Conservative Party members in Gavin Barwell’s old parliamentary seat of Croydon Central are “flatly refusing” to do their former MP’s Brexit dirty work for him by distributing leaflets advocating the “benefits” of Theresa Mayhem’s withdrawal deal ahead of next Tuesday’s key House of Commons vote.
The Conservative Home website is reporting today that Alasdair Stewart, the chair of the Croydon Conservative Federation, is among the signatories of a letter of complaint to Conservative HQ complaining about the Brexit letter and refusing to ask activists to distribute it.
The leaflets and postcards, paid for out of party funds, are aimed at encouraging voters to lobby Tory MPs in favour of the Prime Minister’s EU deal. It is suggested that Barwell, as the chief of staff at No10 Downing Street, will have had some hand in organising the leaflet.
The Tory activists’ letter of complaint, signed by Croydon’s Stewart and more than 30 other Conservative officials from across the country, accuses the party chiefs of misusing party funds on an issue where many members are at odds with the leadership.
The letter was sent to Andrew Sharpe, the Chairman of the National Conservative Convention.
In it, the activists state, “We know that you understand how vital party funds are. Every quiz, every lunch, every race night brings precious contributions which members are happy to give to help our Party succeed in elections. These funds should not be used on divisive issues where the majority of members strongly object to a flawed agenda.”
In the 2016 EU referendum, across the whole of Croydon, 54.3 per cent of the public voted to remain. Barwell and his Tory colleague, Chris Philp, the MP for Croydon South, both supported the remain campaign.
After losing the Croydon Central seat in 2017, Barwell was hired by the Prime Minister to be her chief of staff in Downing Street. It is increasingly seen as the first of a series of bad judgements by Theresa May.
Recently, gaffe-prone Gav has come in for much pointed criticism for his bungling over the Brexit negotiations, from senior figures within the Conservative Party as well as opposition MPs.
- Please support Inside Croydon’s award-winning, news-breaking local journalism. It’s just £4 per month, and you qualify for special discounts and offers. Click here to sign-up as a donor
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon named Journalist of the Year at 2018 Anna Kennedy Online Autism Heroes Awards
- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS 2017: Inside Croydon was source for two award-winning nominations in Private Eye magazine’s annual celebration of civic cock-ups
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org