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Now Ruth Davidson has turned on Boris Johnson

Reiss Smith September 4, 2019
Ruth Davidson speaking

Ruth Davidson quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives on August 29. (Getty)

Ruth Davidson has joined a growing number of politicians criticising Boris Johnson for expelling 21 Conservative MPs from the party.

Johnson removed the whip from the 21 MPs who defied the government on Tuesday, September 3, helping the opposition to take control of the parliamentary agenda and table a bill which could force him to seek a Brexit delay.

The move means that they will not be able to stand as Conservative MPs in the next general election.

Among those ousted were Philip Hammond, former chancellor, Justine Greening, the first openly-lesbian cabinet member, and Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill.

Many have expressed their outrage at Johnson’s cut-throat behaviour, including Ruth Davidson, who was until last week leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

“How, in the name of all that is good and holy, is there no longer room in the Conservative Party for @NSoames?” she tweeted.

Soames said that the chief whip informed him that he would not be chosen to stand at the next election shortly after Tuesday night’s vote.

“I voted against the government three times in 37 years and I’ve had the whip removed,” he told BBC Newsnight.

“I knew what I was doing, but I believe they’re not playing straight with us.

“To say you want a deal is quite differs from saying you want a deal that’s achievable, and what he wants is not achievable.”

What he wants is not achievable.

Father of the house and former chancellor Ken Clarke was also stripped of the whip. He told Newsnight‘s Emily Maitliss that he no longer recognises his old party.

“It’s been taken over by a rather knock-about character,” he said.

Both men confirmed that they would not stand at the next election.

Rory Stewart told he’d lost the whip by text.

Rory Stewart, who ran against Johnson in this summer’s leadership race, said that he found out he had been expelled from the party via text.

He called it an astonishing moment, and told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It feels a little bit like something that one associates with other countries – one opposes the leader, one loses the leadership race, no longer in the cabinet and now apparently thrown out of the party and out of one’s seat too.”

James Cleverly MP, the Tory chairman, said that “it is a very long-standing convention that an MP who votes to remove executive power from their own government and hand it to the opposition has the party whip removed”.

MPs to vote on Brexit delay and possible general election.

After MPs voted to take control of the Commons, parliament will on Wednesday, September 4, vote on whether to force the prime minister to seek a Brexit extension.

Johnson has said that should the motion pass, he will call for a snap general election to be held on October 15.

For that election to be held, two-thirds of parliament must support Johnson’s motion.

Labour has said that it will not approve any snap election unless the Brexit delay bill is passed.

“We are not going to be voting with Johnson today,” shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“[Johnson] says: ‘Of course I’ll have a general election on 15 October, nothing to worry about’—but no one in parliament trusts this man.”

More: Boris Johnson, brexit, ruth davidson

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