Election predicted Referendum and parliament covered in MP’S park talk
MP Alex Chalk said he believed an election was coming when he spoke in Pittville Park this week.
He said Monday was “a moment when I actually followed the whip to vote for an election when it might not have actually been in my own personal interest because I actually felt this situation was not sustainable.”
Mr Chalk added ‘he is more confident now that Brexit can be resolved than he was 72 hours ago’ - stating that he has spoken to Prime Minister Boris Johnson directly, as well as Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid and civil servants, and is ‘satisfied’ attempts are being made to negotiate an exit deal with the EU.
Speaking on Tuesday evening, Mr Chalk answered questions from residents after announcing on Facebook he would like to ‘take the opportunity to speak to people about his and their concerns’ following the prorogation of Parliament.
There was a small but significant crowd of people who gathered in front of the Pittville Pump Rooms to talk with Mr Chalk, who applauded him when the session ended.
The crowd fielded questions the Cheltenham MP, who is also PPS to Dominic Raab at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, for over an hour.
When asked by a member of the crowd what his bottom line would be to resign, Mr Chalk said: “If there is a scintilla of a suggestion that the British government would act unlawfully, forget it, game over. That is a really important red line for me.”
He added that despite being strongly deprecated on the issue of prorogation, “You have to pick your moments, once you resign you only resign once.”
Mr Chalk said: “My sense was that actually we could be in a position when we land this.”
He mentioned that the Chief Whip had a conversation with him after Amber Rudd’s resignation on Sunday from the Department for Work and Pensions during the reshuffle.
He said: “I’m not going to spell things out, but you might be able to work things out for yourself.”
One woman fought back tears, speaking of her experiences as a European and who was denied a vote in the referendum, asked Mr Chalk if he join the calls for a second referendum.
“After 20 years of giving everything to this country”, she said, “I’m on the receiving end of everything that is happening now.”
Mr Chalk once again ruled out his support for a second referendum, saying that he questions how a repeat would bring the country back together.
He warned, as he previously did at a People’s Vote rally in Cheltenham, that it would provide an opportunity for political extremes.
Another woman, who mentioned that she was born in Northern Ireland, said: “Believe me Westminster doesn’t understand Northern Ireland, you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
“It is a sectarian society, this is now a sectarian society.
“When I came and lived here it was not, now it is a sectarian society.
As the session drew to a close, Mr Chalk thanked the crowd sincerely for taking part in this ‘big experiment.’
He said: “It gives me heart that we can come together as a nation in the future.”
Mr Chalk is currently involved in a cross-party initiative, along with Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, Liberal Democrat MP Sir Norman Lamb and others, who are looking at breaking the political impasse through a modified version of Theresa May’s previous deal .
It gives me heart that we can come together as a nation in the future.
MP Alex Chalk holds an impromptu Q&A at Pittville Park