Sir Alan Duncan: The rogue Conservative grandee dividing his party

4 April 2024, 17:26

Sir Alan Duncan: The rogue Conservative grandee dividing his party
Sir Alan Duncan: The rogue Conservative grandee dividing his party. Picture: Getty/LBC
Henry Riley

By Henry Riley

Sir Alan Duncan had earned the title of ‘grandee’ within the Tory Party. An MP for nearly three decades, he served as a senior minister in the governments of David Cameron and Theresa May.

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The former MP doesn’t often opine on contemporary politics since he left the green benches of the House of Commons in 2019, yet he let loose earlier in a rare but extraordinary attack on the government.

His comments to LBC’s Nick Ferrari have landed him in hot water today, remarks being described by the Jewish Leadership Council as an “antisemitic trope” and as “disgraceful” by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Indeed the Campaign Against Antisemitism called for Sir Alan to be “expelled from the Party”, and the Board of Deputies requested it be considered “whether his position as a party member is tenable”

In a slew of allegations, he called for “extremists” within the Conservative Party to be “flushed out” and criticised various individuals. He labelled Lord Pickles and Lord Polak (both senior members of the CFI - Conservative Friends of Israel) as “Laurel and Hardy” figures who should be "removed from the Lords" for "exercising the interests of another country".

He alleged that the CFI was “doing the bidding of Netanyahu".

Ah, but the former senior diplomat didn’t bite his tongue there. Going on to call for Priti Patel to be reinvestigated, called for Security Minister Tom Tugendhat to be sacked for not “believing in international law” and took aim at Cabinet Ministers Michael Gove and Oliver Dowden.

The former Foreign Office Minister’s words have led to the Conservative Party now investigating the issue, with expulsion from the party a genuine possibility if he is found in breach of the rules.

A process that could take weeks, and an ‘antisemitism’ row which the Conservative Party could have really done without.

Whilst I sense the retired parliamentarian is unlikely to care about being a member of the Tory Party, I do hope Sir Alan was not hoping for a peerage anytime soon…

I suspect that is now about as likely as him being invited to be a patron at the Conservative Friends of Israel.