Party members pass judgement on Redwood

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The Independent Online
From Miss Lois Blythe

Sir: I would like to warn all Conservative MPs who may be contemplating voting for John Redwood, or abstaining, in the forthcoming leadership election that they are playing with fire. The vast majority of those of us at the grassroots of the party want to keep John Major as leader.

Such MPs ignore our wishes at their peril. We may not get a vote in the election - which I bitterly resent and view as undemocratic - but we can always vote with our feet afterwards. I would not even vote Conservative if John Major were to be forced out of office. In any case he is a brilliant Prime Minister. Why should the party or the country be forced to settle for anything less?

Over 14 million voters chose Mr Major to be Prime Minister at the 1992 general election. If their choice were now to be overturned, undemocratically, by a handful of self-interested Conservative MPs, who would not even be representative of their own party members or constituents, then not only should the Conservative Party never be trusted again, but a general election should be called immediately.

John Redwood, Michael Portillo and Michael Heseltine would all split the party and I cannot see any of them inspiring the mass of the British electorate. John Major is the only one who stands any chance at all of uniting the party and defeating Tony Blair. He deserves the loyal support of all Conservative MPs. I suggest they give it to him before it is too late.

Yours faithfully,

Lois Blythe

Hemel Hempstead,


28 June