Nadine Dorries couldn’t make the ERG’s 6pm meeting last night and so instead has sent a list of seven key points she would have liked to have raised. She hits out at members who have “let the ERG down as a group”, those who see themselves as “above” sending a letter, and those who are constantly briefing journalists.
Read the mammoth message in full here:
At 6pm, I will be chairing the finance bill on the floor of the house and therefore, cannot attend the meeting.If I were there, I would be very, very keen to speak and make the following points. I would be grateful if the chairman would acknowledge my comments during the meeting.
- There are a handful of you who have badly let the ERG down as a group, opening us up to ridicule and abuse in the media and online. I am referring to those MPs who have not put their letters in. It is being said that you have let the side down and are not the type of people anyone would want to go into battle with. You have left others to do the dirty work of pushing forward the debate and hid under the covers. Only one person in the group has an excuse that is even fractionally credible, the rest are transparent and risible.
- There is an assumption that some believe themselves to be ‘superior’ or ‘senior’ and above the tackiness of submitting a letter. You are not. We are all equal, all elected members, all have one vote and should all have each other’s back.
- The excuse that some will wait until the vote is lost, and it will be, are doing neither the party or the country a favour. No10 are reportedly already preparing for a general election. Your strategy is high risk and dangerous as what could very quickly follow, after a second lost vote, if there were one, would be a vote of confidence in the government. If the worst were to happen, a general election would follow.
- We either change the PM or face an election. None of want to do this, we would all prefer an easier life, but there can be no other outcome and those who are too self important to put in their letters at this stage, will deliver the latter. I cannot think of any greater imperative to submitting a letter and changing leader than the thought that we are faced with a general election and some of our precious colleagues, new MPs with barely any time in their seat, walking into an election 5 points behind in the polls with a communist government waiting in the wings.
- It is not a good plan to tip the media off about a meeting in No10 and then refuse to give the media comment. It results in ridicule of the whole group rather than the few holding the meeting.
- Certain members of the group are constantly briefing Beth Rigby and Laura Kuenssberg. As someone who pays my dues to the group (and I would like to see a list of those who do compared to how many are on this WhatsApp) less briefing and more strategy might be good? Beth and Laura are both professionals and great journalists, but no one on the group has any professional experience in comms and I think that is beginning to show.
- The DUP mean business. Not one of us travelling to Brussels or meeting with the PM is going to get her to change her mind, however well the meetings go. There is a belief in the party that the DUP will buckle and come back to the fold. That is an absolute underestimation of the determination of the DUP. They understand principle and the art of negotiation better than most. Our majority has almost left the room as a result of this deal. We all know what will follow.