“My constituency voted 68% to Leave the EU. I learnt a lot from this. Most of them are just decent people, not extremists at all. They believed the argument about taking back control. They wanted more money spent at home and not on the EU. And they wanted control of the borders – they’re not extremists. What Soubry’s doing with this argument is saying that every one of the 17 million people who voted leave are extremists. That’s the logic of this. That’s where it leads to. I’ve met some of the new members. They seem to be moderate Brexit, some of them. But if some Brexit people decide to join because they believe that this party is going to keep the referendum promise – well, I’m delighted. And this is from someone who voted Remain.”
This was Anna Soubry on Question Time in 2013 after Ken Clarke called the burka a “bag”. She had no words of criticism for Clarke. Indeed, she backed him and said the burka is a “peculiar concept”. The Boris outrage is rank hypocrisy from Remainers who have said similar about the burka themselves in the past…
Anna Soubry has defeated an attempt to deselect her – as the association chairman behind the plot resigned his post. Guido has previously reported how John Doddy, chairman of Broxtowe Conservatives, was on manoeuvres to remove Soubry as the Tory candidate for the next election. Soubry hit back by reporting Doddy to CCHQ and accusing him of plotting to take her job. Guido now hears that at a meeting of the association executive last week, Doddy lost a no confidence vote 6-0 and he stormed out of the meeting. Doddy has now resigned as chairman with his tail between his legs.
Dear ALL ,
I am currently in the unfortunate position of being conflicted by being the Chairman of the Broxtowe Association but also a long serving well respected local GP .
The current internal conflicts in the Association cannot be resolved by myself as many of the members involved are either patients , ex-patients , relatives of patients etc . Therefore I cannot pick sides or complicate my responsibilities to patients . I must choose being a GP first and politician/chairman secondly .
Therefore I offer my immediate resignation as Chairman but am happy to support the search for my replacement and continue to support our efforts to retain control of BBC in the 2019 elections.
Lets get on and win as one .
Wishing everyone the best
Cllr. Dr. John Doddy (ex-chairman ! )
On Saturday, Soubry held a meeting of local members inviting them to raise concerns about her public positions on Brexit. It ended on amicable terms. Seems Doddy’s ambition was considerably greater than his ability…
Anna Soubry’s Conservative Association chairman has shelved his plot to oust her – for now – and promised to destroy the results of his survey seeking the views of local members about their MP. Guido had revealed maneuvers by Broxtowe Tories chair John Doddy to canvass opinion about Soubs – Doddy claimed that more than 80% of respondents to a survey of her membership said they were unsatisfied with her. Soubry retaliated by reporting her chairman to CCHQ…
Doddy has now written to members:
“Due to outside influences and serious leaks to the media of a variety of information… I am stopping the process… the surveys returned thus far will remain confidential and will be destroyed in due course.”
Anna Soubry has reported her Conservative Association chairman to CCHQ, accusing him of plotting to oust her in order to replace her as the MP for Broxtowe. In a letter sent to her association executive and local Tory councillors, Soubry accuses John Doddy, who himself is a Remainer, of exploiting her views on Brexit to “further your own ambitions to oust me”. She says Doddy has exaggerated the extent of discontent with her among Broxtowe Tories, noting that only one of 17 critical emails sent to the association came from a constituent, and they were not a Tory party member. Soubry says the email campaign against her is “part of a concerted co-ordinated campaign organised by UKIP / Leave.EU” and implies Doddy is in league with a “UKIP infiltrator”. Here is her letter outlining her case against Doddy and her complaint to Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis and CCHQ head of candidates Gareth Fox:
Doddy obviously does harbour ambitions to replace Soubry. His claim that 80% of local members are unhappy with Soubs is bold. There is clearly discontent among some Broxtowe Tories with their MP’s opposition to Brexit and talk of a new party. We will find out how deep that discontent is next month…
Last week Guido revealed Anna Soubry’s association chairman was canvassing the opinion of local Tory members about their MP. The initial results are in, and 80% of Broxtowe Tory members who have replied so far say they are unhappy with Soubry. Trouble ahead…
Anna Soubry’s row with her local association has escalated further, with the embattled Broxtowe MP accusing her own chairman of being “driven by ambition”. After John Doddy sent a survey to local members asking if they were happy with Soubs, she tweeted implying he had motives other than Brexit:
“My Chairman is driven by ambition not Brexit. I know it makes good copy but don’t you think it’s time to heal the divisions and move on?”
Last night a local source told Guido: “atmosphere turning toxic here in Broxtowe”. When an MP is openly attacking her association chairman, you know all is not well…
Anna Soubry has called a crisis meeting of her local Conservative association and admitted that “some members are not happy” with her. Over the weekend Guido revealed that Dr John Doddy, chairman of Broxtowe Conservatives, has been canvassing the opinion of local Tory members about their MP. Soubry has herself also written to members, making clear that, despite her constituency voting to Leave, she supports staying in the single market and a customs union. She writes “I will continue to support the Prime Minister towards this soft Brexit. I believe this is her aim”. And she has called an emergency meeting of local members on Saturday 28 July to discuss her position on Brexit. Here is Soubry’s letter in full:
Soubry’s Broxtowe constituency voted leave with 35,754 votes (54.6% of a 78% turnout). They did not vote to stay in the single market and customs union. This could be a very tough meeting for Soubs…
Arch-remainer Anna Soubry is under pressure following Guido’s revelation that her own constituency Conservative Party association chairman is canvassing the membership on whether they support her or not. Guido takes a look back at her record…
In recent years Soubry has made multiple threats to resign and called for a new party to challenge the Tories. In March 2017 Soubry said:
“If [a new party] could somehow be the voice of a moderate, sensible, forward-thinking, visionary middle way, with open minds — actually things which I’ve believed in all my life — better get on with it.”
In August last year she wrote in the Mail on Sunday:
“Could I ever see myself joining with like-minded people who want to save our country from such an appalling fate? And has that moment arrived yet? The answer to the first question is ‘it is not impossible’; the answer to the second is ‘no’.”
“If it comes to it, I am not going to stay in a party which has been taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson. They are not proper Conservatives. And if that means leaving the party, form some new alliance, God knows I don’t know.”
In July 2016, in the wake of the referendum, May sacked Soubry from her post as small business minister. Soubry’s Broxtowe constituency voted leave with 35,754 votes (54.6% of a 78% turnout). If she quits, it would not be the first time Soubry has left the Tories. She quit the Tories in 1981 – reportedly to join the SDP. If she doesn’t jump of her own accord this time, she may be pushed…
Guido contacted Dr John Doddy, chairman of the Broxtowe Conservative Association, to confirm the authenticity of this leaked membership survey. He said “no comment”, which Guido takes as confirmation. Association chairman do not do this if they are happy with their MP. It takes a lot to bring about the ousting of a Tory MP, Soubry’s flirtation with the idea of a centrist party even more than her Europhilia will not go down well with Tory activists. This does not bode well for her…
UPDATE:Guido understands that Anna Soubry has also written to all members of her constituency association.
UPDATE II:Readers in Broxtowe are sending in their responses…
A Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Anna Soubry’s constituency is running an EU-backed ‘Brexit advice service’ to spread pro-EU propaganda. Broxtowe CAB in Nottinghamshire is understood to have won a contract to run a service called Europe Direct for the whole of the East Midlands. The initiative, which is part-funded by the EU – and therefore by taxpayers -says its purpose is:
“To provide information about Brexit negotiations as they progress, information on EU citizens’ rights and engage with younger people especially focusing on their future relations with Europe, but also to answer general questions about the EU, its institutions and programmes. The project will provide information to the public by telephone, email and in person.”
British MEPs are concerned this is effectively the same as establishing an EU office in the town which could be used for partisan political purposes. UKIP MEP Jonathan Bullock said:
“One would like to think the CAB is a neutral organisation – historically the CAB existed to provide free legal advice to anyone who entered its premises… This looks more like an attempt to influence public opinion during the second phase of the negotiating process, than any desire to provide clear legal advice on the outcome of those talks. Nor is it the job of a British high street charity to ‘answer general questions about the EU, its institutions and programmes’. If the EU wants to open an office in every town it is free to do so. It should not be a cuckoo in the nest of a town centre charity in order to do so.”
The initiative already has a website and is building a social media presence. CAB were contacted for comment. Sure it’s just a coincidence they chose to base it there…
UPDATE: Citizens Advice makes clear the project is co-funded between the European Commission and Citizens Advice Broxtowe, who would be providing advice on EU-related issues even if this project was not in place, and all advice provided by Citizens Advice is – and always will be – impartial and free from political interference.
Anna Soubry’s rebellion was in spite of her election promise to Broxtowe voters that: “if you vote for me, it is also a vote for Theresa May” and claim that people should vote for her “to get a good deal for Brexit”. Soubry’s constituency is majority (54.6%) leave. Did she mislead her majority leave constituents?
Late last night Soubs tweeted apparently in support of arch-remainer Andrew Adonis’s suggestion that this was the “first step towards defeat of Brexit.”
The Tory rebel Remainers celebrated defeating the government and provoked fury among colleagues by downing glasses of white wine in the Pugin Room following the vote. Rebel ringleaders Anna Soubry, Antoinette Sandbach, Heidi Allen and Bob Neill got the party started, jubilantly scrolling through Twitter on their phones before they were joined by Nicky Morgan and chief Brexit-hater Dominic Grieve, who was applauded on his way in.
The festivities went down like a cup of sick with fellow Tory MPs, one of whom commented: “If I did what they did and started quaffing champagne afterwards I would expect to be deselected”. Another watching MP said of the raucous Remainer party: “Just when the polls had started to turn these sh*ts hand the momentum back to Labour”. A Number 10 aide hit back at Soubry’s claim to have put party before country: “Total rubbish for the Remainers to say they have put country before party. All they’ve done is damage the UK’s position going into the negotiations”. Stephen Hammond has already been sacked from his job as party vice-chairman tonight, expect there to be local consequences for the other rebels too…
The champagne-guzzling ultra-Remainers of the metropolitan elite will gather at a 5-star hotel next month to toast the EU and plot the reversal of Brexit. More than 300 wealthy Europhiles will dine in opulence at the Jumierah Carlton Tower, Knightsbridge, where surrounded by Viennese crystal chandeliers in the art-deco ballroom they will discuss how to undo the democratic will of 17 million people. Tickets for the exclusive “Exit from Brexit” dinner cost £200-a-head – the cash will swell the anti-Brexit war chest of Nick Clegg’s agitators Open Reason. Clegg himself, flanked by acolytes Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry, will address the Brussels-backing glitterati as they sit at tables booked for £2,000 each. Invitations to the private soiree proudly state: “our future lies in Europe”.
Press Association has some curious Anna Soubry quotes from a fringe event on immigration yesterday. According to their report she said it is a “myth” that migrants use public services because they are “thick young men”.
“Go to Boston. Boston apparently has some of the highest numbers of migrant workers. It is a myth that these people are clogging up our social services and social housing. It is not true, because most of the people who work in Boston, to put it crudely, are thick young men. The last place you’ll find them is at the Pilgrim hospital [in Boston], apart from those that work in it.”
UPDATE: Soubry is claiming she has been misquoted by Press Association. She reckons she said “fit young men”.
UPDATE II: Here is the audio. She said “fit”.
Sounds like the PA reporter had a particularly bad conference hangover.