Tory grandee Michael Heseltine on Sunday announced plans to cast his vote in favour of his local Liberal Democrat candidate in the upcoming European elections. Lord Heseltine, a committed Europhile and former deputy prime minister to Margaret Thatcher, said he could not back a party “myopically focused on forcing through the biggest act of economic self-harm” for Britain and will therefore back the anti-Brexit Lib Dem manifesto. But his announcement did not go down well with commentator Ella Wheelan, who tore into the Tory peer for his “arrogance.”
Speaking to The Andrew Marr Show, Ms Wheelan said: “Here’s a fantastic reason why I’m voting for the Brexit Party.
“Michael Heseltine wrote that ‘Brexit seeps its poison into every family, age group, class and region.’ It’s that kind of disdain for democracy that I think is pushing people towards the Brexit Party, which has a very clear message on democracy.
“Heseltine is an arch-Remainer, he is talking about the fact he is going to rebel, he is not going to vote for the Tories, he is going to vote for his local Liberal Democrat candidate because he hates Brexit so viciously and because he is so set against it.
“This is a wonderful example of the kind of arrogance among certain politicians that they think that, in relation to the referendum, they just don’t see it’s an issue they have to listen to. That’s why people want change.”
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The European elections of May 23 are shaping up to be a watershed moment for the Conservative Party, as recent YouGov forecasts – based on a survey of 7,192 adults conducted May 8-9 – put the Government at 9 percent against the Brexit Party at 34 percent and the Lib Dems at 16 percent.
Lord Heseltine’s announcement sparked fury among Tory MPs, with Bournemouth MP Conor Burns calling for Theresa May to have the peer’s whip removed.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Burns said: “You cannot announce that you intend to vote for another party and retain the Conservative Whip.
“What remains of discipline needs to be enforced and Heseltine needs to have the Whip removed. Not that it will make any difference in the Lords.”
Tory MEP David Bannerman Campbell said: “Heseltine at last admits in @thesundaytimes he thinks democracy (Brexit) is ‘poison’ and that he is really a Liberal Democrat. Blow me down! Will he lose whip??”
Commentator Julia Hartley-Brewer also joined the fray of critics as she claimed “Remoaners” such as Lord Heseltine and former Prime Minister John Major have become the political “extremists” with their bid to put an end to Brexit.
Ms Hartley-Brewer said: “Tories Heseltine and Major call for a return to the “middle ground”. Don’t they realise that respecting a democratic vote *is* the middle ground?
“It’s Remoaners like them, who seek to overturn the 2016 vote, who are the real extremists.”
Theresa May will bring the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which implements the departure terms, to the Commons for a vote in the week beginning June 3 just as US President Donald Trump begins a state visit to Britain.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told the Lords EU Committee earlier this week that if the Prime Minster’s deal is rejected again, then the “Barnier deal is dead.”
On Friday, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn announced the cross-party Brexit talks with the Government had “gone as far as they can” and were “unable to bridge important policy gaps”.
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