TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Writing in the Telegraph on Tuesday, Hunt warned that if a no deal Brexit was to be carried out by May’s replacement, it would trigger a general election leading to Tory party’s “extinction” electorally. His comments follow disastrous EU Parliamentary results for May’s Conservatives this weekend at the hands of the Liberal Democrats and Brexit Party, leading to their worst election result since 1832.
"Trying to deliver no deal through a general election is not a solution. It is political suicide," Hunt said. He is among 10 Tory party hopefuls jostling to replace May, after she announced her resignation.
Laying out his stall for leadership and his party’s survival on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Hunt proposed that the “only solution” was to throw out May’s thrice-rejected withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU and look to a fresh deal. This would address Brexiteer concerns on the sticking point of the Irish backstop and give the EU “confidence” that a deal would pass in the UK Parliament.
However, Hunt’s comments have been met with accusations that he is flip-flopping on earlier statements on Brexit. He has previously said that leaving with a no-deal was a preferable option to no Brexit. Another quipped that “at least he’s consistent in his inconsistency.”
Some alleged that Hunt was actually thinking of his own political survival as an MP rather than a leader by looking to keep Remain-backing voters in his constituency from swinging to the Liberal Democrats.
“Hunt has looked at the results of the EU and local council elections for his patch and worked out that he’s in danger of losing his seat,” tweeted one voter in the South Surrey constituency he represents.