Rutland and Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan dismisses de-selection talk
Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan has hit back at reports in the national media that he faces a motion of no confidence as constituency MP - and he’s been reselected to stand again.
The Daily Telegraph reported he and other MPs faced such measures, something which created national headlines and a flurry of activity within the local association.
However, both Sir Alan and Rutland and Melton Conservatives say no such motion has been received. Furthermore, Sir Alan has already been re-selected as candidate for the next General Election, regardless of whenever it may take place.
Sir Alan told the Mercury on Wednesday: “The constituency association is there to support the Conservative Party and the Conservative Government. This is exactly what I have been doing as both the MP and a government minster. So we should all be working together to support the PM at this uniquely critical time in our national politics.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister was first elected in June 1990 and was first elected in 1992.
Asked how long he intended to continue, Sir Alan added: “I have been elected to do my duty for my constituents and that is what I will do.”
Sources within Rutland Conservatives say they are ‘surprised’ at the reports of attempts to remove Sir Alan, pointing out his loyalty to the party and government. They suspect the issue has flared up due to a single phone call to the Daily Telegraph.
Sources also note Sir Alan has not been singled out for attention by pro-Brexit campaigners Leave.EU, who by contrast have targeted Stamford MP Nick Boles, following his threat to resign the Conservative party whip should the government go for a no deal Brexit, and Mr Boles working with Labour’s Yvette Cooper and others to help prevent a no deal Brexit.
Rutland and Melton Conservative Association chairman Byron Rhodes confirmed his association has yet to receive the no confidence motion.
“There’s still no news,” he said yesterday, “We don’t know. All we have got is the story in the Telegraph. What can you believe if you can’t believe the Telegraph? We have no hint of who might have triggered the story. They have until March 8 to come forward. We are ready.”
The association will be staging its AGM at Victoria Hall in Oakham on March 15.
Mr Rhodes told the Mercury this week: “There are lots of rumblings from around the country. It’s highly charged with Brexit. Sir Alan’s position on Brexit is he’s a government minister. He votes with the government but some people don’t like this.”
During the 2016 EU Referendum, Leave won in Rutland by 50.6% to 49.4%. Mr Duncan voted Remain.
Mr Rhodes confirmed Sir Alan supports the PM’s deal “as it stands tooth and claw” but the councillor admitted “he’s said some disobliging things about the ERG [European Research group which is headed by Jacob Rees-Mogg].”
Should the motion arrive in time, it will be discussed by association members, with Sir Alan expected to speak against. “I’ll vote for Sir Alan. I’m a Conservative that supports the government.”
Asked how it might go, however, the sitting Melton district and Leicestershire county councillor was unsure.
“You don’t know who will turn up. Alan will take the opportunity to say something himself. He’s been here a very long time.”