Does any­one be­lieve what the PM says?

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTER & OPINION -

✒ AS our par­lia­ment em­barks on a very long pro­ro­ga­tion, our Prime Min­is­ter says this will help him and his team pre­pare a new Queen’s Speech. Does any­body be­lieve him?

Few of us judge that a Gen­eral Elec­tion is likely to pro­duce a use­ful out­come.

The cru­cial is­sue is - of course Brexit. On this the Tories are split, Labour is in a semi-paral­ysed state, and the par­ties which have a clear Euro­pean pol­icy don’t have enough sup­port to form a gov­ern­ment. Much more help­ful would be a Peo­ple’s Vote.

Any talk of a Gov­ern­ment of Na­tional Unity headed by a re­spected politi­cian such as Har­riet Har­man is prob­a­bly tor­pe­doed by her de­ci­sion to of­fer her­self as a can­di­date to suc­ceed John Ber­cow as Speaker. Ken Clarke would be a good choice, of course.

What I write, how­ever well­re­searched, is of course open to dis­missal as Project Fear.

Men­tion­ing re­search re­minds me of the ERG. Our MP Alex Chalk re­ferred to this group in his skil­fully crafted House Notes last week and in his im­promptu re­marks to a large group of us out­side his con­stituency of­fice re­cently.

This group is known to be a force within the West­min­ster Tories.

Who pre­cisely are they? The In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner judged that the group’s mem­ber­ship should be made known but I do not know if that has been hon­oured. John Rick­etts Lyn­worth

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