Never before has British politics been turned upside down like now

Chris Moncrieff
Chris Moncrieff

Like an out-of-control, unstoppable typhoon, the shock outcome of the EU Referendum has swept through the British political landscape, seeing it turned upside down and transformed forever.

As the victorious Brexiteers acclaim what they consider to be a welcome release from the shackles of domineering, largely unelected, bullying and flinty-faced grandees in Brussels, the scene here in Britain looks as though it’s been hit by a juggernaut.

Here are the principal casualties (so far!):

• David Cameron, a committed Remain campaigner, has been destroyed, his tenure at 10 Downing Street brought to a premature end.

• The position of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is now beginning to look desperate, as, at the time of writing, a string of shadow cabinet ministers have resigned in anger. On top of this, Corbyn faces a possible motion of no confidence after his “feeble” Remain campaign efforts.

• This mass shadow cabinet walk-out follows the sacking of shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, for allegedly being involved in a secret coup over Corbyn’s leadership.

• The Conservative Party, where further turmoil is threatened over the choice of a new leader...

• The United Kingdom, whose break-up is on the cards again as First Scottish Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, seeks another referendum on Scottish independence.

Never before have politics in this country suffered such turbulence as the Establishment elite, aided and abetted by the ludicrous braying of the luvvies, suffers a whacking defeat.

• The Prime Minister vowed during the campaign that whatever the result, he would remain in office, but has since - wisely - realised it would be ludicrous for a man so committed to Remain to negotiate the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. However, his appropriately nicknamed ‘Project Fear’ campaign was a serious mistake and disbelieved by most.

So he has done what most people would regard as the honourable thing: appeared in Downing Street, alongside his wife, Samantha, to announce he’s quitting much earlier than planned. But by calling a referendum, he brought it on himself, in what has been described as the ‘biggest Prime Ministerial miscalculation since Suez’.

His has been an effective Premiership and he will go down as a good, if not great, Prime Minister. Although he took an almighty personal risk in calling the referendum at all, it is a pity to see his tenure end in tears rather than glory.

• Jeremy Corbyn’s future as Labour leader now looks bleak. He’s come under intense fire for having conducted what was seen as a half-hearted, passionless, lukewarm campaign to stay in the EU. His efforts have been widely criticised - even though probably a majority of Labour MPs wanted to quit the EU. Now, however, he faces a probable motion of no confidence as leader.

Following the sacking of Benn and the resignations of a series of shadow cabinet ministers, Corbyn’s position seems desperate. How can he remain leader if he can’t form a shadow cabinet?

He has said he will not budge. He was elected with a strong mandate, largely because of the feebleness of the rival candidates and partly because some ‘moronic’ (their word, not mine) middle-of-the road Labour MPs ‘democratically’ made Corbyn eligible to stand. They are now paying a heavy price for that - but they are the authors of their own misfortune.

Corbyn has stoked the blaze by sacking the shadow foreign secretary. Benn was probably the most brilliant member of a not very illustrious shadow cabinet. Many MPs would like to see him as leader but would the trade union leaders, who seem to have control of the leadership election system, allow that? I doubt it.

• Who will be the next Tory leader? My guess is that the long-serving home secretary Theresa May has as good a chance as any. She was said to be a Remain supporter, but steered clear of all the mud-slinging and insult-hurling that dominated the campaign. The idea of Boris Johnson at No 10 is too ridiculous to contemplate (but we could be wrong), while George Osborne appears to have run out of steam.

I suggest a small wager on May could pay dividends...

• It is hardly surprising that Nicola Sturgeon wants another referendum on Scottish independence. Every region in Scotland voted Remain, so a new poll seems to make sense.

If, as many expect, this led to victory for the ‘breakaways’ and the break-up of the United Kingdom, she could legitimately apply to the EU for membership as an independent state. The astonishing success of SNP candidates at the Westminster general election makes it all sound likely.

• And what of poor Nigel Farage? The Ukip leader seems to have been forgotten in all the euphoria that followed the result. What should not be forgotten is that it was he who originally started the ball rolling.

He is apparently being left out of some of the key talks taking place.

How ungrateful of them.