for a Leave government, such as an Australian-style immigration points system and scrapping VAT on domestic fuel. Craig Oliver has been heard privately complaining that Leave ministers talking about policy are breaching purdah rules – a bizarre argument since they are not proposing policies for this government. Also amusing to hear Remain claim Leave aren’t campaigning fairly. This new tactic from Vote Leave grabs headlines, is difficult to rebut and is clearly spooking Number 10…
Oh dear… according to Quentin Letts, newly converted Remain supporter Kelly Tolhurst personally told him she was a Brexiteer:
Kelly says she is “surprised” by Quentin’s tweet because she “only finally decided last week”. Oh really…
When she was fighting Mark Reckless in Rochester last year, Tolhurst included an anti-EU immigration pledge as one of the six pillars of her campaign, promising “action – not just talk”. She said she wanted the time from which EU migrants can claim benefits “extended to five years… immediately”. More than the PM achieved in his renegotiation. Now she says the renegotiation has secured the immigration changes she desired. What was that about “Action – not just talk”?
Back in 2012 she even supported Reckless’s campaign against the EU:
She campaigned and won her constituency as an avowed Eurosceptic. She told journalists she was a Leaver. What possibly could have changed Kelly’s mind?
Tory MP Kelly Tolhurst, who claimed to be a Eurosceptic worried about EU immigration in order to defeat UKIP’s Mark Reckless, has endorsed Remain:
“Having listened to the debate, looked at the facts, and spoken to prominent campaigners on both sides, I have now made my own decision that I will be voting to remain on the 23rd June. I believe that the risks to my country will be greater if we leave than if we remain part of the EU at this point in time.”
Careerist Kelly previously claimed to have personally complained to the PM about the impact of EU immigration on her constituency. This is a u-turn of Makian proportions. Expect UKIP to take full advantage…
Former Cameron aide Patrick Rock has been convinced of five counts of making indecent images of children. Developing…
The Tory who stopped Nigel Farage winning in Thanet South has failed to block police extending the time available for their investigation of his election expenses spending. Why did the Tories try to block the police from investigating this seat – unlike in the twenty or so other seats where similar allegations have been made?[…]
The coroner has ruled that that there was no link between Elliott Johnson being made redundant from Conservative Way Forward and alleged bulling by ‘Tatler Tory’ Mark Clarke. The inquest heard from CWF’s Paul Abbott about a bitter feud between him and Clarke, however the coroner warned the Johnson family QC that linking the redundancy and Clarke was “irrelevant… I will not allow this to degenerate into a trial of Mark Clarke”.[…]
Former Cameron aide Patrick Rock’s trial has begun – he stands accused of downloading indecent images of children. Rock admits downloading 19 images of girls aged 10-14 dressed in bikinis and ballet tutus. The prosecution allege the children were wearing “sexualised or erotic clothing… in a pose that is deliberately sexual in tone”.[…]
2016’s first quarter saw a bumper month for parties vying for local election funds, with the Tories raising £6,744,212 and Labour £5,486,345. This represents around 50% less than last year for both major parties in the same period (the larger ammount is to be expected in election year).[…]
In the top photo, “Kent Conservatives In” activists pose for a picture as members of the local Tory Remain campaign.
In the second photo, “Sussex Conservatives In” activists pose for a similar snap.
Notice anything odd?
The pavement is the giveaway – the photos were taken in exactly the same place, they just swapped the banner.[…]