Tory bosses urged to change leadership rules so Boris Johnson will have a better chance of being next PM https://t.co/NJvTscWK9n
— Sun Politics (@SunPolitics) August 19, 2018
As long as MPs exclusively control who the final two candidates sent to the members are the leadership ambitions of Boris are set to be unfulfilled.
For me the most interesting political story this week from a British standpoint was the desire of some supporters of Boris wishing to change the Tory leadership rules.
What many of us have been saying for a long time, and has been guiding my betting position, the quasi-AV system the Tory party uses to elect their leader is very unfavourable for someone like Boris Johnson, has been realised by the supporters of Boris.
The Conservative Party leadership election rules should be changed to make it more likely a pro-Brexit candidate succeeds Theresa May, a prominent MP has said.
Andrea Jenkyns, the Tory MP for Morley and Outwood, said as a majority of party members backed Brexit “they should be fully represented in any future leadership elections”.
“So we should be considering reforming the rules to allow for a members’ choice on the ballot, or a third ‘people’s’ candidate to join the two put forward by the parliamentary party,” she wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
“No more betrayal of our supporters,” she added.
Jenkyns is a vocal critic of the prime minister’s Brexit plan and praised Boris Johnson for quitting as foreign secretary over it.
Currently only two leadership candidates chosen by MPs go to a final vote of the membership.
The system is seen as making it harder for Johnson to make it onto the ballot as he is thought to be more popular with the party’s members, than with its MPs.
If you’re wanting to change the voting system then that’s very ominous for your chances of winning under the current rules.
Whilst Boris Johnson as Prime Minister/Tory leader appals enough Tory MPs in the way the prospect of pineapple on pizza appals all right thinking people I’m not expecting him to be Theresa May’s successor under the current rules. We only have to look at his decision not to run in 2016 because he knew he’d be humiliated to see a precedent.
But supporters of Boris Johnson shouldn’t be disheartened if they can’t get the rules changed. Back in 2005 Michael Howard attempted and failed to change the Tory leadership rules. The changes were designed to favour his protégé David Cameron, but Cameron still won a thumping victory under the existing rules.
PS – Imagine you’re one of the Arron Banks entryists and you’re paying £25 a year to vote in the Tory leadership contest and the final two end up being two Remainers such as Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid. How annoyed are you going to be?