Is Claire Perry strapped to David Cameron’s bowsprit and ready to sink asks UKIP chairman?
The Tory Party’s embarrassing turmoil over EU referendum, due to be highlighted in the House of Commons today (Wednesday), has created a dilemma in particular for Claire Perry, MP for Devizes.
And it has brought another challenge to her – and the Tory Party – from Wiltshire UKIP chairman Neil Hamilton, who has announced he may stand against her at the next General Election.
Mrs Perry has not responded to a request from Marlborough News Online, to indicate her views on whether EU referendum legislation should be created now or after the next election.
She can either follow Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, the Cabinet minister for whom she works as his parliamentary private secretary, who has declared he will vote to leave the EU.
Or she can stay loyal to Mr Cameron and in particular her political promoter George Osborne, who is accused of caving in to the Tory Party rebels seeking immediate referendum action.
“David Cameron has spent the last week in the US trying to sort out Syria's problems as a distraction from those he has created back home,” former Tory MP Mr Hamilton told Marlborough News Online. “What a pathetic spectacle!
“He has done a complete somersault in 18 months. Back then he sacked junior Government bag-carriers for supporting a backbench motion calling for a referendum. Now it's his Government policy.
“Thanks to UKIP he has tacked to the wind. He hasn’t been blown off course because he didn't have a compass anyway. He is all at sea.”
And Mr Hamilton asked: “So, where does that leave ultra-loyalist, Claire Perry? Strapped to Dave's bowsprit, she will go down with the ship.
“What will she do on the referendum proposal. Listen to the people, who overwhelmingly want one? Or follow the party line -- rather difficult as Dave, being so battered by UKIP, no-one can be too sure what it is or whether it will be the same tomorrow.
“Will she follow Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, who may be the next Tory leader, or stick with Dead Duck Dave, who has only two years to go before losing the next election? “Does she put ambition today before ambition tomorrow? We must all sympathise with her in her dilemma.”
And he added: “The one thing she won't do, is make her decision on a point of principle -- giving the British people the right to decide whether they want to continue being ruled by the incompetent spendthrifts and gravy-trainers of Brussels. “No-one under the age of 58 has ever had the chance to vote on this.
“Disraeli said the Tory maxim was 'Trust the People.' But Dave is no Disraeli. Disraeli also called a Conservative government 'an organised hypocrisy.'
“No-one could accuse the present lot of that -- the one thing they are not is organised. We have learned that in the last week, if nothing else."