Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on latest indications that, while Theresa Mayhem might be saying one thing, behind the scenes her ‘top advisers’ are doing another
Senior figures in Downing Street, which presumably must mean gaffe-prone Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, are secretly preparing for a snap General Election.
That’s according to separate reports in the national media in the past 24 hours, which say that among the distress signals being sent out by Theresa Mayhem’s failing Conservative Government has been instructions for candidate selection even in constituencies the Tories themselves regard as “unwinnable”.
On that Tory list of “unwinnable” seats is Croydon North, held by Progress MP Steve Reed OBE.
This news comes in a week when the PM’s Brexit withdrawal agreement was defeated in the Commons vote by a record-breaking majority.
The following day, Mayhem survived a no-confidence motion when all the Tory MPs who had voted against her the day before, plus the DUP thanks to a £1billion bung from public money, rushed to support her.
Had that vote been lost, then a General Election would have been called. In the debate, Mayhem and her supporters said that only Labour wanted a General Election, and that another nationwide campaign was not in the national interest.
But according to the Tory-supporting Daily Mail last night, Downing Street has in any case put the Civil Service on alert, ready for a snap election.
It will be Britain’s third General Election since 2015. The last, called by Mayhem in an effort to boost her majority in the Commons, was fought by the Conservatives on the promise of “strong and stable” government. Oh, how we laugh..!
“Amid the fragile situation in Westminster, Britain’s top civil servant told Government departmental heads to be ready in case an election is needed to break the Brexit deadlock,” the Mail reports.
“Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill met senior mandarins this week to discuss preparations in case Theresa May decides to go to the country.”
Official guidance has also been drawn up on the possible timeline for a second Brexit referendum, the newspaper reports.
The contingency planning, for an election or referendum, is, of course, simply the conduct of good, well-prepared government.
The orders from Tory HQ for candidate selection in seats such as Croydon North, however, does suggest that Conservative High Command is readying itself for another battle of the ballot box.
Reports from the Guido Fawkes website, with its direct links to Tory HQ, say that the Conservatives aim “to have a candidate in place in every seat by the end of the month”, and that this proved the party were “firmly getting on an election footing”.
Of the three Croydon parliamentary seats, the Tories hold Croydon South through Chris Philp.
Croydon Conservatives have already gone to the trouble of selecting a candidate for Croydon Central, held by Sarah Jones for Labour, though clearly they do not rate their chances of success: gaffe-prone Gav, the MP for the seat from 2010 to 2017, did not seek selection, and they opted for parliamentary election rookie, and Barwell’s bag-carrier, Mario Creatura.
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