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The Tory membership’s obsessive Brexit views will destroy our party

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The word “democracy” is always seen positively. When I heard the term “party democracy” with regard to my own party, the Conservatives, it sounded like something to be welcomed. Instead, just as for Labour and US Republicans, it has been a disaster, leaving us in thrall to a group of self-selected activists whose views no longer represent those of our voters or our longstanding philosophy.

The idea that party members should have a say in selecting the leader sounds plausible enough. After all, they help to fund and run the national network on which each party depends.

However, anyone can join any political party. You are supposed to sign up to the party’s policies of beliefs, but who checks on that? Consequently, for a small fee, anyone can have a direct say in choosing the party leader and, in 2019, the next prime minister.

From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.

Activists are generally more hardline in their views than the MPs, who have to balance party loyalty against the need to appeal to all voters, and act on behalf of their........

© Independent