They may no longer be Conservative MPs, but that did not hold back several members of the Gaukeward squad from heading to the Conservative party conference yesterday in Manchester. Former Tory MPs Dominic Grieve, David Gauke, and Alistair Burt took part in a fringe event outside the main conference area, organised by ‘Conservative group for Europe’.
And although the audience which had gathered was generally supportive of the ‘rebel alliance’ (and replete with EU flag berets), some in the crowd were less than happy with Dominic Grieve’s plans to hold a second referendum.
At several points the former Tory MP was interrupted as he gave his speech, with one member of the audience taking issue with fact that prorogation had been cancelled, noting that MPs ‘hadn’t done anything’ since they came back. Grieve was also challenged over his call for another referendum, with a heckler shouting that the British people had already said what they think about Brexit.
Listen to the clashes here:
Later on in the event, the first heckler was given a chance to say his piece, and revealed that he was a Conservative councillor, saying:
‘I go and knock on doors every week, for one reason or another. And what the people keep saying, and it’s across the board whether they’re traditional Labour voters or traditional Conservative voters is “Just get it done. Just get on with it”. They are fed up with the fact the parliament has abjectly failed to progress Brexit.
And now I listen to you Mr Burt, and I do not doubt the passion and conviction with which you speak. And I’m sorry Mr Grieve, I don’t believe you, I really do not think that you want a deal.’