Eric Forth provided so much material for this blog that it is only right that we pay our respects. It was only a week or two ago that Eric Forth, when Ming stood up to ask the PM a question about the pensions crisis, boomed “Declare your interest!”. The House of Commons collapsed into laughter. Ming was deflated and unable to recover from the well-timed interjection.
Parliament will be worse off and shall miss his colourful waistcoats, his wit and his determination to stand in the way of over-regulation and superfluous legislation. He was never happier than when blocking some petty bill to legislate on something unnecessary.
It would be something of an insult to select a touchy-feely, tree-hugging A-lister for his seat. No doubt his true-blue Bromley and Chislehurst constituency Conservative association will make up their own minds and honour his memory with an appropriately Thatcherite successor.
Guido will be drinking to his memory this afternoon.
“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”