Dan Wootton: Tory defector Christian Wakeford has betrayed his voters

Dan Wootton
Dan Wootton

This is a man devoid of morality.


It was the tale of two Boris hitmen today.

One an utter chancer and charlatan who has betrayed his voters.

The other a sage and loyal Conservative whose voice should be listened to.

Both interventions make the Prime Minister’s position more perilous.

But, as I have been warning throughout the so-called PartyGate crisis, the Tories must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

There is no obvious successor to Boris.

But first, to the traitors

The decision by Bury South MP Christian Wakeford - maybe I should call him Christian Wokeford for joining WOKE Labour - to quit the Tories and join the Labour party just before PMQs is one of the most disloyal political acts in recent memory.

This is a man devoid of morality.

If he had any, he would immediately stand down and force a by-election.

After all, he previously sponsored a Bill that would have made it possible to hold a recall by-election when an MP defects.

But now he’s done just that himself.

And, let me clear, Wakeford’s defection is out of nothing more than personal ambition.

He certainly doesn’t support the party who he joined today, wearing a mask emblazoned with the Union Jack flag, the sort of patriotic gesture most Labour MPs sneer at.

It would appear they're certainly no fans of his either, with Young Labour tweeting after his defection:

“Christian Wakeford MP should not be admitted to the Labour Party. He has consistently voted against the interests of working-class people; for the £20 universal credit cut, for the Nationality and Borders Bill and for the Police and Crime Bill. Young Labour does not welcome him.”

And Wakeford KNOWS that Labour is not fit to govern. He said as much himself back in 2020 during a commons debate...

On a separate occasion in September 2020, he said:

“(Labour) seek to hold back our opportunities, as they have over the past four years, in a bid to reduce the great ship Britannia to nothing more than a sluggish canal barge."

That was a hard moment to come back from and the PM – who had performed better today – was momentarily left dumbstruck.

Will Boris fight the next election? Probably not. Is now the time for him to go for the sake of the Conservative party and the country? Definitely not.

Ironically, a quick confidence vote – which will be forced if 54 Tory MPs write letters of no confidence to the 1922 Committee – could be the best thing for Boris,.

If he wins, another vote could not be triggered for 12 months, giving him a chance to shore up his leadership.

While she would probably back Boris as PM if he ran naked around Buckingham Palace, the Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries makes a fair point that a leadership contest at this moment risks leading to a Prime Minister Keir Starmer.

Making an impassioned defence to The Times today, she said:

“The people who are doing this are being disloyal to the prime minister, the party, their constituents and the wider country. They should judge the prime minister on his record of achievement. We have more people boosted, tested and more anti-virals than any country in the EU. We have the most open and fastest growing economy in the G7. He has led us out of a global pandemic to the other side. We have a responsibility to govern in a way that is stable and secure.”

I was a supporter of Boris Johnson – no other Prime Minister could have delivered Brexit against the wishes of the destructive civil service blob.

But I lost some faith as he botched the response to the pandemic, destroying the economy and health system with disastrous lockdowns and restrictions.

But today’s scrapping of Plan BS shows there could be reason for hope.

There is no proof any successor would improve the party’s poll ratings or be able to offer a better chance of victory at the next general election.

Patience – not something on display in Westminster these days – is required.