Anyone looking at the glacial pace of this recent Parliament when it comes to Brexit, and its tortuous decision to extend Article 50 once again, will probably understand why Boris Johnson is so keen to call an election this Christmas – especially when he doesn’t currently have a majority in the House of Commons.
For some though, it appears that the current push for an election is really, actually, all about them. Former Chancellor Philip Hammond certainly seemed to make that argument when he appeared on the Today programme this morning. The MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, who has since lost the Tory whip, said he feared Boris Johnson only really wanted an election so he could re-engineer the Conservative Party, and remove MPs like himself:
‘I fear that the real narrative here is that the Vote Leave activists – the cohort that has seized control of Downing Street and to some extent in the headquarters of the Conservative party – wants this general election to change the shape of the Conservative party in Parliament. To get rid of a cohort of MPs that it regards as not robust enough on this issue, and to replace them with hardliners.’
Could Mr S perhaps gently suggest that Hammond (who will stand as an independent at the next election and is unlikely to retain his seat) might have his own, less than altruistic reasons for opposing the next electoral contest?