Will Norfolk’s MPs back Boris Johnson and support a Brexit general election?
PUBLISHED: 17:16 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:16 02 September 2019
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Prime minister Boris Johnson is ready to call a snap general election in a bid to get Brexit over the line. But would Norfolk’s MPs support another poll? RICHARD PORRITT investigates
This is the Brexit endgame.
Whatever people think about Boris Johnson's premiership so far it has certainly been bold. He blustered in, immediately sacked some very big beasts, told MPs to back him or he would sack them and even took the hugely controversial step of shutting parliament down.
The prime minister and his team of advisors - most notably consigliere Dominic Cummings - are determined to stay true to the promise that the UK will leave the EU on October 31.
Mr Johnson has already taken several steps most MPs would not have thought possible - or wise - during his short tenure. Do not be surprised if he was to call a Brexit general election now.
Number 10 sources have made it clear if he loses a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons - which could very well happen this week as members cram in debates ahead of prorogation - Mr Johnson would simply ignore the vote.
In usual circumstances there would be a period of reflection before attempts to form a new administration were made. But Mr Johnson is already on a war footing and sources close to the PM have said he would trigger a poll.
But what would he gain? The more insightful question might be "what has he got to lose?"
The Conservative majority is already wafer thin but national polling for Mr Johnson's fledgling administration has him ahead of Labour.
Brexit was never going to be easy to deliver with the country so divided over whether to leave or remain. An election right now, Mr Johnson believes, could solve it decisively in his favour.
One Tory source said: "Why would Boris be worried? He will not be concerned about Labour. He will back himself to get our there to the country and sell himself as the man to make sure Brexit is a success.
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"Of course lots fo things happen during election campaigns but Boris is a gambler. And a winner."
Trumping all of that is Mr Johnson's confidence. He will fancy his chances to return a healthy majority.
And Norfolk's MPs will back him all the way. In this region we have numerous members with government jobs who would have to stand down if they didn't back the government. And Number 10 has made it clear that anyone who defies the PM on Brexit - and surely therefore by extension an election - will face deselection.
Lib Dem Norman Lamb has already announced he won't stand in North Norfolk - a seat that will be high on the Tory target list. And Chloe Smith in Norwich North might find herself in a scrap to hold on to her seat in a city that backed staying in Europe.
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