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Top Tory Brexiteer: ‘King Letwin’ and Remain MPs Have Carried Out ‘Military Coup’ Without Guns

Brexit
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
JACK MONTGOMERY

Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom has described moves by Remain MPs to seize control of the parliamentary timetable and block a No Deal Brexit as a kind of “military coup” without the firearms.

Mrs Leadsom, who also serves as Lord President of Her Majesty’s Privy Council, said that, “If these people had guns, we would be describing it as a military coup. But it is certainly a coup by King Letwin,” after MPs voted by a majority of one for an anti-Brexit bill, rammed through the House in just four hours with the help of a criminal MP released from prison on an electronic tag.

A source close to Mrs Leadsom later confirmed that she was clarifying what the bill’s passage meant.

“She said it’s a complicated day for procedure and I want to explain it: ‘It’s a coup but using paper rather than guns’.”

Leadsom’s reference to “King Letwin” was aimed at Sir Oliver Letwin MP (pictured above), the Tory Remainer who along with Labour’s Yvette Cooper was one of the main players behind the bill — with the name coming partly because he is regarded as having appointed himself as a kind of ad hoc prime minister, and partly because he has earned the sobriquet “Oliver F***king Letwin” among party colleagues.

Mrs Leadsom, a Brexiteer, was herself Theresa May’s rival for the Tory leadership after MPs whittled the contenders down to a final two back in 2016, but dramatically stepped aside so the then-Home Secretary could assume the leadership without a membership vote in what many regarded as a “stitch-up” at the time.

Mark Francois MP, Vice Chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Brexiteers, was equally unenthused by the Remain-dominated Commons voting to “take back control” of Brexit by taking a clean break with the EU off the table.

“[I]t’s difficult to argue that you’ve had an extremely considered debate when you’ve rammed a bill through the House of Commons in barely four hours,” he said in the chamber.

“That is not, sir, a considered debate, that is a constitutional outrage,” he blasted, addressing his comments through the Speaker, as is customary.

“It went through in the end, Mr Speaker, by one vote… Well, Mr Speaker, someone shouts from a sedentary position, ’52-48!’,” he continued, addressing a heckling fellow MP, who was making reference to the Leave campaign’s margin of victory in the 2016 referendum.

“There is a difference between a majority of 1.4 million and one,” he declared.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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