Amber Rudd warns Boris Johnson not to 'bulldoze' Parliament in first speech since quitting Cabinet

Posted On: 
12th September 2019

Amber Rudd has warned Boris Johnson not to "alienate" half of the country by trying to "bulldoze" through a no-deal Brexit.

The Hastings and Rye MP has announced she will not stand in the seat at the next election.

In her first speech since quitting the Cabinet and the Conservative party, the former Work and Pensions Secretary will say that Britain risks either a no-deal outcome or scrapping Brexit altogether if MPs cannot compromise.

“Choosing either of those paths would wholly alienate those on the other side of the argument,” Ms Rudd will tell the Reform think tank.

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“It would risk fuelling the anger, resentment and divisions we are already facing.”

Ms Rudd, who dramatically resigned on Saturday night, claiming that the Prime Minister is making no real effort to agree a new Brexit deal with Brussels, will add: "I continue to believe that compromise is the right approach.

“But it is extremely difficult for elected politicians to advocate policies that are literally nobody’s first choice. 

"Most people acknowledge we have to leave, but we can’t keep trying bulldoze one type of Brexit through a Parliament where MPs take a different view of their democratic responsibilities.

"The tragedy here is not that one side is anti-democratic, it is that fundamentally our democracy has delivered two opposing views."

And, in a plea for Labour MPs to back any agreement that the Government manages to strike with the European Union, Ms Rudd will say: "Politicians have a responsibility to acknowledge the crisis we are in, and to find solutions."

The former Cabinet minister will also question whether a fresh focus on electoral reform is needed to break the "logjam" and tackle a "divided" House of Commons and "bloated" House of Lords.

She will add: "Would a system of more proportional representation have seen our institutions better able to respect the results of elections?"

Ms Rudd's speech comes after it was confirmed that she will not fight to keep her seat in her marginal Hastings and Rye constituency at the next election.

The former Conservative - who resigned the Tory whip as she left the Cabinet - has represented the south east seat since 2010, and currently holds it with a majority of just 346.

But the MP's parliamentary office told local paper the Hastings & St Leonards Observer: "Amber will not stand against the Hastings and Rye Conservative Association and their parliamentary candidate if there is a General Election."

The move was welcomed by local Liberal Democrat rival Nick Perry, who said her resignation had offered " further evidence that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party is now a Trojan horse for the Brexit Party".

Meanwhile Labour's parliamentary candidate Peter Chowney said: "I look forward to other prominent Conservatives, both nationally and locally, taking the same honourable route."