Fresh Deselection Bid Launched Against Sam Gyimah

After the previous attempt by East Surrey Conservatives to hold a no confidence vote in Sam Gyimah was spiked in March, a group of unhappy members have launched a fresh bid to oust the hardline Remainer MP. A petition signed by a “significant” number of local members was delivered to the Association Chairman last night, calling for a Special General Meeting to debate a reselection motion within 28 days. This would not deselect Gyimah of its own accord but would force it to go to a postal ballot of the full membership when Gyimah applies for reselection himself…

Gyimah’s recent public threats to take action against a new Tory leader over Brexit have certainly not endeared him to the local membership, disgruntled members insist it is not just his Brexit stance they object to but also his “appalling track record as a constituency MP”. If they get their way Gyimah might be getting his ‘People’s Vote’ after all – in himself…

Gyimah Claims ’30 Plus’ Tory MPs Would Act to Stop No Deal

Sam Gyimah won’t reveal how far his ’30 plus’ Tory MPs would be prepared to go to try to stop no deal. Are they really going to try to usher in Corbyn’s Marxist anti-Semites instead if they can’t get their way?

Gyimah Withdraws

Pro-second referendum candidate Sam Gyimah has pulled out of the race after being unable to secure the required proposer, seconder, and six signatories required.

He has released this statement:

“I entered the Conservative Party leadership contest to broaden the debate and bring the diverse views of millions on Brexit to the fore.

It has been a tremendous privilege to be able to make the case for a new referendum as a credible solution to break the Brexit deadlock.

I am hugely appreciative of the support I have received, both in public and in private.

But I have reached the conclusion that, having entered the race at such a late stage, there simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support, and I have decided to step back.

My purpose in campaigning for a solution to the break deadlock, and bringing new ideas to help my party win over modern Britain, will not change.

I wish all the contenders the very best at this challenging time as they make the case to take our country forward.”

Sam Finally Has a Backer

Sam Gymah surprised most in Westminster by jumping into the Tory Leadership race last weekend attempting to ‘broaden the debate’. Where has Guido heard that one before…

Now he has secured his first public backer, Tory favourite Dominic Grieve. Just one public backer still puts him in last place of Guido’s list, and seven MPs away from the nomination threshold. He claims that he has others supporters who have just not publicised their support. Sam tells Guido that on top of Grieve, “[Guto] Bebb and [Great British Hero Phillip] Lee are among my supporters.” He’s fishing in a very small second referendum pool…]

View the full list here: order-order.com/backers

Get in touch with any updates…

UPDATE: Philip Lee has publicly confirmed his and Guto Bebb’s support now too, meaning in terms of public declarations Sam has leapfrogged Andrea Leadsom into last place but one…

Who’s Backing Who: Sam Joins Race, Kit Advances

No change to the order at the front of the pack since lunchtime yesterday. The Saj added his old running mate Stephen Crabb and more surprisingly the full-throttle Brexiteer Lucy Allan. In the middle of the pack Kit Malthouse has leapfrogged ahead of Esther McVey, who now has Rory nipping at her high heels. The thirteenth entrant, Sam Gyimah, has yet to win a single backer…

View the full list here: order-order.com/backers

Get in touch with any updates…

Gyimah Proposes Rigged Referendum

Two options for leave but just one for Remain. Designed to let Remain come through the middle with far fewer than 17.4 million votes…

Sam Gyimah Enters Tory Leadership Race as Second Referendum Candidate

Gyimah becomes the 13th candidate to have officially declared. He currently has 0 supporters. Well this is just getting silly now…

Gyimah: Deselection Attempts Driven By “Tory Heads and UKIP Hearts”

Guido would gently suggest they’re more likely to have been driven by his reneging on manifesto commitments and backing a second referendum…

Hardline Remainers Come Out Against May’s New Deal

While Brexiteers are keeping their own counsel until the Attorney General and the Star Council of Brexit lawyers come back with their formal legal opinions on May’s latest offering, Remainers have wasted no time in coming out to batter her new deal. Despite Brexiteers being the ones always branded headbangers, as usual it’s the Remainers who kicking up a fuss while Brexiteers are open to compromise…

Dominic Grieve has said this morning that it “doesn’t make any significant difference”, digging in on his fundamental position that he won’t back any deal unless May commits to holding a second referendum on it. Sam Gyimah dismissively says “We’re being played!” while comparing Brexit to Iraq. The mercurial Damian Collins also declared that he wouldn’t be budging last night…

There are still niggling concerns over what May has secured. Most pro-Brexit lawyers Guido has spoken to so far believe that the UK’s unilateral declaration will carry weight in future legal disputes if the EU does not raise any formal objections to its inclusion alongside the rest of the Treaty, there are still doubts about what position it leaves the UK in overall. Varadkar once again displayed his ham-fisted lack of political judgement with a bullish tone at his press conference this morning…

May said last night that the changes guaranteed that the backstop would not become the “template” for the future relationship, as EU negotiators boasted after the deal was first agreed. Ultimately MPs will be making a political judgement as much as anything today. May’s changes are legally binding, but are they enough? Does the risk of an even softer Brexit or no Brexit at all justify voting for the deal as the least worst option still available? Nick Boles’ ego is now so large that he is already threatening Brexiteers to “take the win” or else “we will do whatever it takes to frustrate you.” Brexiteers are still reserving their judgement, Remainers have showed their cards and made clear their only interest now is sabotaging Brexit…

Gyimah Loyalists Fire Back at No Confidence Plotters

The battle between plotters and loyalists in Sam Gyimah’s East Surrey Conservative Association is heating up – loyalists are hitting back against the claims that Gyimah doesn’t spend time in the constituency. Now sources close to the Association Chair have accused the plotters of leaking “falsehoods” to the media and not having the “courage” to challenge Sam to his face, telling Guido:

“This group have leaked falsehoods to the media, anonymously. They have submitted their motion, in secret, without the knowledge of their association. They did not have the courage to do so to Sam’s face on the multiple occasions he has appeared before us to explain his actions. They are not representative of the association.”

Punchy…

Sam Gyimah Plays Down No Confidence Bid

Sam Gyimah has played down the local no confidence bid revealed by Guido on Friday night, telling the Today Programme:

“There’s no deselection procedure, there was some news at the weekend… there’s a letter of no confidence that was handed to my association chairman, it’s signed by four people… I think one of them is a lapsed member of the Association…

Local sources are disputing this, they insist that the letter had five signatories, none of whom were lapsed members. All were members of the Executive, including two local Councillors (one district and one county) and a former Association Treasurer. These are well-established members of the local Party, not fringe members or new members…

The number of signatories to the letter is not of any significance in itself – only two were required to put the motion on the agenda for the AGM. The only number that counts is the number of votes for the no confidence motion later this month…

ConHome’s Mark Wallace reported how frosty the mood was towards Gyimah at the Executive meeting on Friday night, with Gyimah reportedly looking “visibly concerned”. Gyimah himself took a conciliatory tone in response to Guido’s initial report. Interestingly, Brandon Lewis has promised that CCHQ will step in to block the deselection of any Tory MP, provided they back the PM’s deal. Gyimah unequivocally told Today just now that he wouldn’t be supporting it…

No Confidence Bid Launched Against Sam Gyimah

Guido has learned a significant group of senior East Surrey Conservatives have launched a no confidence bid against MP Sam Gyimah tonight. Following a Special Executive Meeting in Limpsfield tonight where Gyimah was summoned to account for recent actions, members were left dissatisfied with his explanation and have decided to give formal notice to the Association Chairman that a motion of no confidence will be brought against Gyimah. It will be voted on at the East Surrey AGM at the end of March…

Local members have been unhappy with Gyimah for some time, they say he is seldom seen at events in the constituency. One local member said Gyimah “treats us a vote source, not a community he wants to play a part in.” He is so rarely spotted that activists have taken to nicknaming him “Where’s Sam?”…

Local members are particularly aggrieved as they feel Gyimah was not honest with them about his resignation to support a second referendum. Gyimah first emailed his local party on 1st December to explain his resignation, with the email making no mention at all of his shift to Remain, despite him having endorsed a second referendum the same day. It was so ambiguously worded that many local members initially thought he had resigned to join the ERG…

After multiple complaints to the local Chair that Gyimah was telling members one thing while doing another in Westminster, Gyimah was asked to email members again on 14th January and the 28th, where he still failed to come clean about his support for a second referendum and even claimed that he had still not made his mind up about which Brexit option he was supporting:

“With so much in flux and events changing on a daily basis, I am yet to make a final decision on the different approaches being discussed in the media. My criteria for evaluating the options as we go forward are: I will support a deal that takes us out of the EU, that does not damage our interests, protects business (on which so many livelihoods in East Surrey depend), and is potentially negotiable with the EU…

“…I have said that if parliament were unable to resolve the deadlock, then as a last resort, I will support giving the people a final say in a Second Referendum.”

This was the final straw for many members, anyone who reads the news was well aware that Gyimah was already a fully signed-up member of the second referendum brigade – he even launched the hapless ‘Right to Vote’ campaign alongside Phillip Lee on 17th January. Even this week he has still been telling local activists entirely contradictory things about his position. That frustration has now bubbled up to the surface, now it looks like Gyimah will have to face a ‘People’s Vote’ of his own…

UPDATE: Senior sources in the East Surrey Association have played down the significance of the no confidence bid, while there is unhappiness at his support for a second referendum they say that the Association as a whole is still generally supportive of Gyimah. The extent of that support will be revealed later this month…

Tory People’s Vote Campaign Loses Most of its MPs Despite Burning Through £40,000 of Dark Money

The Tory awkward squad launched their own “distinctive” People’s Vote campaign last month under the excruciatingly bad name-pun of ‘Right to Vote’. At the time of their launch Right to Vote widely claimed to have 10 Tory MPs on board, although Phillip Lee only counted eight at the launch event – Sam Gyimah, Heidi Allen, Dominic Grieve, Justine Greening, Guto Bebb, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and himself.

That number appears to have shrunk even further by the time of their latest ‘intervention’ this week, with just four MPs putting their name to their letter calling for Brexit to be delayed – Gyimah, Lee, Grieve and Bebb along with two hardline Remainer Lords. They seemed so desperate for MP support that the letter even originally listed “Baroness Altmann MP” as a signatory before the amusing mishap was corrected…

Incredibly, Right to Vote have reportedly spent a whopping £40,000 so far, despite not even having a website or a Twitter account at the time they launched, and their woeful lack of impact generally. As a campaigning organisation specifically made up of members from only one party they also clearly satisfy the Electoral Commission’s definition of a ‘members association’, which means they have should have registered with the Electoral Commission and declared every donation they have received over £7,500 by now – they haven’t. By law, the public have a right to know exactly whose dark money they’ve been fruitlessly burning through…

Science Minister Resigns to Vote Against May’s Deal, Cites EU Attitude Over Gallileo

Sam Gyimah has resigned as Universities and Science Minister to vote against May’s deal, citing the EU’s attitude over the Gallileo Satellite programme as an example of the difficulties ahead with this deal. He was a remainer, very much part of the Cameron liberal-conservative tendency, he has posted on Facebook his reasons for resigning:

I will vote against the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement.

After careful consideration and reflection, I cannot support the Government’s deal and as such, I have tended my resignation as Universities and Science Minister.

This line struck Guido as echoing Boris Johnson

What is the alternative, I hear people say? Sometimes it seems our horizons have been narrowed and our expectations lowered to the point where potentially crippling ourselves politically and economically for decades to come is seen as a success we should welcome.

Sam was seen lunching with Jo Johnson and Justine Greening this week, so don’t expect him to join the ERG. He won’t be the last to resign…

Tories Queue Up to Blast Trump

May on Trump:

“I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far right views wherever we hear them.”

Other Tory MPs and ministers have been somewhat more direct:

Can’t wait for the state visit…

Liz Truss: Barking Dogs Deter Drones

A Liz Truss special at Justice questions. Keep an eye on Sam Gyimah’s face…

Seen Elsewhere

NHS Cash for New Labour SpAds NHS Cash for New Labour SpAds