This was first posted on Facebook on 7th September 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Amber Rudd resigned both from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet (she was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) and from the Tory Whip today – meaning she is now sitting as an independent, not a Conservative MP.
(Tory MPs: 288. As of today.)
In 2005, Hastings and Rye was a Labour constituency, and had been since 1997. Amber Rudd won it for the Tories in 2010, won it again in 2015 and in 2017 – but the Labour candidate had been only 300 votes behind her 2017, and he’s standing against her again at the next General Election, where she will be on the ballot as an Independent.
Over six months, 10,491 people in Hastings and Rye signed the petition to revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. It’s possible Amber Rudd may have had this in mind, but what she said was the reason for her resignation was that there was no evidence Boris Johnson was seeking a deal with the EU.
Amber Rudd had been Theresa May’s Home Secretary for a couple of years, and was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from November 2018 til today. She would have been present for Cabinet-level discussions of Brexit. If she says there is no evidence Boris Johnson is seeking a deal with the EU, she would know what she is talking about.
Boris Johnson’s brother Jo Johnson also resigned from Cabinet this week, and announced he was standing down as a Tory MP at the next general election – that is, he wasn’t going to instantly deprive his brother of a Tory vote, nor force Johnson to hold a by-election (Orpington is a Tory safe seat, but by-elections are chancy for the government). But Amber Rudd has just joined the 21 braver ex-Tories who quit earlier in the week – and if she’s gone and Jo’s gone, Boris Johnson must be asking himself – who’s next?