GRIEVE FACES BACKLASH FROM PARTY FAITHFUL
Tory rebel Dominic Grieve is facing a massive backlash and potential de-selection from angry Conservative members in his "safe" seat in Beaconsfield.
Grieve, the former attorney general, left many party supporters outraged by his comments to fellow MP’s that he “ …never felt more ashamed to be a member of the Conservative Party or to be asked to lend her (The Prime Minister) support.”
Now after growing discontent from many of his constituents, enough signatures have been raised to force the local association to call for a vote of confidence in the MP at the annual general meeting – ironically on March 29 when the UK was meant to be leaving the European Community.
Local party member Ernie Cochrane said: “We are ashamed to be represented by someone who we feel has been duplicitous, disloyal and not representing our interests.”
The 100 strong group calls itself the Bccademocracy and their mood is best summed up by former European Healthcare finance director, Richard Jenkins who said: “We respect Grieve’s opinion on Europe, whilst disagreeing vehemently with his unfounded predictions of gloom over leaving.
“It is the fact that he stood on a platform to support the government and respect the referendum result. He then voted to trigger Article 50, but all his subsequent actions have been directed to obstructing Brexit and making things difficult for Theresa May and the Conservative government.”
Bruce Goodwin has been frustrated by Grieve’s constant media appearances, whilst allegedly ignoring and not engaging with his constituents.
Another local constituent Catherine Francoise wants to challenge why he has kept secret the minutes of a taxpayer-funded trip to Brussels to meet the EU’s Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier last year, with Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry. She is also concerned the minutes of last year's Beaconsfield AGM did not reflect the heated opposition to Grieve.
Many believe local chairman Santokh Chhokar is not listening to the groundswell of local opinion and he has been accused of attempting to ignore the discontent and also tried to claim that John Strafford, a former local chairman and member for forty years was not entitled to bring the vote of ‘ confidence’ in the MP.
Grieve believes that 'entryism’ has taken place in the local party, but only former UKIP candidate for Beaconsfield Jon Conway is the sole activist from another party to join the local Tories.
Conway said: “I’m hardly a tidal wave of one ‘entryist’ and it’s ironic he persuaded me to believe his pledges to honour the referendum, but is now ashamed of the party he convinced me to rejoin.
“I am hearing time and again, it is not because of his extreme views on the EU, it is because he has gone back on his word and been disloyal to the party and the Prime Minister, that people don’t want him as their MP. I hope he does the honourable thing and resigns.”
Tory member and businesswoman Beryl Dite feels Theresa May should be respected for trying her best. She says: “Grieve is the rebel, not us, we support our party leader and PM, we represent the 17 million who voted to Leave. No-one voted for him to disrupt and delay the way he has.”