The Owen Paterson farce has created a major rift in the Tory Party, between the marginal 2019ers, and the old boys with their second jobs. Following Chris Chopes’s objection to last night’s motion, the 2019 intake group lit up with fury. The Guardian’s Aubrey Allegretti reported messages including:
PPS Paul Holmes called him a “selfish twat”, a comment that fellow PPS Sara Britcliffe agreed with, replying “This”.
Still, Guido hears Sara can’t be too upset about Owen Paterson. Since the 2019 election, one question that’s frustrated Tory whips is how to deal with the WhatsApp chat limit of 256 members, given their 360 Tory MPs. Initially they tried cajoling their rank and file over to the Signal messaging app, which has no chat size limits, to no avail.
Now the Tory MP WhatsApp chat operates a one-in-one-out policy. Naturally Paterson was unceremoniously booted out last week and Guido hears Britcliffe nabbed the vacant chat spot. Whether her constituents see this small upside to the lobbying scandal remains to be seen…