Tim Montgomerie: I’m Leaving The Conservative Party

Long-standing Conservative Party cheerleader Tim Montgomerie has sensationally announced tonight that he is leaving the Conservative Party.

The following is from Mr. Montgomerie’s article in the Times newspaper announcing his departure:

This charade over the EU is the final straw and it follows abject failure on immigration, deficit reduction and inequality

I became a Conservative because of Margaret Thatcher. It wasn’t just the colour of her politics, but the strength. When she said she would end union militancy, she ended it. When she sought a rebate from the EU, she got one. When she successfully undertook to retake the Falklands, she ended the Britain-is-in-decline narrative of the postwar period.

She might not have always brought harmony where there was discord or hope in every place where there was despair, as she promised on her first day in Downing Street, but, unlike most politicians, she didn’t regard winning elections as a tenth of what mattered. It was what you did with power that counted.

Could David Cameron be much more different? He promised to bring down immigration but despite Theresa May’s hollow rhetoric, it’s rising. And that defining mission to eliminate the deficit? The Treasury is still borrowing £75 billion a year — a burden on the next generation that would once have shocked and shamed us, and still should. The national debt is up by more than 50 per cent, but this hasn’t seen our armed forces rebuilt. They’ve been cut to the bone.

What about fundamental change in Britain’s relationship with Brussels that the PM pledged, promised and vowed to deliver? The 69 per cent who think he got a bad deal are right. The newspapers that called the deal a “joke”, “conjuring trick” and “delusion” weren’t exaggerating. But it took the Fourth Estate rather than Tory MPs to point out the emperor’s naked state. With a few honourable exceptions Conservative parliamentarians were silent when Mr Cameron, pretending to have changed anything that matters, stood at the same dispatch box at which Mrs Thatcher vowed to fight European integration.

If Britain remains chained to Brussels after this charade we’ll be in a weaker position than before. We’ll be the country that made Eurosceptic noises for decades but capitulated when it mattered. The EU’s bureaucracy, courts and politicos will see us as all-bark, no-bite moaning minnies.

READ MORE AT THE TIMES (£)


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