Labour, at the time of writing, has already suffered no fewer than nine defections from its ranks, while the equivalent tally in the Conservative Party is three. And there are expectations that more defectors will follow over the coming days and weeks.
The three Tories are all exasperated over the Brexit negotiations, while in Labour, the quitters have acted over Brexit, antisemitism, or general dissatisfaction with the party leadership.
But whatever the reasons for their defections, the old virtue of loyalty to the party seems now to be, sadly, a thing of the past. The Brexit complainants say loyalty to the country is more important than party loyalty.
That may be so, but let it not be forgotten that some of them have broken a solemn pledge given at the time of the referendum that they would honour the result whatever the outcome. That is, quite frankly, a disgrace. Why can’t they take a leaf out of the Prime Minister’s book? She voted Remain in the referendum, but has honourably stuck to that original pledge.
And the idea of a second referendum, or People’s Vote as they pompously describe it, is simply an insult. It is what the EU has been guilty of over the years: Holding elections in various member states, and if they get the ‘wrong’ result, they hold another until they get the ‘right’ one. Shameful.
And I stick to my point that all the party deserters should resign from Parliament and trigger by-elections. One of their number offered the excuse that this is not the time for by-elections. How feeble. It is always time for by-elections if MPs decide to change their party status midway through a Parliament.
What was worse is that some members of the new Independent Group took their seats in the Chamber as if it was some kind of fiesta.
Words fail me.
- I am not surprised that former Prime Minister David Cameron made a heartfelt (but unsuccessful) plea to the three Tory women MPs who deserted the party last week. They simply ignored him. After all, he must surely still experience at least a smidgen of guilt, not to say conscience, over the last two and a half years of Brexit chaos.