May Refuses to Rule Out Second Referendum

When asked about a second referendum at PMQs this afternoon, the Prime Minister refused to take the opportunity to oppose it. Instead she said that “the deal that the government has put forward has been rejected by this House, of course the Leader of the Opposition’s deal has been rejected by this House, a second referendum has been rejected by this House.” Why didn’t she just categorically say that she will not hold a second referendum..?

UPDATE: A Government source tells Guido that “Other than revoking Article 50, we’re not preempting and not ruling out anything before these talks – otherwise there’s no point having the talks.” Staggering…

People’s Vote Bottle People’s Vote

The People’s Vote campaign’s shambolic week has culminated in this hilarious impromptu press conference outside Parliament with the usual Remoaner cast lining up SNP-style to sorrowfully explain why they won’t be tabling an amendment calling for a second referendum next week. “Great British Hero” Philip Lee’s face is a picture…

Predictably they are trying to lay the blame at the feet of Corbyn for refusing to back a second referendum, rather than their own incompetence, or the fact that there isn’t a majority for a second referendum in Parliament or in the country. Have they ever stopped to consider why Corbyn isn’t falling over himself to join up with a campaign run by Blair, Campbell and Mandelson which is teeing itself up to become a new third party….

Remainers To Formally Launch ‘Conservatives For A People’s Vote’ on Thursday

This morning Philip Lee, Dominic Grieve, and Heidi Allen met to plan the launch of ‘Conservatives for a People’s Vote’ which formally relaunches on Thursday at 8 in the Shard. A shiny skyscraper in central London, surrounded by bankers… That’ll win over Mansfield…

The group is expecting to receive explicit support from eleven Tory MPs, and plan to use the defeat of the PM’s deal to recruit more. Heidi Allen, who is voting for May’s deal, attended the planning meeting in the knowledge that it would be voted down. Her plan is to argue that she tried to pass the deal but now the only way out is a second referendum. Duplicitous…

Guido understands that public affairs agency Hanover Communications is managing the campaign. In other news, Hanover Senior Adviser Steve Richards appeared on Sky News earlier today arguing for a second referendum. Fancy that! 

Philip Lee Sows “Distrust and Disenfranchisement”

The Tory Remainer’s pin-up boy Philip Lee has been touring the “People’s Vote” fringes at Tory Conference today, preaching to the Remainer faithful about the need for a second referendum and even talking about quitting the Conservatives.

There were so few Tories at either event he would hardly notice the difference. They were less Tory fringe events than “bash the Tories” fringe events…

He’s changed his tune from 2016, when he told his constituents on his personal website:

“I have received a great deal of correspondence from constituents who have signed the petition to hold a second referendum… To willingly ignore the view of the electorate, however, would entrench divisions and accentuate the distrust and disenfranchisement which we urgently need to address. The British people have spoken. It is now the duty of all Parliamentarians to respond in the best interests of our great and good country, as we move into a future outside of the EU…”

Why does Phil now think it’s a good idea to “entrench divisions” and accentuate “distrust and disenfranchisement” today?

Phillip Lee Defends Plan to Teach Lags Martial Arts

Remain martyr Dr Phillip Lee is standing by his crackers plan to school lags in… martial arts. That’s right, take Britain’s criminals and teach them how to… beat people up. Genius…

Don’t think this will fly…

Philip Lee and His Three Staff Now Sharing One Desk

Poor old Philip Lee. Yesterday Guido revealed he has had two of the three rooms that made up his office taken away from him by the whips as a punishment beating for his flounce out. He has been stuck in one of the smallest rooms on the parliamentary estate, described as a “broom cupboard”. This morning Guido hears Lee and his three staff are having to share a single desk in the tiny office. There is talk of them even pursuing a legal route to secure better working conditions. Guido also understands the parliamentary authorities this morning ordered Lee to remove his car from his desirable parking space in Speaker’s Court, which he uses every day. He will now have to park in the underground car park.

Lee can hardly complain given he tried to blow up the government on the day that, if May had lost the votes, Corbyn could have been heading to Number 10. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh…

Philip Lee Moved Into One of the Smallest Rooms on Parliamentary Estate

Before today Philip Lee had three rooms that made up his offices in parliament. As a consequence of his resignation, the two offices shown here are being taken away from him. Lee will now be stuck in the smallest of the three, which is one of the smallest rooms on the estate. It’s also miles from everything else.

Lee eventually only ended up abstaining. Was it worth it?

“Philip Lee: Great British Hero” Placards Spotted in Westminster

Did he make them himself?

H/T Giles Edwards

Lee and Grieve Dined Together Last Night

According to the popular Eye Spy MP account, quitter Philip Lee dined with arch-Remain rebel Dominic Grieve last night. Lee and Grieve are old friends. Did Grieve put him up to it? 

Meanwhile, Guido hears there is some doubt as to whether Lee told his wife he was quitting. Mrs Lee came into the back of the room halfway through his speech at Bright Blue. When he resigned, according to someone sitting near Mrs Lee, she went white, looked completely shocked and exclaimed to someone next to her: “He’s just resigned!”. The Lees have a new baby and Philip has just given himself a £30,000 pay cut. Surely he told her what he was about to do? Lee didn’t tell his Secretary of State and his association chairman found out via Twitter

Philip Lee’s Association Considering Deselecting Him at Next Election

Philip Lee’s local Tory association in Leave-voting Bracknell is considering deselecting him at the next election following his resignation this morning. Chris Boutle, chairman of Bracknell Conservatives, tells Chris Hope they won’t deselect him now but will consider his behaviour today when deciding whether to reselect him at the next election:

“The constituency voted for leave and although there are a few very enthusiastic remainers, the majority of his party certainly wants to leave. A number of those who voted for remain are now prepared to accept the democratic decision and leave. Because we don’t have an election looming I don’t believe de-selection is a sensible thing to do however if an election were to be called it will count against him.”

That’s gone well for him.

UPDATE: A local Tory gets in touch: “He only made his final decision in the early hours of this morning. While deselection not certain, it looks likely.”

Philip Lee Resigns Over Brexit

Tory MP for Bracknell and Justice Minister, Dr Phillip Lee, has resigned at a Bright Blue conference of Tory wets. He says the government’s Brexit policy threatens human rights – skip to the very end of the video to hear him flounce out.

“I am incredibly sad to have had to announce my resignation as a minister in Her Majesty’s Government so that I can better speak up for my constituents and country over how Brexit is currently being delivered.”

Who?

UPDATE: Phillip Lee says in his resignation statement:

“As a Member of Parliament, I also have a major responsibility to my constituency of Bracknell…I cannot ignore that it is to them that I owe my first responsibility.”

His Bracknell constituency voted leave (53.9%). Phillip Lee has delusions of becoming leader of the party. According to a government Brexiter source,  he’ll be lucky if he isn’t deselected by his Association at the next election…

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