Brandon Lewis has reportedly told Tory candidates if “you are not an MEP already you aren’t winning” a seat in Brussels, when the UK goes to the polls on May 23. Tory MEPs are set to face the consequences of Theresa May’s failure to deliver Brexit on time following an extension to Article 50 until October 31. Meanwhile a party insider acknowledged the Tories were not “under any illusion” of the task at hand to win back support from angry Brexiteers.
A Tory source told the Telegraph: “We do not want this election to take place, we are disappointed the election is taking place.
“But there is an election and the Conservative Party has always ensured that there is a party candidate to vote for. Whilst we vehemently hope the MPs will sort this out in advance of the end of June, we can’t avoid the election.”
The Tories have already suffered humiliation in the local elections for its failure to honour the 2016 referendum and lost a total of 1,330 seats and control of 44 councils.
The resurgence of Nigel Farage into frontline politics with the Brexit Party is set to further dismantle support for the Tories who continue to plummet in the latest polls.
The latest YouGov survey of voter intentions puts the Tories trailing in fifth place behind Mr Farage’s eurosceptic Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.
The Brexit Party is forecast to recieve over a third of all votes, it is polling at 34 percent, Labour has 16 percent, Lib Dem 15 percent, Green Party 11 percent and Conservatives on just 10 percent.
In a last-ditch attempt to try and deliver Brexit and soften the blow of the EU elections, the Prime Minister has outlined plans for a fourth vote on a withdrawal agreement in June.
However Mrs May plans have already been savaged and has been warned she faces yet another defeat in the House of Commons, after Brexit hardliners refused to support the deal as well as Labour.
Vice-chair of the powerful European Research Group, Steve Baker, questioned why Mrs May would bring her “failed deal” before Parliament and suggested it would do little to counter the threat posed by Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
Labour will also oppose the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, unless a cross-party deal, which is not forthcoming, is reached with the Government.
DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds questioned “what has changed” from the deal which has already been rejected three times by MPs.
Meanwhile the Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay acknowledged the deal thrashed out in negotiations with the European Union’s Michel Barnier would be “dead” if MPs rejected it again.
The YouGov survey was conducted between May 8/9 and asked 2,212 adults in the UK.