The second referendum backing Tory MP has so alienated members of his constituency association that he didn’t even turn up at the Bracknell Conservative Association’s Special General Meeting. Unsurprisingly they voted that they had no confidence in Philip Lee. Contemptible cowardice or arrogance from the man who had “Philip Lee, Great British Hero” posters printed. Perhaps both.
UPDATE: Lee has issued a statement:
In the future, I may or may not decide that I can continue serving as a Conservative Member of Parliament and the Bracknell Conservative Association may or may not decide that they wish to readopt me as the Conservative Party’s candidate. But one thing is for sure: we will not be forced into taking a decision one way or the other by this orchestrated, destructive campaign from outside the Party that has done nothing but spread hatred, intimidation and distrust over a single issue. That is not the Conservative way; it is not the Bracknell way.
In reality, according to Guido’s co-conspirator in Bracknell, the only external people visible at the meeting weree about 10 or so People’s Vote ‘protesters’ outside the hotel where the meeting was being held. One had a placard “I support Phillip Lee”. Here’s the co-conspirator’s report
Overall, the meeting was good-natured but a few clashes between people. About 150 wish people attended I reckon. At the beginning of the meeting, the Chairman made it clear that the percentage would not be released, only whether the motion was passed or not – this is apparently in accordance with the constituency constitution (this caused some commotion). He absolutely refuted claims of ‘entryism’ suggesting new members were from both sides of the Brexit argument.
I got chatting to someone who had only been a member for 8 or 9 months (but life-long Tory voter) and he was present at the last AGM where Phillip Lee turned up but said nothing the whole meeting (just looked at his phone). This was brought up by a number of members, in addition to him not even bothering to attend this meeting. This wound a lot of people up. There were quite a few life-long Tories who had re-joined recently.
Many people who spoke mentioned his position on Brexit and lack of support for the government but also mentioned his general attitude (not responding to emails, etc). Some councillors refuted this claim. Many scoffed at his comment about foreign money being involved in this action against him.
The most common argument for not supporting this amendment was that it was not the right time; this would play into the hands of the opposition, Phillip may run as an independent and split the Tory vote, etc. These suggestions didn’t go down well. Nothing positive really said about Phillip.
One laughable suggestion was that we should vote to reject this motion because the meeting alone would be enough to help change Phillip’s behaviour – “that boat has sailed” was heard after that comment.
Probably 90% people spoke against Phillip – bringing up all the above points – many of which got lots of applause. He just isn’t well liked.
That last point is a common refrain from people who have to deal with him…