Brexiteers now target Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan in dumping threat
Rutland and Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan faces the prospect of being deselected through a vote of no confidence.
The move, to be considered at the constituency association’s AGM next month, comes as other pro-EU Tories, including Stamford MP Nick Boles, are also under threat from pro-Brexiteers.
Today, the Daily Telegraph reported the Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister, who has regularly criticised pro-Brexit politicians, faced the no confidence motion at the association AGM on March 15.
The newspaper gave little detail other than to quote a friend of the MP who told the newspaper: “If they don’t like him then they don’t like the Conservative Party. They should push off to Farage’s new Brexit party.”
Today, officials of the Rutland and Melton Conservative Association said they were still awaiting the motion and they only first read of the push against Sir Alan from today’s Daily Telegraph.
Association chairman Byron Rhodes told the Rutland Times: “Obviously, with the expectation that we shall receive the motion, we have switched the meeting to the larger Victoria Hall.
“There are lots of rumblings from around the country. It’s highly charged with Brexit. Sir Alan’s position on Brexit is he’s a government minister. He votes with the government but some people don’t like this.”
During the 2016 EU Referendum, Leave won in Rutland by 50.6% to 49.4%
Pro-EU conservatives like Nick Boles and Anna Soubry have said their associations are facing an influx of former UKIP-party members.
Mr Rhodes said: “We have had more members coming in in the past 12 months. We have checked them. There maybe 1-2 others that were previously members of other parties but that happens all the time.”
The association has welcomed former Lib-Dem and Labour members and even a former Labour councillor.
“We are happy to take in people who repent.”
Mr Rhodes said Sir Alan has supported the government as a minister and supports the PM’s deal “as it stands tooth and claw” but admitted “he’s said some disobliging things about the ERG (European Research Group which is headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg).”
Mr Rhodes said Sir Alan will probably say something about the motion and he can count on his support.
“I’ll vote for Alan. I’m a Conservative that supports the government.”
As to how it might go, however, the sitting district and county councillor was unsure.
“You don’t know who will turn up. Alan will take the opportunity to say something himself. He’s been here a long time.”
“He was first selected as candidate in June 1990 and elected in April 1992. He’s been MP for 27 years, which is a decent length of time.”
The Rutland Times sought comment from Sir Alan.