Dominic Grieve Responds To Losing Vote Of Confidence: Tory Manifesto "Undeliverable"
30 March 2019, 07:57 | Updated: 30 March 2019, 17:30
Remain-backing Tory MP Dominic Grieve said that the election manifesto of his party is "completely undeliverable" as he responds to losing a vote of confidence by his local party.
The former attorney general Dominic Grieve lost a motion of confidence in his constituency by 182 votes to 131.
The Conservative MP for Beaconsfield, who backs a second referendum, told Andrew Castle that his party's election manifesto is "completely undeliverable" and that leaving the European Union is a "major historic mistake".
Mr Grieve added that he believed there was "quite a lot of evidence" that the Beaconsfield Conservative Association has attracted a lot of members encouraged by Brexit-donor Arron Banks to support local campaigns against him.
The outcome of the vote paves the way for the association to decide if the MP should be deselected, however he will remain as an MP until the next election - unless he decides to quit first.
Former Foreign Secretary and Brexiteer Boris Johnson tweeted his support for Mr Grieve, saying he is a "good man" and "a true Conservative".
Sad to hear about Dominic Grieve. We disagree about EU but he is a good man and a true Conservative #grieveforbeaconsfield— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 30, 2019
Meanwhile former Chancellor George Osborne said that the Conservative head office to suspend the local party, warning that failing to intervene would lead to "huge" splits within the party.
Dominic Grieve is deselected because of his beliefs in campaign led by his ex UKIP opponent. The Tory leadership can stop any deselection if it wants - we frequently did. CCHQ should suspend the local party. Otherwise we are heading for a huge, historic split in the Tory Party— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) March 30, 2019
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock also joined calls for the local party to be suspended, saying that the Conservatives should "act to protect Mr Grieve because he's a man of honour".
"MPs work on the basis of what they think is right for their constituents and their country, and Dominic Grieve is an honourable man and standing up for what he believes in and is acting in what he sees is the national interest," he said.
"I hope the Conservative Party will intervene, I think they should suspend their local party in Beaconsfield."
Mr Grieve said: "I can't escape the conclusion that quite a few of the people that turned up to the meeting were individuals I had never seen previously in the Association at any function or any part of it.
"And there is some evidence, quite a lot of evidence, that the local Association has in the last 12 months attracted a large number of members that have been encouraged to join by Mr Banks.
"So I think there is a background problem in relation to people joining for very specific purposes."
In a statement after the result, the Chair of the Beaconsfield Conservative Association said: "Our members had a robust discussion with our MP, Dominic Grieve QC, on Brexit, before voting on a motion of confidence in him as our MP, which I can confirm, with a heavy heart, that he failed to retain.
"He remains our Conservative MP but I will be speaking as soon as possible to my fellow officers and the executive council."