Theresa May’s resignation after less than three years as Prime Minister was the result of her irresponsible decision to pander to the extremes of her own party, writes Ian Murray. MP.
Her address from the steps of Downing Street spoke of "compromise", but too often during her premiership she bent over backwards to appease the hardline Eurosceptics who seized control of the Conservative Party.
And so now, at a time of constitutional crisis and when the country needs a period of stability, we are instead to be faced with the unedifying sight of a Tory leadership contest.
Yet a change of leadership will not break the impasse. MPs have already spoken, and there is no majority for any of the various Brexit options.
The bookies’ favourite is Boris Johnson, who supports a hard no-deal Brexit to crash out of the EU and wipe out people’s livelihoods.
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The only people delighted by this prospect are the super-rich who have their money safely stored offshore, and Nicola Sturgeon who sees yet another excuse to tear our country apart.
But Parliament has already made clear it will prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Putting a buffoon like Boris in charge will not change that.
Perhaps the only positive thing that can be said about Theresa May’s premiership is that if Boris succeeds her, she won’t go down in history as our worst ever Prime Minister.
His record is already shameful – he brought us Brexit on a pack of lies and has forced May out in return for the keys to Number Ten.
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But even if he doesn’t win and a more moderate Tory takes charge, that isn’t going to solve the crisis.
Parliament has been unable to find a way through the mess and the only solution is to go back to the people.
The deal that’s on the table, or indeed any Brexit deal, must be put it to the public. Voters can then choose to leave on the proposed terms, or keep the best deal we already have as a member state of the EU.
It’s time for the Tories to stop putting their party first, and start putting the country first.
Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South