Ian Payne 4pm - 7pm
Nick Boles MP Says Tory Party Must “Resist” Deselection Plotters
25 February 2019, 17:44
A Conservative MP has described attempts to deselect him over his Brexit stance as an “aggressive PR campaign” driven “by a couple of unpleasant individuals”.
Former minister Nick Boles faces a deselection threat over his support of a softer Brexit and attempts to stop Britain leaving the EU without a deal.
Pro-Brexit group Leave.EU has been encouraging its supporters in Leave-supporting constituencies to join the Tories in a bid to deselect pro-Remain MPs.
On its website, it says: “Nick Boles’ constituency association in Grantham has already voted unanimously to reopen selection proceedings, opening the way for the arrogant, single market obsessed MP to be struck off as Conservative candidate in the seat.”
Asked about the deselection threat by Eddie Mair, Mr Boles said: “I’m worried about people joining the Conservative Party from other parties like Ukip who then immediately try and set about trying to turn the Conservative Party into the party that they left.
“I don’t believe Leave.EU is the source of this, it’s basically an aggressive PR campaign by a couple of unpleasant individuals who try and claim credit for every independent decision by every former Ukip voter or former Ukip member to join the local Conservative association.
“I don’t think we should elevate them into having more power or influence than they have.”
“What clearly is the case, especially in my association, is there has been quite a large number of people joining who previously either were members or supporters of Ukip.
“That in itself, there’s nothing wrong with that.
"But what isn’t ok is then to try and impose their politics on the party that they’ve just joined and that is what is happening in some places and it is happening in certain parts of my local party.”
He added: “Trying to organise to deselect me, especially when it’s being driven by people who have only just joined our party, that is something I hope the party will want to resist.”