West Sussex Tory association chairman claims Theresa May is ‘abusing’ party members over Brexit

Theresa May was asked to change course on Brexit or step down
Theresa May was asked to change course on Brexit or step down

A Conservative association chairman in West Sussex has told Theresa May she is ‘abusing’ both party members and supporting voters over Brexit.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Geoff Thorpe described how loyal members are continuing to ‘plough on’ despite being ‘frustrated, confused and just plain angry’.

Mr Thorpe, chairman of the Arundel and South Downs Conservative Association, said he had personally come to the conclusion that Mrs May was ‘now abusing both our local loyal party members and our supporting voters’.

He pleaded with her to change course or step aside in favour of ‘someone else who has the necessary resolve and commitment’.

He criticised the ‘flirtation’ with the Labour Party as ‘totally consistent with your whole approach to the whole Brexit process’ and ‘another scare tactic aimed at our hapless MPs’.

He suggested Mrs May was hoping that MPs out of a combination of fear, personal exhaustion and extra pressure from the membership will ‘capitulate and your unacceptable apology for Brexit will finally prevail’.

Mr Thorpe wrote: “Bad enough that the vast majority remain un-listened to, and by inference totally undervalued by both yourself and the party hierarchy, but additionally well beyond our ‘red line’ when we are considered ‘collateral damage’ in terms of those Westminster manoeuvres.

“Prime Minister you have now crossed the ‘red line’ of use to abuse.

“I am incredulous that a woman of your obvious intellect and loyalty to both country and party would so fundamentally risk, on the alter of a now blind belief in her own personal crusade, the on-going loyalty and active involvement of our precious membership. It reads like a Shakespearian tragedy. A tragedy which will inevitably end in both personal and party ignominy.”

He described how the majority of members who have contacted him want a ‘True Brexit’ that was promised.

His letter explained: “Not a ‘Sham Brexit’ but a clear and unequivocal Brexit. They, and I confess I, hold no fear of a ‘No Deal’ exit from the EU.

He concluded: “All I can do, from a position of an overview of our own association is to personally implore you to listen to the now radically stirring voice of the usually quiet, but now ‘abused’ and ever more annoyed majority. “Please please for the sake of us all, either change course and properly carry out our manifesto commitments or stand aside in favour of someone else who has the necessary resolve and commitment to do so.”

Nick Herbert, Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, has been approached for comment.