Tory donor threatens to back breakaway ‘hard Brexit’ party if May refuses to give up on Chequers plan for close ties with the EU
- A prominent Tory donor suggested he could back a breakaway hard Brexit party
- City financier Jeremy Hosking said Brexit voters were being ‘heated up slowly’
- Intervention will up pressure on Mrs May as she pleads for Tories to stay united
A prominent Tory donor today threatened to fund a new ‘hard Brexit’ party in protest at Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
City Financial Jeremy Hosking turned up the pressure on the PM as she struggles to keep the Tories united over her blueprint for future relations with the EU.
Mrs May has issued a desperate pea for Conservatives to stay united on Brexit, amid claims her aides have been ‘war gaming’ holding another snap election to break the political deadlock.
City Financial Jeremy Hosking (pictured during the referendum campaign in 2016) turned up the pressure on the PM as she struggles to keep the Tories united over her blueprint for future relations with the EU
But Mr Hosking – said to have donated £1.5million to the Leave campaign and given £375,000 to the Conservatives since 2015 – told the Sunday Telegraph that Eurosceptic voters were ‘being heated up slowly like laboratory frogs’ under the PM’s blueprint.
As a result there is a ‘gap in the political market’ and he said he ‘intends to help fill it’.
Over the summer Mr Hosking commissioned research into 12 Tory-held constituencies with Remainer MPs, along with Mrs May’s Maidenhead seat.
The poll found 53 per cent of respondents said they would consider voting for a new political party created with the sole aim of pressuring the main parties ‘to conclude Brexit as quickly and as fully as possible’.
Mr Hosking confirmed today that that Brexit Express, his pressure group, was behind the survey.
He wrote: ‘Brexit Express has had enough. We must find some way of hopping out of the bubbling water.
‘This is why we have been sponsoring opinion polls in both Tory and Labour constituencies.
‘This polling shows there is clear support for a Brexit party that will deliver what the electorate thought it would be getting.
Theresa May (pictured at church in Maidenhead with husband Philip today) has issued a desperate pea for Conservatives to stay united on Brexit
‘The centre-Left talk but never quite act on setting up a new pro-Europe electoral alternative, bizarrely convinced that repeating an action will produce a different result. Einstein’s definition of madness.’
Mr Hosking said Chequers was the ‘latest manifestation’ up the existing political establishment tying the UK up ‘in knots’.
‘The obvious question for Eurosceptics to ask is whether the current fiasco is accidental or premeditated?’ he wrote.
‘Normally the odds favour cock-up over conspiracy The more plausible thesis by a distance is a deliberate attempt by the British Establishment to render a real exit from the EU impossible.’