U-turns and campaign ramp-ups – seems even Tories see GE only route out of Brexit deadlock

Amber Rudd

The SKWAWKBOX revealed exclusively this morning that Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is ‘on manoeuvres’ – arranging a series of one-to-one meetings with senior regional Tories in what his colleagues consider preparations for a leadership bid.

It’s also a strong indication that a new general election is in the pipeline – senior Tories are saying that May is likely to resign if her Brexit deal is defeated in Parliament next week and she promised last month not to stand at the next election, to stave off a vote of no confidence by Conservative MPs.

But it’s not the only sign that the Tories are preparing for a new general election. Conservatives candidate selections are underway around the country and reports from residents even in reasonably safe Tory areas indicate that candidates and incumbents have been leafleting – suggesting not only election preparations, but also that the Tories don’t believe polls claiming they’re ahead.

And this morning, DWP Secretary Amber Rudd performed a screeching u-turn on government plans to take money away from parents of more than two children, as well as touting her ‘pilot’ that she claims will smooth the transition to Universal Credit for huge numbers of hard-hit people – plans expected to make no difference whatever to millions.

All this is icing on the cake of the fact that the Tories have told returning officers to get ready for a snap election.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

A so-called “people’s vote” will not solve the parliamentary issues in time or do anything but inflame current divisions and tensions in the country – and there is no prospect of breaking the parliamentary deadlock. But it seems the Tories may be planning a new general election independent of the outcome of Labour’s intended no-confidence motion when May’s deal fails in the Commons next week.

Labour members who want to replace the numerous dire incumbents currently hampering the party in Parliament had better start identifying the candidates they want to replace them – and organising to win the one in three branches they need in order to initiate a contest.

The position Labour will be offering to the country will be a compelling and unifying one.

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  1. “and organising to win the one in three branches they need in order to initiate a contest.”

    Do we still need to get the NEC’s permission to do this?

    1. It certainly might help to remind them that the ordinary people in the EU exist and have priorities of their own.

  2. As stated in Jeremy’s speech yesterday, the only way to heal the country from all that has happened in the last eight years is a general election. It’s incumbent on all Labour MP’s to prioritise the defeat of the Tories, so that we can at last have radical change that for once looks after the weakest in our society.

    1. Worked well last time, didn’t it?

      Sorry to be cynical. I’m all in favour of a GE – but you’re plaiting aspiration to think that it’s going to put division back in its box after the outbreak of idiocy that is Brexit, or that the election will be a walk in the park.

      Labour can’t just depend on the Tories to screw up, and will have to make some strategic decisions.

  3. If Gavin Williamson is the best they’ve got, the Tories will be obliterated at the GE, possibly for good. Even if he does have a pet spider.

    Bring it on!

  4. May’s Deal is Brexit Neo-Liberal+ that is leaving the Neo-Liberal EC but keeping the Neo-Liberal straight jacket rules over the UK!
    It’s why the legal capitalist thieves of the CBI and TNCs are backing it!
    It is a NEO-LIBERAL CON from the ACE CONNING CONservatives!
    If any Labour MP votes for May’s Deal in my humble opinion they should be expelled from Labour.
    Never trust a Tory on Workers Rights – Leopards don’t change their spots!
    It’s time for grassroots, bottom up, participatory, left wing democratic socialism to crush undemocratic Neo-Liberal Barbarianism!

    1. “It’s time for grassroots, bottom up, participatory, left wing democratic socialism to crush undemocratic Neo-Liberal Barbarianism!”

      That’s why the majority of Labour leans to ‘Remain’!

  5. Sky news have been a platform for Mandelsons peoples vote from the start. As a general election becomes an option they are ramping up the peoples vote . PV will ramp up it is vital a GE is prevented so they can get the fall back position. I read minutes from Caroline Lucas remain campaign which said they claimed responsibility for the remain delegates at the labour conference and over a 100 CLO delegates, their target is to get over50% on board.this year. It is vital for them that Labour are stopped because they know labour will exit in a sensible way.

    1. Analysis of strategy and policy needs to go further than yelling ‘Infamy!’ and ‘Conspiracy!’ at every turn.

      Just because the Tories are out to get you doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid.

  6. I know I’ve got a tendency to piss on early-blooming pansies. But :

    (a) In terms of a general election – never underestimate the Tories in terms of low cunning and self interest when push comes to shove. They won’t go for it unless other options look too grim.

    (b) The country is pretty solidly split, and the interesting thing is how little that changes since the last GE. At present, Labour isn’t cutting through that hard fact.

  7. I believe a GE will be the beginning of the end for the Conservatives, they will tear themselves apart over Brexit. Please let it be an election.

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