Anyhow the state of play this afternoon is interesting. In the case of Timothy ‘Victoria’ Kirkhope, well he really is in a fine pickle. He issued his threat to the five, since then a sixth has signed – Theresa Villiers, who has not yet resigned her seat after being elected to Westminster – on Friday, stating that at midday today that he “must insist” that they remove their names. No such undertaking has been received. He threatened “very serious consequences”, well I wonder what they could be.
As his, and his appalling Chief Whip’s authority is on the line then he has to act. But he hasn’t. From what I understand the moment passed and still the rebels phones emails and fax machines stayed idle. No message from Victoria.
He has to either;
A) Kick them out of the Party (including Villiers who is a Westminster MP) – but that would require a level of support in CCO which he does not have
B) Kick them out of the EPP – which is exactly what the rebels would want.
C) Resign with their authority in tatters.
D) Pretend nothing had happened, ignore reality and be despised by all and sundry.
My betting is the last of those options. After all it is the Tory MEPs we are talking about here, people described in a letter in today’s Telegraph by Roger Helmer – one of the rebels thusly,
“the MEPs are a self-selecting and unrepresentative group, because the sort of people who offer themselves as candidates for the euro-election are, for the most part, those who are more interested in, and more positive about, the EU project.
In this sense, the Tory MEPs are unrepresentative of the party's views on the greatest issue of our generation. They must not be allowed to skew the result.”
I have been told by various journalists that they have been utterly unable to get hold of Viccy, he won’t return their calls, his mobile remains unanswered, what can be the problem?
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