Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. The Staggers
15 November 2017

Are there enough Tory rebels to cause trouble for Theresa May over Brexit?

The Telegraph's front page has branded 15 would-be rebels “the Brexit mutineers”.

By Stephen Bush

What do MPs fear they’ll lose if they rebel? Their jobs, obviously, whether that be as ministers, select committee chairs, or as ultimately their seats. They worry, too, that they’ll run into trouble with their Conservative association or their constituency Labour Party, or that it will limit their chances of future promotion.

Understanding that is why so many Brexiteers are annoyed with the Telegraph today: “The Brexit mutineers” is their splash, and they’ve put the pictures of 15 would-be Tory rebels on it, ranging from veterans like Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve to relative newbies like Tom Tugendhat and Paul Masterton.

The thing is that once you’re on the front of a newspaper as a “Brexit mutineer”, many of those negative consequences are baked in no matter what you do next. So you might as well just rebel.

That there are enough named rebels to overcome the Conservative-DUP majority – though they are three short of being able to beat the Conservative-DUP majority plus the six Labour leavers and Kelvin Hopkins, who has had the Labour whip suspended – further emboldens Conservative Remainers. So it’s not the best start to the day for Julian Smith, the new Chief Whip, and it may mean that the Withdrawal Bill, already looking like the source of a painful few weeks for the government, becomes trickier still.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses – Liz Truss must act
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs