Courtesy of the Telegraph.
Johnny Mercer has been to war and can recognise chaos when he sees it. The Conservative MP, tipped as a future leader, believes a state of ‘anarchy’ is in danger of engulfing his party.In an interview with the Telegraph today, the former Army captain, who served with distinction in Afghanistan, fires a warning shot in Theresa May’s direction that she needs to urgently get a grip on a ‘depressing’ series of events. If she doesn’t, he says, the nation will be wrecked by the “existential threat’ posed by the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street and John McDonnell living next door.
Mr Mercer’s comments will fuel the crisis overwhelming Mrs May. The disastrous election, the resignation within a week of two Cabinet ministers and the ongoing Westminster sex scandal has led Mr Mercer to conclude that Mrs May’s premiership has reached a ‘critical point’. The integrity and credibility of her Government is on the line.“It smells of decline, and the people won’t have it” said Mr Mercer, MP for Plymouth Moor View, who bucked the national trend and increased his majority by five-fold at the last election.“There becomes a cross-over point in seats like mine, it becomes about your personal integrity, about your credibility. You have to step back and question what your party is doing - of course. Yes we are beginning to get there I
I said watching Conservative MPs attempting to justify actions of colleagues - whether accused of sexual harassment in the case of the likes of Sir Michael Fallon or misjudgment or error in the case of Priti Patel or Boris Johnson - had been particularly unedifying.I“The past ten days have been depressing but not surprising,” said Mr Mercer, “When I see my colleagues going on television or radio trying to defend Boris or Priti, I have to switch the thing off. People want moral leadership, not that”.Of the Westminster sex scandal, he said: “I don’t really understand the attempts to normalise some of the behaviour of my colleagues. That in itself has led to this crisis.
“Normalising frankly weird and creepy behaviour towards others is the beginning of buying into this myth that we are ‘more special’, entitled if you like, that normal rules don’t apply to us because we have power. It’s b******s.
"It’s why people don’t vote or engage with politics – because a minority in Westminster seem to think it’s a game or entitlement, unthreatened in safe seats.”
Mr Mercer, who led a parliamentary inquiry that shut down the Iraq Historical Allegations Team investigating fictitious charges against UK troops from the Iraq War, said the Government was now “in danger of losing credibility” and that Mrs May - if she did not dramatically alter course - risked handing power to Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell.