Tory MP Johnny Mercer says party would be ‘wiped out’ at snap election
A snap election would see the Conservatives “wiped out” and a Labour government ushered in, Johnny Mercer has said.
In a damning intervention, the Plymouth Moor View MP said frustrations felt by both hardline Remainers and Leavers would see the party cast aside and Jeremy Corbyn handed the keys to Number 10.
“The party will get wiped out,’ he told The Spectator.
“We’ll get top-sliced and bottom-sliced by those who don’t want any Brexit - and those who want a Ukip version of Brexit. We’ll just get left behind and Jeremy Corbyn will be prime minister.”
The comments come as Parliament struggles to find a way through the Brexit impasse, with just a week left until Britain could crash out of the bloc with no-deal.
Mr Mercer told the magazine that while he voted to Remain in 2016 out of loyalty to David Cameron, he believed the majority made the right decision and “we need to get on and see that through”.
The backbencher, seen as a rising star in the Tories, added that the party needs to change its top team and adopt a more moderate brand of conservatism if its fortunes are to be rescued.
“There’s this massive disengaged centre that the elite would have us think are just not interested in politics. That is rubbish,” he said.
“They have never been more connected. They are just waiting to be set on fire by good, competent, modern, centre, centre-right aspirational future politics. It’s really exciting.
“I honestly believe it will be like dropping a match into petrol. They want to be engaged, they want something to vote for. But we have to go and earn it."
Elsewhere he added that recent criticisms of the party leadership by some of his colleagues appeared “disingenuous”.
It follows his sensational claims last year to PoliticsHome’s sister title, The House magazine, that the government was a “shit-show” and that were he not an MP he would not vote Conservative.
“You have people lining up saying: this is all a disaster and aren’t we terrible. I think it’s a bit disingenuous: the time to say that was six or seven months ago, when I said it,’ he says.
“It’s not like I’ve got a degree in PPE from Oxford. But it was very clear to me that this was going to end badly - so it was time to say something, to try and get a slight shift in direction.
“Now, has it got better? I mean you don’t need me to answer that.”
However he also hit out at colleagues who briefed against the Prime Minister anonymously, insisting that they should "put [their] name to it and say it or shut the f*** up."