Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson urges MPs to campaign in Amber Rudd’s seat

Posted On: 
11th October 2017

The Conservatives' chief whip has sent an email to all MPs in a bid to encourage them to campaign in Amber Rudd’s seat this weekend.

The Home Secretary has a majority of 346, just 0.6% ahead of Labour.
Credit: 
PA Images

In a move that surprised his colleagues, Gavin Williamson asked Tory MPs to come to a “campaign action day” in Hastings and Rye. 

The Home Secretary has a majority of 346, just 0.6% ahead of Labour. 

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Labour has been campaigning in marginal seats since June 8th, with Jeremy Corbyn organising election-style rallies in Ms Rudd’s seat as part of the summer campaign drive. 

Mr Williamson’s email was met with confusion by some colleagues who wondered about the whip’s motive.

Previously he has encouraged MPs to campaign in by-elections and local elections, instead of cabinet colleagues who may run to be party leader in the future. 

One MP told The Times: “We all recognise the importance of supporting colleagues but the choice here seems odd. What message is Gavin trying to send — that he will support Amber in the future? He has been a key power broker in the past getting Theresa elected, these things don’t happen by accident.”

However, another MP said the email was not out of ordinary as people are also campaigning in Iain Duncan Smith’s Chingford seat.

“People were campaigning in Jackie Doyle-Price’s constituency on Saturday — it’s happening in all low-majority seats. It’s not raising any eyebrows.”