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Some examples of promises that Remainer MPs made to get elected and then broke

At the height of the Watergate scandal Nixon’s press secretary was a man called Ronald L Zielgler. He became famous for declaring with a straight face that only his latest statement was “operative” and that all previous statements contradicting it were thus “inoperative”.

The following statements by prominent Remain-supporting MPs are all inoperative:

Heidi Allen

This is what the Right Honourable Heidi Allen MP promised to the voters of South Cambridgeshire to get them to adopt her as a candidate at her hustings in 2017:

This is democracy. We might not all like the result. I was a remainer, but the minute we start ignoring the democratic will of the people in this country we are slipping very quickly towards the sort of banana republic I don’t want to live in.

*

The referendum was a different kind of vote. It was a national question, it wasn’t a local one, and I know that probably the majority of people in this room tonight will think “well, we don’t want it”, but we can’t forget that this was a national vote. And I think it’s wrong for us as democratic leaders to be picking and choosing the results that we don’t like.

*

So quite frankly if I am re-elected as your MP, I am not going to waste time, precious time, resisting Brexit from happening. I’m going to grasp that opportunity, leverage that opportunity we have with every fibre of my being and make the best of it.

*

I think those that voted to Leave would think we were treating them as fools and that they were stupid and that we didn’t respect their views. So I think that a second referendum is not what we should be aiming for.

Heidi Allen is now the interim leader of the Change UK party, formerly known as The Independent Group and informally known as the Tiggers or CUKs, whose only significant policy is to force a second referendum.

I saw that speech on the video “Heidi Allen Hustings 2017 Best Bits” posted to YouTube by Tom Harwood. The video of Sarah Wollaston’s hustings linked to below was also posted by Mr Harwood. I thought it was very useful that he added subtitles to the videos, as that makes it easier to find and cite the most strikingly dishonest passages in the MPs’ speeches. By writing out the speeches and the contents of the election flyers and leaflets here in this Samizdata post I hope to make it still easier to spread the word of how these Remainer Members of Parliament are not to be trusted.

Nick Boles

This is what the Right Honourable Nick Boles MP said to the voters of Grantham and Stamford in an election leaflet:

60 SECOND Q&A
NICK BOLES

Q: How do we know you won’t betray us, if we elect you?

A: I will publish all my expense claims online and I will never claim for food or furniture or household goods. I think that MPs elected for one party should have to stand down and call a by-election if they defect to another party.

On 1st April 2019 Nick Boles resigned from the Conservative Party following the announcement of the results of the second round of indicative votes on exiting the European Union. He now describes himself as an Independent Progressive Conservative. His previous belief that defecting MPs should have to stand down fell by the wayside when the time came to apply it to himself.

That leaflet can be seen at the URL https://staging.electionleaflets.org/leaflets/full/58310/ uploaded to the site electionleaflets.org. The fact that by the standards he himself had proclaimed Boles had betrayed his constituents was highlighted by Guido Fawkes in this post. The post reminded me that when Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell left the Conservatives for UKIP they both voluntarily resigned their seats and stood for election again under their new colours. Both were re-elected to their old seats.

Yvette Cooper

This is what the Right Honourable Yvette Cooper MP said on an election leaflet addressed to the voters of Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford to solicit their support in 2017:

Yvette Cooper MP
– Securing the best Brexit deal for the Five Towns
– I voted to trigger Article 50 in Parliament
– I want to reform freedom of movement
– I will not vote to block Brexit
– I want to secure the best deal for the Five Towns not just the cities

I took the picture of the Yvette Cooper election leaflet from a tweet by Paul Embery of the Firefighters’ Union.

Sarah Wollaston

This is what the Right Honourable Sarah Wollaston MP promised to the voters of Totnes in order to solicit their support at her hustings in 2017:

It was extraordinarily divisive, the referendum, and we need to move on from that. But what we must do, in my view, is accept the result, but now make sure that just because we are leaving the European Union, we are not leaving Europe. Taking all of the people within this constituency into account, this constituency voted by 54% to Leave. I think this is one of the things that annoys people is telling them that they didn’t know what they were voting for. That was the purpose of the referendum; we accept the result; we move on and make it as constructive as possible. There are real problems with how the Common Agricultural Policy has worked, and we have an opportunity now to redesign something that does more to protect Devon’s farmers and to look at how we balance that with protecting our environment.

A second referendum to take us out of the European Union: it is a direct incentive for us to get the worst possible deal. We have to go into this absolutely understanding that the principle here is that we respect the outcome of the referendum and I think it would be a huge mistake to go into this promising that I’d be prepared to vote to actually overturn the deal and send us back into Europe. We shouldn’t be going back and saying that we don’t accept the result of the referendum, I’m afraid.

From the video “Sarah Wollaston’s 2017 Husting Highlights” posted to YouTube by Tom Harwood.

On 20 February Sarah Wollaston resigned from the Conservatives and joined The Independent Group / Change UK. Wollaston’s pledge to respect the referendum thus joined in the inoperative bin her belief that MPs who cross the floor ought to face a mandatory by-election. As the Wikipedia article on Sarah Wollaston says she actually supported a Private Members bill to make this the law:

Call for mandatory by-elections for MPs switching parties

In March 2019 it emerged that Wollaston had supported a 2011 bill which required MPs who switch parties to face an automatic by-election. Wollaston herself switched parties on 20 February 2019, yet refused to let voters have a say on her switch. Chair of the Labour Party in Totnes and South Devon, Lynn Alderson, said Ms Wollaston “made her views clear”. Wollaston acknowledged the likely calls for her to face a by-election but refused such a proposal, stating “neither this nor a general election would answer the fundamental question that is dividing us”.

Broken promise on respecting result of EU Referendum

During her election hustings when campaigning for re-election at the 2017 General Election, Wollaston promised her constituents she would “accept the result” of the EU Membership Referendum, noting that 54% of her constituents had voted Leave. She went on to state that “one of the things that annoys people is telling them that they didn’t know what they were voting for” and completely rejected the idea of holding a second referendum. Wollaston later switched to the Independent Group, all the member of which oppose to respecting the result of the EU Referendum and committed to holding a second Referendum, therefore meaning Wollaston had broken all her election promises on the issue.

12 comments to Some examples of promises that Remainer MPs made to get elected and then broke

  • lowlylowlycook

    You are going to need a bigger blog.

  • “one of the things that annoys people is telling them that they didn’t know what they were voting for”

    In their case, we did not know what we were voting for. We thought we were voting for what they promised to do but in fact were voting for the opposite thing that they did.

    They say we don’t really know what we’re voting for when we vote against them. They know we don’t know what we’re really voting for when we vote for them.

    Natalie, good work. This kind of specific, quotable data, about many individual MPs, Labour and Tory, is a resource we may need and should all help gather, link to, whatever.

  • Mr Ecks

    The problem is that you can’t shame shameless scum.

    Deselect and destroy.

    Also economic sabotage–don’t buy EU shite and look into anything that might be helpful in bringing the Italian Banks down. Take up some shares and see what can be done. If anyone has Italian contacts perhaps a rumour could be started –it would not take much to kick off economic meltdown for the EU scum.

  • I sneeze in threes

    Boles will weasel out by saying he hasn’t joined another party.

  • Sam Duncan

    “us as democratic leaders”

    *shudder* That should have set the alarm bells ringing, right there. If you’re anything “democratic” at all, Heidi, you’re a servant. (And that is why it is wrong for you to be picking and choosing the results that you don’t like.) In a democracy, we, all of us, would be the leaders. The clue’s in the name.

    I picked up on that little phrase almost reflexively, but the more I think about it, it occurs to me that it neatly represents exactly what has gone wrong with our polity. Our representatives, our servants, think they are the masters. It is, literally, a revolution.

    “Boles will weasel out by saying he hasn’t joined another party.”

    Yep. Place your bets on him joining the CUKs for the next election, folks…

  • James Strong

    It is important to point out the deceitful practices of so many Remainers who said they would respect the referendum result.

    Please keep doing it.

    Disagreement on policy is OK, deceit is not OK.

    I am going to send the link to everyone in email address book who I think might be interested.

  • James Strong

    Are you sure Sarah Woollaston was speaking to voters in Cambridge? Her constituency is in Devon.

    Please check, and amend if necessary.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Thank you for pointing that out, James Strong. I mixed up Sarah Wollaston’s constituency (Totnes) with Heidi Allen’s (South Cambridgeshire). I’ll correct it now.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    There has been a movement in the US for some years to support challengers to incumbents in primary elections, where each of the 2 main parties selects its candidate for the subsequent general election. The idea is that there are so many “safe seats” due to gerrymandering by the Political Class that the chances of replacing an incumbent with an opponent from the opposite party is usually small. Sadly, the re-election rate in the US is generally above 90%. Many fewer people vote in primary elections, making it more practicable to “deselect” (in UK terms) an incumbent.

    The movement has had some successes. But primary challenges also brought us Alexandra Occasional-Cortex.

    The Political Class in the US has stacked the deck to make it difficult for anyone other than the two main parties to run successfully in an election. Apparently, the barriers to entry are much lower in the UK. New parties could easily run candidates, and deselected incumbents could run as independents (or quasi-independents, with surreptitious support from Party HQ). But once more than 2 serious candidates run in a First Past the Post system, the results can be quite surprising — and candidates can be elected with only minority support. See, for example, Abraham Lincoln.

  • Mr Ed

    1. Mr Boles made a promise only operative were he to defect to another party. He has not done so, he sits as an independent, not in another party, so he has not breached the terms of the commitment cited. Of course, he sought to sabotage his Party’s moves towards manifesto implementation that is the issue in which it is sabotaging its own promise.

    2. You refer to members as ‘Right Honourable’, which only applies to Privy Counsellors, members of an Executive body, not to a simple MP; MPs are merely referred the as ‘Honourable’, as they are not so exalted. Barbados has the wonderful honour of ‘The Right Excellent’, but for the likes of Sir Garfield Sobers:

    What can be done? Recall?

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    Very handy, is the internet. Anything you say there will absolutely, definitely be taken down, and may be used in evidence against you, possibly decades later.

    That’s why I’m careful about what I write there.

    And good work, Natalie.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes the “Remainers” were and are liars.

    These people must be deselected – or, if they have already left the Conservative Party, defeated at the General Election.

    This includes Mrs Theresa May and Mr Philip Hammond – both of whom are liars, as well as being traitors to this country and fanatical enemies of liberty.

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