Dirty tricks, dark conspiracies and skulduggery, designed to frustrate the Brexit vote in last year’s EU referendum, are thriving “in the heat of high summer” it seems.
And this small but determined bunch of Tory Remainer MPs could become a far more dangerous threat to Theresa May’s premiership than Jeremy Corbyn ever could.
This anti-Brexit movement is being taken seriously by the Tory high command, who fear it could so disrupt the Brexit negotiations that it could lead to the downfall of May and possibly the Government itself.
What is particularly dangerous to May is that her Chancellor Philip Hammond, pictured, is no great Brexiteer and may privately have some sympathy for the malcontents.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s appeal to her opponents to share ideas with her about Brexit were immediately seized upon as a despairing cry from a weakened PM, bereft of ideas and presenting a begging bowl to her political enemies. Although, on the face of it, this seemed a reasonable action, it will probably not do her authority many favours.
There is also a similar small cabal of Labour MPs plotting, but this is not likely to have much effect on Corbyn, who is more secure in his job than May is in hers.
What these two potentially rebellious blocs fail to realise is that their actions in creating civil wars in their respective parties simply weaken their ability to fight their legitimate political opponents.
- But other problems face the two main parties. Andrew Mitchell, the former Tory chief whip who had the famous altercation with the police on Downing Street, is alleged to have said at a private dinner that Theresa May was “dead in the water” and that she should go. Mitchell has since claimed the report of his remarks was “overheated”, which is a fair way from an outright denial. Meanwhile, Labour zealots are calling for deselection of a number of “moderate” Labour MPs. But the group has been warned it should desist from this because it would lead to further damaging political bloodshed within the party. Sweetness and light is hard to find at Westminster these days.