A NEW devious remainer plot could be afoot, a leading Brexiteer MP has told Politicalite, as tens of thousands of new members have joined the Conservatives in the last year, swelling the electorate that will choose Theresa May’s successor.
The Tories now have more than 160,000 paid-up supporters, an increase of almost a third since March 2018.
Sources claimed the rise was down to a recruitment drive led by Brandon Lewis, who was appointed as party chairman in January 2018.
However, although the rapid growth has sparked claims that the Tories have been “infiltrated” by hard-line Brexiteers in recent months, one pro-Brexit MP has informed Politicalite that there is also a growing fear within the leave camp of Parliament that the new members could in fact be ‘undercover remainers’ seeking to thwart the process by forcing in a pro-remain Prime Minister such as Jeremy Hunt or Rory Stewart (who backs a so-called ‘People’s vote’).
Hunt was a staunch advocate for remain during the 2016 referendum, but now (in a similar fashion to the soon-to-be leaving PM) has stated that he “believes in Brexit”. Many fear that this is in fact is nothing more than a soundbite, with people close to Hunt suggesting that the Tory leadership candidate is still just as staunchly pro-remain today as he was three years ago.
Others have even suggested that the memberships could have been purchased by the EU or by pro-remain groups who are known to have large financial backers and conniving campaign teams.
Tory members will be asked to vote for one of two final candidates in the leadership race once the initial (long) list of candidates is whittled down over the coming weeks.
Politicalite will be keeping a close eye on the matter and will update as the story develops.