The Guido Fawkes blog has seen evidence that Conservative Party HQ is in the process of suspending members of the party for backing the Brexit Party in last month’s European elections.
One long-standing member who spoke to the blog claims to have received the suspension for merely attending an event which featured Brexit Party speakers.
The European elections, which were won by the Brexit Party by a significant margin, saw many traditional party loyalties eroded with the two traditional parties securing less than 23% of the nationwide vote.
Survey evidence before the vote suggested that the Tories – who sank to just 8.8% from a 23.1% result in 2014 – would suffer particularly badly. A ConservativeHome poll published a month before the election, while the Brexit Party campaign was still ramping up, showed over 60% of Tory members planning to vote for the insurgent group ahead of their own party.
The crackdown could be a result of entryism fears following the success of Leave.EU’s Blue Wave initiative, which claims to have signed up over 25,000 new members to the Conservative Party.
In addition to swelling the number of Brexiteers in the party, who will presumably back Boris Johnson in the final ballot, the faction has also pushed ahead with significant deselection moves against Remainer MPs including Dominic Grieve and Dr Philip Lee. The justice minister David Gauke faces a Special General Meeting this Friday.
If CCHQ is looking to suspend every Tory member who backed the Brexit Party last month, or every member associated with the Blue Wave, they’ll be writing an awful lot of letters in the coming days…