Tory leadership: There should be a general election says Butler
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Around 160,000 Tory Party members will decide whether Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Chancellor Rishi Sunak will replace Boris Johnson after his resignation on July 7. David Mellor, who was a cabinet minister under John Major, questioned the fairness of a small electorate last month.
He told BBC News on July 21: “Why should 0.2 percent of the British public determine who the next Prime Minister is?
“Most of them white men of a certain age as well. I would be an ideal Conservative Party member but I’m not proud of that fact.”
Mr Johnson’s successor will be the third Prime Minister appointed in the past six years without a general election.
A survey by Savanta ComRes for the Independent, published on Sunday, July 31, shows there is an appetite for a snap election.
The results show that 56 percent support the proposal that the winner of the Tory leadership race “should call a general election immediately”.
Just over a third disagreed, and 34 percent of Tory voters at the 2019 election believe the new leader should go to the polls.
Chris Hopkins, associate director at Savanta ComRes, said: “Despite it becoming fairly commonplace in recent years for Prime Ministers to come and go without the backing of the public at an election, the view that the next leader of the Conservative Party should call an immediate election and seek a mandate from the British public is held by a majority of the public.”
Meanwhile, Charles Walker, a former vice-chair of the 1922 Committee, said the leadership contest “should have got nowhere near” the Tory Party members and a new leader should be determined by MPs.
He claimed last week that letting the party faithful pick a new Prime Minister was an idea “well past its sell-by date”.
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Mr Walker added it was inevitable the current rules would lead to “shrill and accusative” blue-on-blue attacks by the candidates.
He explained: “It’s a view shared by many of my colleagues privately who wouldn’t dare say it publicly.
“MPs should be left to pick party leaders because we know the strength and weaknesses of the candidate far better than the membership because we serve and work with them every day in Westminster.”
A new Prime Minister will be announced by Chair of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady on September 5.
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