- We are NOT devo! - 7th August 2020
- Left hand drive - 3rd July 2020
- Incoming - 13th June 2020
Our correspondent The Rebel looks at the extraordinary world of politics today as the astonishing Tory leadership race gave us a new Prime Minister hated by sections of his own Conservative party who may be plotting to install a socialist leader of the opposition in his place, and Labour still grapples with how to deal effectively with the anti-Semitism crisis gripping it.
The Rebel is a leading political figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power.
It’s a topsy-turvy world.
There are reports that Remainer Tory MPs would rather have a Jeremy Corbyn-led UK Government than a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
That’s despite the fact the bearded lefty is the opposite to everything they hold dear.
This is meant to be a time of relative relaxation for our politicians, as they go on their summer holidays.
But text messages and emails are flying back and forth as they try to promote, or block, Jezza leading a caretaker UK Government to stop a no-deal Brexit.
He has written to other opposition parties and a group of Conservatives this week to say they must install him in No 10 to stop Britain crashing out of the European Union on October 31.
And it seems this rebellion (if that is what it is) includes a Welsh MP.
Guto Bebb, the MP for Aberconwy who quit as a defence minister last year to back a second referendum, and who has not been approached yet, said that he was open to installing the bearded one in Downing Street.
He told The Times: “I think that those who have said they will do anything necessary to stop the long-term damage of a no-deal exit must take seriously this type of offer”.
Guto also said that Jezza as Prime Minister was preferable to a no-deal Brexit.
He said: “I certainly do take the view that a short-term Jeremy Corbyn government is less damaging than the generational damage that would be caused by a no-deal Brexit”.
Tories like him might even get support from other parties.
Jo Swinson, the new Liberal Democrat leader, sought to reassure Remainer MPs that she would work with the bearded lefty to prevent a no-deal.
She said she was “happy and keen” to discuss options with the Labour leader despite earlier having dismissed his plan for a caretaker Government as “nonsense”.
Even Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (no fan of the bearded one) has written to her now urging she backs his leader.
He wrote: “The Liberal Democrats’ continued insistence that Jeremy Corbyn could not lead this potential unity government is now the single biggest obstacle to stopping no deal”.
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP who apologised this week for suggesting a similar ‘unity’ Government consisting solely of white women, published a video message to Ms Swinson, saying: “Jo, please change your mind. Jeremy Corbyn has done the right thing. He has reached out to bring together a broad coalition of MPs”.
But other Tories are less happy.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has (for once) got it right.
He said: “It’s absolutely extraordinary that any Conservative MP considered even for one minute installing Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street”.
Dominic Grieve a leading Remainer Tory, appears to see Jezza as an even greater threat than a no-deal.
He said that a unity government led by him was a “most unlikely way forward”.
“Even for a short period a prime minister in a caretaker capacity has got to be somebody who can inspire trust — and such people do exist within the House of Commons (not Jezza presumably) and would be in a position to do that”, Mr Grieve told the BBC.
“I have to say that seeing Jeremy Corbyn’s history, it’s difficult to see how he could possibly be in a position to do such a thing”.
So he’s against him but other Tories are for him.
Christopher Hill would have loved all this…
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 35-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now! The picture doubles as a cut-and-paste poster!