All the PM’s men sweep out Remainers

All the PM’s men sweep out Remainers, by Katy Balls.

After suffering his first government defeat in his first House of Commons vote since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been “begging” for an election for two years.

However, despite this, Corbyn appears to have gone rather cold on the idea. In his comments in the Commons on Wednesday, the ­Labour leader said his party would not vote for an early election ­unless and until the anti-­no-deal bill had passed. This led to heckles from the Tory benches. …

The Conservative Party has undergone significant change in the past 24 hours. As a Brexit showdown looms — and reports of an imminent early election rise — a number of Conservative MPs have announced they will not be seeking re-election.

The direction the Conservatives are taking under Johnson and his senior aide Dominic Cummings means that many of these MPs no longer view the Tory party as their home.

Under Theresa May, there was a constant effort for Brexit compromise — her cabinet was supposed to be made up of an equal number of Remainers and Brexiteers. The new government has no such intention — it is unasham­edly pro-Brexit and delivering Brexit by October 31 comes before anything else.

This means that it benefits from clarity of message — the first few weeks of Johnson’s government have showed what that means in terms of positive communications. The party is also receiving a popularity boost according to recent polls. But a consequence of that is that there are some Tory MPs who no longer feel able to remain in the party. …

Retiring opponents of no deal are likely to be replaced by ­devoted advocates of it. There’s a view in government that there is little point having an election only to return with a divided party which still cannot agree a plan on Brexit.