Nigel Evans: My View from Westminster

I've been a member of the Conservative Party for 44 years and an MP for nearly 28, and never has politics been more relevant, important, lively and totally frustrating and duplicitous. I would scream if I thought it would help.

One shouldn't play the blame game, but here it goes.

The 2017 General Election delivered a minority Government, which always transfers power to small groups of MPs who use their leverage to progress their own agendas or even their own advancement.

The manifesto of 2017 will go down in history as the biggest own goal in politics. The Labour Party didn't need a manifesto - we gifted them ours, dripping in attack after attack on our base supporters. In 7 General Elections I have never fought a campaign with such a miserable, poisonous document which cost a lot of dear Conservative colleagues and friends their seats.

I told Theresa it was awful; she responded only by tweaked the acidity slightly, leaving a huge bitterness in the mouths of voters. How we did so well despite this still stupefies me, but we must remember that we did reduce a 24% lead to zero during that painful, long campaign.

Then there are those who simply cannot come to terms with the result of the referendum. These are the people who voted for the referendum, campaigned to Remain, lost, and then contested the subsequent titanic election campaign on delivering Brexit. 

The vast majority of the Labour Party have done everything they can to prevent the UK leaving the EU. Their position has moved away from their own promises during the 2017 election to deliver Brexit as well, with them now saying that they support being in a customs union, single market and the principle of free movement, among other things.

This might be typified as staying in the EU because that is exactly what it is. It is total and utter betrayal of what they told their voters in their own heartlands during the campaign.

I pay tribute to the small number of Labour MPs who actually listen to their own constituents but they are in a minority.

The real point here is Jeremy Corbyn is not in control of his own Party. He has been led by the nose by Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer and Tom Watson. All three have three things in common. 

1. They wish to replace Jeremy Coryn as leader of the Labour Party;

2. They wish to remain in the EU;

3. They couldn't give a stuff about their own voters.

The internal civil war will play out somehow but the latest resignation of Louise Ellman, an MP who puts my 28 years as an MP well into the shade, has been a decent and loyal servant of the Party for 55 years and yet the determined failure of Corbyn to stop the anti-Semitism in his own Party continues to furnish the political cemetery with a continuous stream of bodies.

The reality is that the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs want Corbyn gone, but they haven't worked out how to do it. 

Hence the next issue, which is never in 28 years have I ever witnessed a situation where the Government is offering a General Election and the opposition are running a million miles from it at a pace Eliud Kipchoge would admire.

Then we have the rebels on our own side. A small dedicated group who all share a love for the EU. They all voted Remain and the majority have done all they could to dilute and delay Brexit in order to ditch the whole thing.

They have also fallen in love with the concept of a confirmatory referendum as their last hope of preventing Brexit.

Ask yourself many of them voted Leave? How many of them would campaign for voting for Boris' deal?

Yes, you are getting the idea.

We have lost the likes of Heidi Allen, Dr Sarah Wollaston and the absurd Sam Gyimah to the Liberal Democrats. Only a few weeks ago Sam wanted to be the Leader of the Conservative Party.


They now are members of a Party that want to revoke Article 50 and then pretend 2016 never happened. My former colleagues really have found their rightful home in a party that is illiberal and is certainly not democratic. They should be prosecuted for the name of their Party being in breach of the Trades Description Act.

Then we have the Speaker of the House of Commons. A man who breached his promise to stay in the Chair for only 9 years, and then has courted the Remain side with his partisan chairing of proceedings. He has chaired every second of the legislation dealing with Brexit. His deputies have been totally sidelined as he tore up his own rule book to allow Parliament to pass legislation as if it were the Government.

He has ditched impartiality and thrown away the referee's whistle, to take the penalties.

This brings me onto Hilary Benn. His Surrender Act was one of the most appalling pieces of legislation I have ever witnessed, giving huge advantage to the EU. Benn doesn't want to stop no deal, he simply wants to stay in.

Forcing the PM to ask for an extension if there was no deal passed by Parliament means that the Commons, stuffed full of Remain MPs, only has to vote down the deal to ensure that we Remain in the EU for at least three more months. In that time they hope they can have a second referendum which will neatly place the blame, should voters reject the deal, firmly back on the public.

So we finally come to the real people who are to blame.

Never in the history of politics has role reversal been done with such majesty. Normally it is the people who feel their elected politicians have let down the voters. In this Orwellian world in which we live it is the MPs who feel badly let down by their electorate.

If only the MPs could kick them out of power. The voters would not listen to their masters during the referendum and so they must be given a second opportunity to get it right. The people are to blame for this mess and that is why they must not be trusted with an early election. You only have to look at the opinion polls to see that Boris Johnson is streets ahead of Corbyn, so the stupid voters have learnt nothing since 2016. Therefore until they learn from  their mistakes they will have to put up with a second referendum, with this rotten Remain Parliament being in full control.

This is the state of British politics today. After more than three years, parliament has done all it could to frustrate the clear instructions of the voters. No Brexit, No General Election and MPs blame their 'reckless' voters.

This is such a calamitous view for MPs to take but their monumental arrogance will not go unpunished. As commuters at Canning Town this week showed, they can only take so much rubbish - there are limits. 

The customer, ergo the voter, is always right. The people who feared that their voices were not listened to are having their fears colossally confirmed. MPs have acted as if they were the masters. They were entrusted with delivering Brexit and because they hate the idea of leaving the EU they have simply not delivered on their word. The people who put them into power are being taken for fools by their elected representatives and this is too stupid for words.

So MPs can continue to play their games, continue to have their private meetings where they plot their next obstruction, continue to ignore the voters, continue their delays to leaving the EU, dressed up as consulting the public in another referendum.

The voters are not fools.

Even my Ribble Valley remain voters tell me that whilst they voted Remain, MPs should just get on with it and do what they were told to do.

The next election cannot be delayed for ever. As Michel Barnier would say, "The clock is ticking" - and when it comes, well, let's just say I can't wait.

That's when the blame game stops, and the voters rightfully take back their power.

Nigel Evans MP