How Barwell backed call for unelected PM to hold election

Now he has finally landed a job in the Government, it surely cannot be long before the housing minister, Gavin Barwell, will be calling on his Prime Minister, Theresa May, to hold a General Election.

MP Gavin Barwell as pictured by his new DCLG ministry

MP Gavin Barwell’s official picture from the Department of Communities and Local Government. Note how it shows just a single face

Only that’s what Barwell was supporting back in 2010, when he was inflicting his deceiving leaflets and his all-things-to-all-men (and women) approach to the people of Croydon Central, seeking to be elected as their MP the first time round.

Then, it suited the thrusting young Tory to flag up that the then Labour Government was led by someone who had been chosen by its own party’s internal selection process without any reference to the public at large. Much like Barwell and a couple of hundred Conservative MPs did last week with Theresa May.

On his website in April 2010, Barwell noted a visit from Andrew Lansley, and wrote favourably of a law change advocated by David Cameron (remember him?).

“David Cameron today made it clear that a Conservative Government will change the law to require a General Election to be held within six months of a change of Prime Minister,” Barwell wrote at the time.

“This will ensure we don’t have a repeat of the situation where we have been stuck with Gordon Brown for nearly three years despite no one ever having voted for him.”

Gavin Barwell's website from April 2010 calling for General Elections to be held when the party of Government selects a new leader

Gavin Barwell’s website from April 2010 calling for General Elections to be held when the party of Government selects a new leader. Like happened in Westminster last week

Now some constitutionalists might point out that the basic premise of this suggestion displays a lack of understanding of the British parliamentary system. Others will note that, in six years as Prime Minister, Cameron never included such a proposal in a bill.

Yet it surely cannot be long before Barwell, who has never been noted for his self-serving opportunism (well, not much), will be calling for May to seek a proper democratic endorsement of her premiership, since we don’t want to be stuck with her for nearly four years despite no one ever having voted for her.

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6 Responses to How Barwell backed call for unelected PM to hold election

  1. Barwell “not noted for his self-seeking opportunism?”

    Please tell me you were being sarcastic or I will finally lose all faith in humankind. It’s been tested pretty far by Madam “Don’t judge me by what I say. Judge me by what I actually do” and her Government appointments.

  2. arnorab says:


  3. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (c. 14) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that introduced fixed-term elections to the Westminster parliament. Under the provisions of the Act, parliamentary elections must be held every five years, beginning in 2015.
    Section 2 of the Act also provides for two ways in which a general election can be held before the end of this five-year period:
    If the House of Commons resolves “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”, an early general election is held, unless the House of Commons subsequently resolves “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”. This second resolution must be made within fourteen days of the first.
    If the House of Commons, with the support of two-thirds of its total membership (including vacant seats), resolves “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election”.

    In either of these two cases, the Monarch (on the recommendation of the prime minister) appoints the date of the new election by proclamation. Parliament is then dissolved 25 working days before that date.

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