It has been a tumultuous week in the national press for Hastings’ MP Amber Rudd.
She has been accused of ‘cynical plotting’, she had to ‘furiously deny’ having offered advice to former Tory MP and vehement anti-brexiteer Anna Soubry who left the Conervative party last week and there have been calls for her to resign from the cabinet as a result of her call for a delay to the Brexit process.
But this morning, among all the criticism and argument, Charles Moore, writing in The Daily Telegraph described her as, ‘…straightforward and unpompous,’ and he went on to say she is, ‘…unlike the average politician.’
There’s a sting in Moore’s piece, however, when he writes: “Now that there is an Independent Group for people of her mind, perhaps she should leave. It would be Hastings’s loss, but at least she would have acted on principle.”
Last week, following the departure of Soubry from the Conservative party it was alleged that Ms Rudd had given what was described as, ‘Brexit-blocking help’ to Soubry. The Daily Mail reported that Ms Soubry had been heard, “‘boasting’ that Ms Rudd… had ‘pointed her in the right direction’ when she was putting down an amendment earlier this month to call on the Government to publish its analysis of the impact of a No Deal Brexit on business and trade.”
The ‘paper reported that, “A source close to Ms Rudd claimed that her No Deal discussions with Ms Soubry had been restricted to ‘something that Anna had read in a newspaper’.”
It was said that the claim had intensified the ‘private anger’ of Brexiteers over Ms Rudd’s increasingly active campaigning to block the UK’s exit from the EU.
If that is true then those Brexiteers must have become angrier still at the weekend when Ms Rudd came out in public, along with fellow cabinet ministers Greg Clark and David Gauke, to say they were ready to force a delay to Brexit to stop a ‘No Deal’.
The BBC reported a Downing Street spokesman having said that the trio’s views on no deal were ‘scarcely a secret’. However, pro-Brexit Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen called on them to resign saying: “They are rejecting government policy and they are threatening to vote against government… In that case, they should do the honourable thing and resign from the government immediately.”
While some of the coverage in the press over the weekend may have been difficult to read for the Hastings MP this morning’s Telegraph may have initially brought some welcome relief, Moore describes Ms Rudd as, ‘an admirable character’ and says she is ‘friendly, hard-working, straightforward and unpompous’.
However Moore’s piece is not without criticism he says: “It is her misfortune, however, to come from a disadvantaged background. Her family is rich and bigotedly Remainer. Her PR brother Roland, an associate of Tony Blair, recently preached from the ski slopes of Davos about how the British people must be made to vote again on leaving the EU. She has always been trapped in a tightly-knit gang of fanatical moderates. If she were to break with them, she would suffer social death.”
Moore also suggests that Ms Rudd owes Prime Minister Theresa May a debt of gratitude: “After a bit, Mrs May brought her back, at Work and Pensions, so Ms Rudd owes her something. You would think she would know by now that Cabinet ministers must either support government policy in public or leave the Government.
“Ms Rudd seems blithely unaware. She says publicly that she is against a no-deal Brexit, even though it is government policy to prefer no deal to a bad one. She voted for the no-deal possibility by triggering Article 50, yet she says she will delay Brexit unless this law is undone. Now that there is an Independent Group for people of her mind, perhaps she should leave. It would be Hastings’s loss, but at least she would have acted on principle.”