Tory Remainer rebels who were booted out of the party, as well as centrist refugees from Corbyn’s Labour, were given a thrashing by the voters last night.
Despite high profiles, disproportionate media attention, and backing from celebrities including Hugh Grant, this morning many former Remain MPs have transformed from household name to political irrelevance.
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, mastermind of so many Parliamentary blocking tactics, was booted out by the Tory voters in Buckinghamshire while fellow ringleader David Gauke got short shrift in neighbouring Hertfordshire.
Former Labour shadow business secretary Chuku Umunna failed to find a plurality of support anywhere – despite changing parties twice and switching constituencies in a desperate attempt to find voters he would deign to represent.
Former Tory Remainers David Gauke, Anna Soubry, Anne Milton, Antoinette Sandbach, and Sam Gyimah were also among those who got the chop, along with respected former Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Frank Field.
Former Conservative attorney general Dominic Grieve lost his seat in Beaconsfield last night
1. The former Tory AG who wrote Parliament’s anti-Brexit playbook
Dominic Grieve angered the voters of Beaconsfield, one of the safest Tory seats in the country, with his leading role in the Parliamentary efforts to frustrate or delay Brexit.
The lawyer, who served as Attorney General under David Cameron for four years had represented the seat since 1997 and won in 2017 with 65.3 per cent, a massive 36,559 votes.
He was stripped of the whip by Boris Johnson for voting against his Brexit bill, and last night picked up only 29 per cent of the vote (16,765), losing to the Tory candidate who picked up 56 per cent (32,477).
David Gauke, former treasury minister and Justice Secretary, lost by 14,408 votes last night
2. The Gauke, uncorked, goes flat
‘Uncork the Gauke’ was the cry of Tory backbnchers when Hertfordshire MP David Gauke, widely respected as a safe pair of hands at half a dozen Whitehall departments, came to the dispatch box.
But as a ringleader of a band of Remainer rebels dubbed ‘the Gaukeward squad’ he became a thorn in the government’s side and was stripped of the whip.
Yesterday he managed to get 26 per cent of the vote in Hertfordshire South West (15,919) but the candidate who replaced him flying Tory colours got 50 per cent (30,327).
Nickie Aiken takes seat for the Conservatives with Libdem candidate Chuka Umuna 4000 votes behind
3. ‘Future Labour leader’ who lost his party, his seat, and the election
Former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna was considered a leading light of the next generation of Blairites and a potential leader in waiting. He even stood briefly for the leadership before standing down, in 2015.
Frustrated with the party’s new direction under Jeremy Corbyn he defected from Labour co co-found The Independent Group in February 2019.
In June he left TIG (by then renamed Change UK) to sit as an independent when the party failed to win a single seat in the 2019 European Elections,.
But just a week later, Umunna joined the Liberal Democrats.
He declined to contest his old Labour seat of Streatham, which he had held for nine years, instead running in the heavily-Remain Cities of London and Westminster.
But he still lost to the Tory candidate by nearly 4,000 votes.
Luciana Berger experienced and fought anti-Semitism in Labour before defecting to the Liberal Democrats but despite running in heavily Jewish Finchley and Golders Green she lost
4. Jewish MP ostracised from Corbyn’s Labour left without a seat
Jewish MP Luciana Berger received death threats and endless online abuse while a Labour MP and was praised for her tireless campaign to publicise and fight the scourge of anti-Semitism in Corbyn’s Labour party.
But frustrated by a lack of support from the leadership she left along with colleagues to co-found The Independent Group, and later left to join the Liberal Democrats.
Highly respected and well-liked especially in the Jewish community for her principled stand, she ran in Finchley and Golders Green, one of the most Jewish constituencies in the country.
But she could only pick up 32 per cent of the vote (17,600) losing to Tory incumbent Mike Freer by 6,500 votes.
Anna Soubry, the former minister who came to lead the Change UK group lost her seat
5. Business minister turned party leader who is now a private citizen
Anna Soubry, who left the Tories in February, lost her Broxtowe constituency in Nottinghamshire, securing just 4,668 seats.
It was a complete humiliation for the leader of the Independent Group for Change, who saw her Tory rival Darren Henry triumph with 26,602 votes.
Labour’s Greg Marshall pushed Soubry into third after he received 21,271 votes. Her share of the vote was only 8.45 per cent.
Antoinette Sandbach had the whip removed and came third behind Tory and Labour yesterday
6. Tory rebel who said election would be ‘most important of lifetime’
Former Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach joined the Liberal Democrats last month, and was one of 21 Tories who had the party whip removed after rebelling against the government in a Commons vote intended to block a no-deal Brexit.
Her Cheshire seat of Eddisbury went to Conservative Edward Timpson with 30,095 votes, followed by Labour’s 11,652. Sandbach received 9,582 votes.
After the results were announced she thanked her supporters on Twitter and added: ‘I could not vote for a deal which risks the break up of the UK, and that responsibility passes now to others.
‘I want to thank everyone who supported me and my great team who worked so hard.’
Sam Gyimah stood for the Conservative Party leadership before being kicked out of the Conservative Party for voting against Brexit. He came third in his seat last night
7. Former minister who made brief abortive bid to be party leader
Ex-Tory minister Sam Gyimah was a distant third in his constituency. The 43-year-old, who briefly stood in the race to become party leader after Theresa May quit, switched to the Lib Dems in September.
He was one of the 21 Tories who had the whip removed after rebelling against Johnson. Last December he quit as science and universities minister in a row over Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Gyimah was standing in the affluent west London seat of Kensington, which voted 69 per cent Remain in the 2016 referendum. The Tories won it by 150 votes, scooping 16,768 to Labour’s 16,618. Gyimah won just 9,312 votes.
Labour veteran Frank Field quit his party to stand for the Social Justice Party in the Birkenhead seat he held for
8: End of the road for veteran MP who quit party over anti-Semitism
Veteran MP Frank Field, who has held Birkenhead for Labour since 1979 before he resigned the whip last year, lost his seat at the Social Justice Party candidate.
Field, who during his time as chair of the powerful pensions select committee, fought a campaign against retail tycoon Sir Philip Green over the collapse of BHS, quit Labour last year, saying it had become a ‘force for anti-Semitism’.
After 40 years as the town’s MP, the Brexit backing politician who supported Boris Johnson’s deal to leave the EU, came second on 7,285, more than 17,000 adrift of the Labour candidate who took 24,990 votes.
Speaking after his defeat he said: ‘Boris Johnson holds the key to number 10 courtesy of Jeremy Corbyn.’
Independent Group defectors who found no independent support
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