BoJo Purges Party of Anti-Brexit Rebel Former Ministers

In this image released by the House of Commons, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks in the House of Commons, London, Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019 after MPs voted in favor of allowing a cross-party alliance to take control of the Commons agenda on Wednesday in a bid to block a …
Jessica Taylor/House of Commons via AP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson followed through on his threat to expel anti-Brexit rebels from the governing Conservative Party Tuesday night, exiling 21 predominantly ex-minister Members of Parliament for voting against the government.

Almost all of the Brexit rebels who had the whip withdrawn from the Conservative Party Tuesday night — Westminster jargon for being expelled from a party — were former government ministers, some of them of considerable vintage. Among those who voted against the government Tuesday night in a bid to wrest control of house business away to undermine Brexit was veteran Europhile and the House’s longest-serving member Ken Clarke.

Mr Clarke, who has been frequently named as a potential leader of an anti-Brexit caretaker government should Boris Johnson’s government be brought down by Parliament, was a key steward in bringing the United Kingdom into the European Union through the Maastricht treaty in the early 90s.

Also expelled was Philip Hammond, who was former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Chancellor (finance minister) just two months ago and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who is one of the key movers in Parliament against Brexit. In all, of the 21 rebels kicked out of the party, just one had never held a government post.

The unprecedented parliamentary crisis forced by continued attempts to frustrate the 2016 Brexit referendum continues apace, with anti-democracy activists in the house expected to vote against Brexit on Wednesday. Preventing a so-called no-deal Brexit has long been an aspiration of remainers in Parliament, but opposed by Brexiteers as it ties the government’s hands in negotiations with Brussels. Without the power to walk away from the European Union on World Trade Organisation rules the government has significantly less negotiation power. Boris Johnson argues.

The government has threatened a general election to force a hard reset on Parliament if it insists on attempting to block Brexit in this way.

Oliver JJ Lane is the editor of Breitbart London — Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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