Brexit poll­sters tar­get Tory MPS with de­s­e­lec­tion threat

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Vic­to­ria Ward

CON­SER­VA­TIVE MPS have com­plained that Leave cam­paign­ers are us­ing polls to in­crease their chances of de­s­e­lec­tion.

Nicky Mor­gan, the for­mer ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter, said vot­ers con­tacted re­cently by Com­res had been asked “very lead­ing ques­tions about whether Con­ser­va­tive MPS who don’t fol­low ‘the will of the peo­ple’ will be de­s­e­lected.”

Stephen Ham­mond, MP for Wim­ble­don, told the Evening Stan­dard that his seat had also been tar­geted by poll­sters ask­ing “Would a united Con­ser­va­tive Party de­liver a hard Brexit? Do you re­alise that your MP is op­posed to hard Brexit?”

Sev­eral other MPS are also thought to have been sin­gled out amid a height­ened threat of de­s­e­lec­tion. The pri­vate client who com­mis­sioned the Com­res poll, which has not yet been pub­lished, is be­lieved to have links with the Leave move­ment.

Mr Ham­mond said he did not be­lieve they “had a right to de­lib­er­ately un­der­mine democ­racy” while Ms Mor­gan said she as­sumed the poll was de­signed to heap pres­sure on those who had spo­ken out against a hard Brexit or nodeal Brexit.

The de­s­e­lec­tion fears echo those en­gulf­ing parts of the Labour Party af­ter a num­ber of mod­er­ate MPS re­cently lost votes of no con­fi­dence in their con­stituen­cies, spark­ing fears of a purge.

Po­lice were forced to in­ter­vene af­ter two MPS had “sin­is­ter” cards de­liv­ered to their par­lia­men­tary of­fices wish­ing them “good luck with the new ca­reer”. Of­fi­cers are ex­am­in­ing how an in­truder was able to en­ter the of­fice of Joan Ryan, chair­man of the Labour Friends of Is­rael, and place the card on her desk.

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