Two cabinet ministers are sympathetic to calls for a new centrist party to oppose Brexit, according to David Davis’s former chief of staff. “It’s going to make Black Wednesday look like a picnic”, Chapman said.
The former aide – who also worked for George Osborne – denied the former Chancellor was behind the push for a new party, saying: “Not at all”.
James Chapman, who left his role as chief of staff in the Department for Exiting the European Union before the June general election said on Friday morning: “The Conservative brand has been damaged to such an extent it won’t get a majority again”.
James Chapman stepped up his online campaign for a proposed “Democrats” party he has been mounting while on holiday in Greece, saying Brexit signalled the demise of the Conservatives.
“They are not saying they are going to quit their parties, but they are saying they understand that there is an enormous gap in the centre now of British politics“.
Now that name is, as we’ve discussed previously, meaningless and (in the context of the party’s Brexit mission) rather ironic.
The last time something like this was tried was in 1981. They became known as the Gang of Four and represented a moderate center-left, similar to what the party would later become under Tony Blair.
Meanwhile Conservative MP and fervent pro-leave campaigner Jacob Ress-Mogg, who was also speaking on BBC radio when Chapman floated the idea, expressed his disapproval of the idea.
But Mr Rees-Mogg fought back and said the nation wanted Brexit to be realised.
“Remember that 60 per cent of Tory MPs were for Remain and now they are paralysed – they won’t say what they think”, Mr Chapman added.
He said: “Most people in the higher levels of the party, and across the Conservative party in the nation, have accepted the democratic result of the referendum a year ago”.
One user even went to the trouble of creating a new Twitter account called @DemocratChapman, designed – according to their bio – “for those heeding @jameschapman’s call for a new UK Democratic Party (Unofficial as yet)”.
The Conservative brand will be so tarnished by its support of Brexit it will never win a majority again, a former Tory advisor has warned.