In early September, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to seek a prorogation of the British Parliament to the Queen by ignoring the unwritten conventions of the British Constitution, historian Peter Hennessy said it was the end of government theory based on men of common sense. In that, it meant the end of a certain way of doing politics, namely moderation, deference to unregulated British institutions, and acceptance of the government through debate.
The unprecedented political crisis that has swept through the United Kingdom since the referendum in June 2016 has opened a new chapter in what will have many consequences for the rest of this “Brexit story”. The early elections in December will lead to a new Parliament, very different from others in more than one way.
On the one hand, a large number of Conservative members, so-called moderate, decided not to run again. Recall that Boris Johnson excluded 21 members of his party in September when they refused to vote with his government. Of these 21, some are pillars of the party: Kenneth Clarke, former Chancellor of the Exchequer of John Major, pro-European convinced, father of Parliament with more than forty-nine years in the House of Commons; Nicholas Soames, Minister of Defense for John Major, MP since 1983 (and grandson of Churchill); Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer Theresa May, and Rory Stewart, a young leader of the party who preferred to run for mayor of London next year.
On the other hand, many deputies also refuse to represent themselves because of the toxic atmosphere, even violent, which reigns on the social networks and on the public place. These deputies, especially women, victims of overtly sexist messages, threats of rape or death, have decided to turn away from politics.
On the Conservative side, it’s Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports since July, who said the threats she and her family were facing were too hard to bear.
The former Secretary of State for Labor and Pensions (and former May government figure) Amber Rudd, who also decided to leave her party and her post in September out of solidarity for the 21 excluded conservatives, will not stand for re-election. same reasons.“Wickedness and intimidation had become commonplace.”
Some Labor MPs, such as Diane Abbott, who is close to Jeremy Corbyn and is probably one of the most affected by these intimidations, in part because of her skin color, or the younger generation of women, including Jess Phillips, are fully aware that these departures will have an impact on future British politics and have not forgotten the murder of their pro-European colleague Jo Cox in June 2016 while campaigning against Brexit.