A member’s view
Since my last piece in this newspaper (Gloucestershire Echo, 5th September 2019) we have seen a dramatic shift in the political landscape.
The Prime Minister has lost several critical votes in Parliament, one by his own admission a matter of confidence. In any normal circumstance, an election would be a highly welcome, and expected, result of such occurrences, but these are not normal times.
The country teeters on the brink of a highly damaging no-deal exit, an outcome which must categorically be removed from the table before any election can occur. Parliament has, despite Boris Johnson’s unprecedented prorogation, made clear that such an outcome is unacceptable to it, and how did Mr. Johnson respond? By trying, and failing, once again to interrupt Parliament’s function by attempting to call a General Election.
This desire for an election is not one based on a genuine desire to debate the issues facing our country and set a course for the future but is a nakedly self-interested attempt to keep Boris Johnson in Downing Street after his leadership has been sound roundly rejected. Mr. Johnson has made clear that he will not, as the law will soon require, request an Article 50 extension at the European Council, and has himself accepted, by declaring last Wednesday’s vote a matter of confidence, that the House has no confidence in his leadership.
It is therefore only appropriate that he resign as Prime Minister to make way for a leader who can command confidence in the House, avoid no-deal, and give this country the time it needs for a full and proper debate on Brexit and the many other issues which it faces.
Whether this new leader comes for the Conservative party or, preferably, from a Labour-led coalition, they must call an election as soon as an extension has been agreed, so that the next steps in the Brexit process can be properly debated alongside the host of other issues facing our country.
Cheltenham Labour Party.
(Also in Gloucestershire Echo)