The former Isle of Wight UKIP Chairman and prospective Parliamentary Candidate says three prominent Isle of Wight Conservatives have recently attempted to recruit him.
Iain McKie left the Conservative Party nearly a decade ago to join the UK Independence Party (UKIP). He stood as their prospective Parliamentary Candidate in the 2015 general election, but left the Party in 2017, disagreeing with the national manifesto.
Speaking this week to OnTheWight, Mr McKie said,
“Over the last couple of days I have been contacted by three prominent local Tories in ‘a personal capacity’ asking me to rejoin the Conservatives (I left in 2010 or thereabouts).”
McKie: “It would add credibility”
He goes on to say,
“My feeling is this: with Johnson as PM a General Election is likely (very short odds at the bookies) and Seely is on thin ice as a pro-Brexit MP (his record shows this) so by recruiting me, as IW’s biggest Brexit gobsh*te, it would add credibility to his candidacy.
“This is something that I flatly refuse to do. Seely made no effort during the Referendum campaign and supported Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement which would have kept us, effectively, tied to the EU.
“Only once Johnson has appeared as PM has chameleon Seely changed his tune; just the type of greasy opportunism that revolts me.”
McKie: “No faith in the Conservatives to achieve a meaningful Brexit”
Mr McKie says he’s flatly refused all three approaches, and will do again as he has, “no faith in the Conservatives (or any other party for that matter) to achieve a meaningful Brexit”.
He finished by saying,
“As I told these Tories, I am not a member of any political party nor any pressure group, and until I can see a truly libertarian party on the ballot paper I shall not vote again.”
Pugh avoided answering questions
OnTheWight contacted leader of the Isle of Wight Conservatives, David Pugh, and asked whether he was aware of the approaches, whether he would welcome Mr McKie back to the Party and whether he would accept him as a prospective Parliamentary candidate.
He didn’t answer these questions, but replied,
“Anyone is entitled to apply to join the Conservative Party and all applications are reviewed prior to approval.
“If anyone wishes to represent the Conservative Party as a parliamentary candidate they will need to apply to CCHQ in first instance. Anyone who is placed on the national candidates’ list can then apply to be a parliamentary candidate in a constituency when a vacancy occurs.
“We have no vacancy on the Isle of Wight, as Bob Seely has been re-selected.”
Portsmouth’s secretive Brexit deal
Over the water in Portsmouth, The News have reported that Conservatives are plotting to strike a secretive deal with the Brexit Party.
The report claims that Brexiteers Donna Jones and Penny Mordaunt are considering a joint strategy. They say the two are aiming to forge an alliance with the Brexit Party and persuade the Eurosceptic group not to field any candidates in Portsmouth.
Image: © Used with permission of Jason Swain Photography