Tory moves on deselecting Bourne MP
Conservatives in the area are “accelerating” the process of deselecting MP Nick Boles.
The rebel MP, who voted against the government four times this week, is to face his local party executive early this month, following his stance over Brexit.
Association chairman Philip Sagar said he has received a record 250-plus letters and emails from party members, supporters, and the wider public, with “94 per cent” of them demanding the MP goes.
Mr Sagar also told the Sunday Telegraph that ‘hundreds’ of local Conservatives feel “utterly betrayed” by Mr Boles.
The article followed a meeting with party members in Stamford last Friday, where the MP admitted afterwards there had been “Lots of disagreement and debate.”
It comes as Mr Boles is to address an ‘open meeting’ at St Martin’s Church, Stamford,next Friday at 7.15pm, though the public must book their tickets via Eventbrite.
Mr Boles will soon meet the executive of the Grantham & Stamford Conservative Association when he will be asked if he will stand again.
If he says he intends to, another meeting will be held with Mr Boles asked to address the executive, before they have a vote.
Mr Sagar said he does not know how he or the executive will vote and much will depend on the behaviour of their MP.
“The executive might calm down or they might not. It all depends on what happens in the meantime.”
Mr Sagar said Mr Boles had been unpopular with many party members for a long time and his Brexit-related behaviour, including the MP’s threats to resign the party whip before Christmas, were bringing other issues to the fore. He believes Mr Boles doesn’t know himself whether or not to stand again.
Association vice-president, Coun Martin Hill,confirmed processes will have to start soon, particularly if there is talk of an early General Election.
The Lincolnshire County Council leader was also uncertain how he would vote, but said it was ‘very important’ for MPs to reflect the views of their electorates.
Association deputy chairman, Coun Adam Stokes, who said he won’t support Mr Boles, also confirmed: “The executive will be meeting shortly.”
Coun Robert Foulkes, who is chairman of Stamford Welland Conservatives, also opposes the re-adoption of Mr Boles.
“If I was a betting man, I would bet he would not be our MP or candidate. This time around we will definitely want a local candidate. There’s shortage of high calibre local people. It’s about time we had someone local.”
Coun Foulkes also attended Friday’s meeting describing party members as “glum” as they listened to their MP.
Mr Boles was ‘polite’ but members were uninspired by his arguments.
Coun Foulkes added: “He hasn’t lanced the boil.”
Another source said Mr Boles was “defensive and aggressive” and told the meeting: “We know what the elephant in the room is”, meaning the issue of his deselection.
The Bourne Local has sought comment from Mr Boles about the situation.
Despite voting against the government four times during Tuesday night’s Brexit votes, the MP called it “entirely scurrilous” to say he and Yvette Cooper, whose bill he supported, would revoke Brexit.
The MP told the house that the Cooper amendment would rule out a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on March 29 but not forever.
He doubted more than 100MPs would ever vote to revoke Brexit “because that would be a political disaster at least as cataclysmic as the economic and human disaster of a no-deal Brexit on March 29.”
“What we seek is to buy ourselves a little more time to find a compromise and make a success of Brexit.”
Mr Boles later told the house that on the morning after the Referendum in 2016, he sent a message to his constituents in which he committed to make a success of Brexit.
“Since then, I have left hospital in a wheelchair to vote for triggering Article 50, and I have voted with the Government in every single Division on the Withdrawal Act and every other piece of legislation advancing the delivery of a successful Brexit- unlike, I would point out, 117 of my fellow members of the Conservative Party, including all members of the ERG.
“I am seriously committed to making a success of Brexit, but there are two parts of that sentence. There is Brexit and there is success, and Brexit on March 29 with no deal will not be a success. It will be a disaster. It will sour the British people against the operation of their government for a generation, and I cannot have that on my
More by this authorDarren Greenwood