WALTER CRONXITE umasks an MP who is reported to be using the “dark arts” of the whips’ office to try to stop Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister
Tonight’s Evening Standard is reporting how the Tory whips’ office in Westminster is trying to stop Boris Johnson from making it on to the ballot for the Conservative leadership election.
If there was any doubt that our MPs can be a venal, untrustworthy and back-stabbing lot, then this news report offers proof positive that Game of Cards‘ portrayal of Francis Urquhart was more a work of documentary than drama.
The Evening Boris‘s “exclusive”, written by the paper’s political editor, says that the whips office has been “twisting arms” for Theresa May. This Government-backed lobbying has prompted a formal complaint by the Tory Party’s resident shop steward, Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers.
At Westminster, party whips are supposed to behave in a strictly neutral manner in terms of internal party politics, confining themselves to using their dark arts for “persuading” MPs to vote in the required manner in the lobby. But Brady accuses the whips office of being mobilised to do the bidding of Dodgy Dave Cameron to influence support in the contest to choose his replacement as party leader and, therefore, Prime Minister.
The Standard tries hard to disguise the identity of the rule-breaking, line-crossing whip. Just not hard enough.
The Standard reports a source close to Boris Johnson saying that they are aware of whips putting pressure on MPs to influence the Tory leadership vote, “… some involving a prominent MP based in London”.
The only Tory whip, whether prominent or otherwise, representing a London seat is Croydon Central’s Gavin Barwell, who is also known as Comptroller of Her Majesty’s Household, the third in command at the Tory whips’ office.
If the report is true, then with Johnson thinking that he is on the brink of finally claiming his most cherished prize, that of leader of the Conservative Party, Barwell the Tory whip is demonstrating exactly how he returns favours to those in politics who considered him to be a “friend”.
With friends like Barwell…
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