One of the most hotly anticipated chamber events of the year took place last Friday when Amber Rudd, fresh from the latest twists and turns in Westminster – that led to giving up the whip, made an exclusive address to chamber and a packed-out audience.
We heard it first!
- Amber left because she believes Boris Johnson was not aiming for a deal
Amber felt that the Prime Minister was, in spite of assurances to her, not making an effort into getting a deal. Instead, she saw that all the effort was being put into No Deal preparations. The culture and the language used is creating an atmosphere that is violent and hostile, and Boris Johnson is being advised to use anger to unite rather than common goals and give a Brexit for both 52/48%.
- Amber is an independent Conservative
She might not hold the whip, but she is still a card carry member of the party, and that she still stands with many of the party’s values, but she could not agree with direction of the current PM and wanting to ensure that there is no possibility of a No-Deal, which she felt Boris did not assure her of in her time in cabinet. Since she is independent, she now can be honest with the successes and failures for both of the major parties.
- Amber is not going to join the Liberal Democrats
She made it clear to us that she wouldn’t, and whilst she can’t be exactly sure, neither are the other 21 MPs, who Amber resigned in solidarity, considering that option.
- Amber does not view a caretaker government is feasible, not unlikely but would be incredibly hard to create
From her perspective, it would take rallying behind a MP who is independent of the central Brexit debate (implying she would not be this person), as she and many in Parliament would never support Jeremy Corbyn even in an interim facility. This has ultimately also been a part of the reason why the original deal failed Parliament, as neither the Conservatives or Labour wanted to compromise their vision of Brexit.
- Amber will continue to serve as MP for Hastings and Rye…
Amber felt that she has helped the town, bringing in more change and development into the town than previous MPs and would like to continue her hard work. She has grown a local affection for the local Conservative association and the grassroots but…
- She will not be standing in Hastings and Rye at the next election
We heard it first: in the event of the much anticipated post Brexit election, she confirmed that she would be looking to move to another constituency. She would love to stay in Hastings but would not want to stand against the Conservative Party locally. What was absolutely certain was she has not given up politics.
- Amber believes Proportional Representation may be the future answer
Rudd believes Parliament faces the same divisions as society has had, with both sides stuck in a furious stalemate, and she proposes that proportional representation will be the only way to bridge the presentational divide, but that will take time.
Amber concluded her time with us by telling us that Parliament and the Government should strive to give clarity and honesty to the people, and that the only way forward is to have compromise on both sides. Referring to David Cameron’s coalition government as a previous successful and stable example, she believes if there was more collaboration rather than brinksmanship, Johnson’s and Momentum’s strategies wouldn’t be so volatile, as Amber admitted preferring a referendum over violent rhetoric.
We hope that everyone who attended got their questions answered (or at least as much as they can be), and that for any businesses interested in Brexit preparation should get into contact with Business East Sussex.
As a Chamber, we’ve always believed in importance of bringing business and education together. At our next breakfast we welcome the Careers and Enterprise Company and Cornerstone Employers who will be showing us how they have been involved and how you can join in.