Senior Tory quits party after 24 years over Boris Johnson's 'dangerous' Brexit plans

Posted On: 
8th August 2019

A senior Tory has quit the party blaming Boris Johnson's "dangerous and damaging" Brexit strategy.

David Herdson was deeply critical of the direction Boris Johnson is taking the party
PA Images

David Herdson, a former councillor and ex-chair of two local Conservative associations, said he was tearing up his membership over the “obsession” with leaving the EU on 31 October 31, the Prime Minister's decision to hire Dominic Cummings and his "unconservative" spending plans.

Writing for the Political Betting website, he said: ”What is not necessary is the obsession with either the arbitrary deadline of 31 October, or the clear desire among many in the party to leave with no deal.

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“The latter would be deeply damaging to the economy and community cohesion, while the former makes it an all but certain outcome as there wouldn’t time to deliver anything else, even if the conditions for re-opening talks weren’t designed as if to be rejected.”

He said Brexit has become for the Conservatives “what nationalisation is for the Corbynite Labour Party: an end in itself, to be achieved irrespective of cost”.

Mr Herdson, who chaired the Shipley Conservative Association and then the Wakefield District Conservative Association until last year, said the party was no longer “the broad church they have traditionally aspired to be”.

He said although Mr Johnson is “by instinct a fairly liberal Conservative” he has surrounded himself both in Cabinet and Number 10 with “people drawn disproportionately from the right of the party".

Mr Herdson also said Mr Cummings, who is Mr Johnson's top adviser, will “cause conflict and chaos and destroy much more than he can create”.

And he accused the Prime Minister of preparing to undo all the work done by David Cameron’s governments in tackling the deficit with “uncontrolled promises made for additional spending or new tax cuts”.

“The largesse is both unconservative and un-Conservative,” he wrote.

The Conservative Party have been approached for comment.