Andrew Bridgen Argues For An Election To Rid Parliament Of Tory Rebels

26 October 2019, 15:40

The Tory MP and ERG member thinks we need "an injection of fresh democracy" because Tory rebels "failed to respect the manifesto that we stood on in 2017".

Andrew Bridgen said: A second referendum would be a disaster. It would reopen wounds which have not yet healed in our country since the 2016 referendum.

"Having a second referendum without implementing the results of the democratic result, 1.3 million vote majority for Leave, would undermine every single simple majority vote we ever have in this country again.

"It would be a travesty of democracy. And that's saying, we're being held to ransom by a Labour party who are running away from democracy, they're running away from their pledges at the 2017 election, their manifesto to respect to the referendum results, and now they're running away from the election because they think they're probably in for a good hiding in the general election if it comes now."

Matt Frei asked: "Indeed, I mean that the numbers don't speak in their favour. But wouldn't you be doing the same thing if you were confident of losing an election, you wouldn't be granting the Prime Minister one?"

Bridgen replied: "I think we've got to put the country first. We can't carry on like this. We are in government, but we're certainly not in power on a majority of -44. We can't get a budget through."

Andrew Bridgen Argues For An Election To Rid Parliament Of Tory Rebels
Andrew Bridgen Argues For An Election To Rid Parliament Of Tory Rebels. Picture: PA

Matt Frei asked: "That's not their fault, though is it? I mean, the fact that you've got a majority of -44 is not really anyone's fault other than the Conservative Party.

"You expelled 21 members of your party because they voted against you, the DUP is another party, you lost, you didn't get a majority in the last election. That's not anyone else's fault."

Bridgen said: "Well, they failed to respect the manifesto that we stood on in 2017. So what we've got is a conspiracy of people who don't respect the promises you make to the electorate that are holding, basically, Parliament and the country and our democracy to ransom.

"The way to resolve that is an injection of fresh democracy, which is go out, face your electorate, stand in front of them and be held to account for what you've said, what you've done, and more importantly, the way you voted over the last two and a half years and let's get a fresh Parliament with a fresh mandate.

"This is a toxic atmosphere in Parliament at the moment. So many members that move parties without having the legitimacy of the by-election, in all directions, it really can't carry on.

"The overwhelming majority of the people, I believe, want or realise that we need to have a general election but, once again, we've got a Parliament that's so out of touch with the people, whether it's the referendum or the fact that we need a general election, that they're just sitting tight.

"Just sitting there and drawing pay in rations and putting off the inevitable because because we will all have to face the electorate sooner or later.

"I quite honestly think the longer this goes on, before we do, for those who feel they're vulnerable I think it's going to get worse."