A number of Conservative MPs have reportedly told party leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson that he must deliver Brexit by October 31st or face mass defection to Nigel Farage’s new party.
A former Tory minister speaking to The Sun said: “We’ve all invested heavily in backing Boris. But he has got to keep his word. If he lets us down, it’s over.”
Amongst the Boris backers who have laid down the threat are MPs from the European Research Group, with the red top paper reporting one senior figure in the ERG saying that if he fails, “all bets are off” and that donors — and MPs — will turn to The Brexit Party.
Farage’s Brexit Party Leads Third National Election Poll in a Row https://t.co/JkPv6hVhX2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 16, 2019
“We’ve told him straight. If we don’t leave on schedule this time around, all bets are off,” the senior figure said.
They added: “The donors will turn off the money taps, the members will be gone and MPs will walk too. We’ll be left with no choice but to join The Brexit Party. The country has put up with this for long enough. It’s three years since we voted to leave the EU and the big day keeps being put off.
“We’ve had so many broken promises from Theresa May and we are not going to be let down by Boris Johnson. We’ve told him in no uncertain terms, and I think he gets it.”
The outgoing prime minister, Theresa May, had promised 108 times in the House of Commons that the UK would leave the EU on March 29th — before delaying to April 12th, and then October 31st.
According to released WhatsApp messages between members of the ERG in April — before May announced she would be stepping down as party leader — Tory Brexiteers were considering defection to The Brexit Party as an option, after Tory grandee Ann Widdecombe and Annuziata Rees-Mogg — sister of Jacob — left the party to join Mr Farage, both women now Brexit Party Members-elect of the European Parliament.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 14, 2019
The comments came after an exclusive interview given to Breitbart London by Tory pro-Brexit rebel Andrew Bridgen who revealed that he had already been approached by Nigel Farage to defect to the Brexit party as a Member of Parliament, but had turned him down. Nevertheless, Bridgen said the Conservatives would have to enter into some sort of electoral pact with the Brexit Party and “Kingmaker” Nigel Farage to win the next general election.
Comments by Nigel Farage seem to imply such an alliance would be unlikely, however. Writing in the Sunday Express, Mr Farage said that he does not believe that potential future prime minister Boris Johnson “will deliver on his promises” to take the UK out of the EU on Halloween, and added: “Tory defectors would be welcome in The Brexit Party.”
The right-wing tabloid reports that Tory Brexiteers who support Johnson have made a number of other requests, including devolving selection of candidates to local constituency associations — taking it out of the hands of the London-based party machine, CCHQ — offering Mr Farage and other senior Brexit Party politicians seats in the House of Lords, and even asking them to join the Conservatives after Brexit is delivered.
“We have loads of Lib Dems in the Lords, so why not give seats to The Brexit Party. Boris has to deliver this,” one MP told the Express.
“When Brexit is done we should invite these people (Brexit Party members) into the Conservatives, they are basically Conservatives. I think Boris knows that,” another added.
Breitbart London reported on Sunday that The Brexit Party has topped the third YouGov poll in a row of national election voting intentions.