Former Tory Aide Proposes New Party to Block Brexit
A former Tory aide to David Davis and George Osborne has proposed to form a new centrist party in an effort to derail Brexit.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the former Tory aide, James Chapman said that two serving cabinet ministers had also shown interest in the idea of forming a new political party. “Two people in the cabinet, a number of people who have been in Conservative cabinets before now – better cabinets, I might say, than the current one – and a number of shadow cabinets ministers have also been in touch. They are not saying they are going to quit their parties, but they are saying they understand that there is an enormous gap in the centre now of British politics.”
After being in government for a year, James Chapman seems to believe that the only way to block Brexit is to create a new centrist political party, called the ‘Democrats’, with utterings insinuating that he is in cahoots with his former boss, George Osborne. When quizzed on Osborne’s possible involvement, Chapman quashed these claims, despite the fact George Osborne is a stern Remainer who continues to publish anti-Brexit articles and cutting editorials about Theresa May as editor of the Evening Standard. “I haven’t spoken to George about this. I think he is having a great deal of fun editing the Evening Standard,”said Chapman.
During the radio interview, the former aide and now working in PR, stated that Brexit had tarnished the Conservative brand so much, that they would never win a working majority again and added that both Labour and the Conservative parties were taken over by extremists. “The two main parties have been captured by their fringes, and Jacob [Jacob Rees-Mogg] is a member of that fringe and he has captured my party and I don’t any longer want to be a part of it. The hard Brexit plan that May is pursuing is going to take our economy off a cliff, is going to make Black Wednesday look like a picnic, and when that happens the Conservative party will never be in power again.” Chapman also emphasised the fact that over 60% of the Conservative party voted to remain in the EU.
However, during the interview on Radio 4, James Chapman was accompanied by Tory backbencher, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is a stanch supporter of Brexit. In response to Chapman’s proposition of forming a new political party under the name the ‘Democrats’, he said: "I think most people in the higher levels of the party and across the Conservative Party and the nation have accepted the democratic result of the referendum. What’s so peculiar about this new party is that it wants to call itself the Democrats and the first thing it wishes to do is to overturn a democratic decision. Their proposed name ought to be the Oligarchs rather than the Democrats.”
Rees-Mogg also went onto add that the Liberal Democrats has campaigned for a policy to give voters a second referendum on a final Brexit deal in the last election but only managed to get 7% of the vote.
Considering the fact that the Liberal democrats went into the election race with an anti-Brexit stance and performed woefully in the last election, it seems highly unlikely that a newly formed centrist anti-Brexit party would have any impact and would probably not get off the ground. That being said, James Chapman has tried to reach out to MPs, by taking to Twitter on the 8th August: "Past time for sensible MPs in all parties to admit Brexit is a catastrophe, come together in new party if need be, and reverse it #euref19."
Labour’s shocking success and the Tory failure in June’s election shows that the political rule book has well and truly been thrown out. If Brexit is indeed a complete catastrophe, which some have said that it will be, then just as the response to Chapman’s tweets has shown, the blowback will be vicious.
Furthermore, newly appointed leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable said that it is his wish to occupy the “vast middle ground in British politics that’s been largely abandoned” and has suggested giving voters the option of “an exit from Brexit.”