Contrary to an exit without agreement, several conservative deputies choose to go as independent to the elections
The ‘tories’ rebels disagree with Johnson
Rita Álvarez Tudela. London – Sunday, November 10, 2019 – Updated at 06: 01h.
Until four months ago he was the British Minister of Economy and Finance and a respected politician in conservative ranks, but now Philip Hammond has decided to retire – after 22 years as a parliamentarian – for his deep clashes over Brexit with the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
The deputy for Runnymede and Weybridge, who lost the whip of the party last month, after opposing leaving the EU without an agreement, cannot run as parliamentarian for the conservative party in these general elections. At 63, Hammond is the last of the 21 rebels tory(conservatives) – who voted in September in favor of the Benn law to avoid a Brexit without agreement – who decides to announce that he is withdrawing from the ranks of his party.
In a letter to his constituents, Hammond stressed that he could only present himself as a candidate if he was willing to oppose an official candidate of his own party, but pointed out that he was not prepared to do so. Thus, he was saddened to find himself in this situation after 45 years as a member of the conservative party, 22 years of service as a deputy, 12 years as a spokesman in the opposition bank, more than nine years as cabinet minister and, more recently , as holder of the Treasury portfolio. "If I fight in the general election as an independent conservative candidate against an official party candidate, I would cease to be a member of the party," Hammond explained in his letter. However, he made it clear that he does not give up and that he will continue to defend a “broad, progressive, pro-business base and supporter of a center-right party in the markets”.
Along the same lines, the former minister of Theresa May announced that he will remain a member of the party and will continue to defend the need to do whatever is necessary to achieve a close and negotiated trade and security partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU in the future.
His resignation occurs while another rebel tory, former justice minister David Gauke, accused the government of breaking a promise to give parliamentarians the option of a vote, thus deciding on the extension of the post-Brexit transition period and preventing London from leaving the EU without agreement.
campaign Last Tuesday night, Johnson officially launched the campaign to win the general election, positioning himself as someone who would “cheer up, but not make fun of” entrepreneurs, while painting his opponent, Jeremy Corbyn, as someone who demonizes billionaires with "taste and revenge." In an article in the conservative newspaper TelegraphJohnson explained the priorities of the manifesto of his party, in which Brexit, the public health system (NHS) and education occupy the top of the table, among others, the same areas in which he has focused his message since he was elected leader in the summer.
Despite his unpopularity among some figures and sectors of his party, Johnson was convinced to defend that Brexit would unlock billions in investments for the United Kingdom, while accusing Labor of wanting to delay it further. In that line, the prime minister announced a new battery of electoral promises, which include building 40 new hospitals, increasing funds for each school and putting more police on the street.
Another rebel who left the conservative ranks was the former Minister of Education, Justine Greening, who openly acknowledged this week that she would find it difficult to vote for Johnson's party: “I really don't want to see us move on with what I think would be a very nice deal harmful to the United Kingdom. " Therefore, it would be very difficult for me to vote for conservatives, if I am seeing what they represent in Brexit, ”Greening said in a radio magazine.
Anne Milton, another of the 21 parliamentarians who lost the whip (party discipline) of the conservative party, announced Tuesday that she will run for the fifth time as a candidate for the Guildford constituency in Surrey, where she has a majority of 17,000 votes. However, this time he will do it as an independent candidate for the first time and not as a conservative.
"I wrote to the prime minister to tell him that I felt unable to be a conservative candidate," he explained. Milton was not sad or surprised. While 10 of his former colleagues were readmitted to the party, the rest of the “rebels” who supported the opposition's efforts to prevent Boris from removing the United Kingdom from the EU without reaching an agreement, now have the dilemma of what to do In these elections.
Several of those parliamentarians, still without a whip, say they do not plan to run again in the elections, including Ken Clarke, who will resign after almost 50 years in the Commons, and Rory Stewart, who has launched a candidacy to become mayor of London as Independent. In addition, conservatives have been criticized for misleadingly editing a video of Labor politician Keir Starmer, in which he seems unable to answer a question about Brexit.