You have to feel a bit sorry for Amber Rudd. Six months ago she was Home Secretary now she’s battling to save her seat in parliament. The pro-Brexit campaign group, Leave.EU, is attempting to trigger the deselection of both her and Chancellor Philip Hammond on the grounds that they are trying to ‘frustrate Brexit’.

On Saturday 13th October militant antifascists blocked the path of a march by the DFLA
PICTURE: Mark Ramsey/Flikr

It’s no secret that Amber was a Remainer until the referendum, but afterwards she stoically toed the party line.  When I interviewed her for HIP in the run-up to the 2017 election she told me that, since the decision on Brexit had been made, she was supporting it.

Now Leave. EU, the pressure group funded by Arron Banks and backed by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, (what a lovely pair they make) is writing to all members of the Hastings and Rye Conservative Association urging them to prevent Amber standing again as their local candidate. The fact that she has a wafer thin majority of just 346 means that Hastings voters may well ‘deselect’ her at the next election anyway. But more because, as Home Secretary, she not just supported her predecessor’s ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policies, but went further, promising to focus on “arresting, detaining and forcibly removing illegal migrants”.

But the point that Banks and Farage and the other right-wing pro-Brexit zealots don’t get is that we live in a representative democracy, not one where MPs have to kowtow to the views of constituents on every issue. We should welcome Amber Rudd’s independence of mind over Brexit and consider that, just possibly, she has a better understanding than the rest of us of what its economic effect will be for Britain. Could it even be her recent support for a second referendum over a ‘no deal’ is designed to save her country from the disaster she believes lies ahead? Disagree with her other right-wing policies by all means… but in this instance she deserves support from Hastings’ Tories … and perhaps others.

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