‘Gloves are off in Brexit battle’, Mirror, 20 March 2016.

VOTERS might never have been able to take Iain Duncan Smith too seriously, especially when he was Tory leader from 2001 to 2003. But to many MPs and ordinary grassroots members he matters.

IDS represents the “faith, flag and family” wing of the party – people who believe Britain should be outside the EU and who, while keen on the free market, reckon the rich have a responsibility to look after the less fortunate.

There are a fair few Tories of this persuasion in the Commons, and David Cameron only has a narrow majority. It is another indication the gloves are coming off in the fight between Tories who want Brexit and Boris and those who’d prefer to keep us in Europe and a smooth transition from Cameron to Osborne.

It’s not quite no-holds-barred stuff yet.

But in politics things can spin pretty swiftly out of control. Watch this space.


About tpbale

I teach politics at Queen Mary University of London.
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