The Brexit election: why ex-Tory is running for the Lib Dems | FT


[TECHNO MUSIC] CROWD: Sam! LAURA HUGHES: Just
over a year ago, Sam Gyimah was a
Conservative minister serving in the government. SAM GYIMAH: Who’s
taking the picture? Oh. LAURA HUGHES: But today, he’s
standing as a Liberal Democrat in the seat of Kensington. SAM GYIMAH: Are you ready? LAURA HUGHES: Are
you telling people that you were a conservative? SAM GYIMAH: They all know. LAURA HUGHES: Is that actually
helping you, in some ways, get those Tory votes? SAM GYIMAH: Well, it’s a
very politically engaged constituency. And I have huge name
recognition on the doorsteps because people know my story. They know when I
resigned as a minister. They know I was one of the 21
who rebelled against no deal. We’ve got a potentially
hard left government and a hard Brexit government. Both of them are
extreme, and we need a sensible party in the middle. You know, Boris Johnson will
say that he needs the biggest majority ever. But he’s gambling with
our economic future. [TECHNO MUSIC] SUBJECT 1: Hi! How can I help? SAM GYIMAH: Hi. I’m Sam. I’m the Lib Dem
parliamentary candidate. SUBJECT 1: Oh, hi! LAURA HUGHES: What was Sam
like as a student at school? ROGER HARCOURT:
Thoroughly professional. Very talented, obviously. A model student, really. LAURA HUGHES: Well-behaved? ROGER HARCOURT: Of course. SUBJECT 2: Johnson’s
a bloody liar. Corbyn is a left-winger. I’m not left-wing. SAM GYIMAH: Yeah. Well, these MPs– SUBJECT 2: And you’re
Jo Swindon or– SAM GYIMAH: I was a minister. I resigned because of Brexit. If I wanted to
look after myself, I would’ve stayed as a minister
in the seat I was in before. SUBJECT 2: Yeah. With all due respect, Lib Dems
are hardly likely to get in, are they? SAM GYIMAH: Here, we are. If you look at– SUBJECT 2: No, no, no. I’m talking about the whole
nation to stop Brexit. SAM GYIMAH: But we will be
a brake on the extremes. What he’s saying
about he can’t vote for either, that is common. What is not common is
to say he won’t vote. That is not common. SUBJECT 3: We’re undecided. We are conservative. We definitely– I
can honestly say– are not wanting to go Labour. We like the platforms
of the Lib Dems. But without the majority,
we are fearful that, if you don’t win the majority–
of which I think the polls are saying you won’t– that things could go awry then. SAM GYIMAH: You can’t have
either Corbyn and his madness in the rule of the state
or Boris Johnson having a majority to deliver
whatever Brexit that he wants. SUBJECT 3: I feel
like I’m fatigued. SAM GYIMAH: Yes. SUBJECT 3: I feel tired. SAM GYIMAH: But it’s
not going to end. I mean, you feel tired. But it’s not going to end. And giving in because
we feel we’re exhausted is what he wants. SUBJECT 3: Thank you
very much for your time. SAM GYIMAH: Take care. SUBJECT 3: And good luck to you. [UPBEAT MUSIC] SAM GYIMAH: 53. [RINGING DOORBELL] It’s flat 2. SUBJECT 4 (OVER DOOR PHONE):
Then why did you ring flat 1? SAM GYIMAH: Oh– SUBJECT 4 (OVER DOOR
PHONE): Are you stupid? [CHUCKLING] [TECHNO MUSIC] SUBJECT 5: I shan’t be voting
for you, but I wish you well. [UPBEAT MUSIC] LAURA HUGHES: What’s
it like, as a Lib Dem, working for someone who was
a Conservative minister? JOSH PARK: I don’t see it as
anything different because I was a Conservative previously. I was a Cameronite
Conservative, and then I switched when the
party decided it was very sort of leave-based. Unfortunately, I think
Sam’s reasons for moving were so noble. LAURA HUGHES: Do you
sympathise with those out there that we’ve spoken
to who don’t like Brexit but they also really
don’t like Jeremy Corbyn? ESTHER WINTER: Yeah. I mean, I can see
where they’re coming. And I know that people are
very scared of Jeremy Corbyn. But at the end of the
day, it’s pretty obvious that this election
is not about that. It is basically about whether
you want to leave the European Union or not. LAURA HUGHES: Are you nervous at
all about the revoke Article 50 line? Because we know, from polling,
it hasn’t played out very well. And actually, people want
to see a second referendum. They don’t necessarily want to
just cancel Brexit altogether. PAOLA KALISPERAS: Yes. LAURA HUGHES: Have
people been raising that as a concern on the doorstep? PAOLA KALISPERAS: To tell you
the truth, yes, but not a lot. SAM GYIMAH: The confusion is
people are thinking, actually, the Conservative
Party is not my party. Am I really a Lib Dem? This sense that the political
world is being realigned and people are having to
make different choices is one that is kind of quite
uncomfortable and quite torturous. LAURA HUGHES: Do you
feel like a Lib Dem in your heart having been
a Conservative for so long? SAM GYIMAH: Well, yes. I mean, because the
Conservative Party has changed. Politics is changing. There’s a realignment going on. And this election is happening
in the midst of that. And, in many ways, we’re not
immune to what is happening in other Western democracies. You know, we’ve seen it
with Trump in the US. And what I’m standing for is
we can stop the madness here. We can stop it. We must stop it. [TECHNO MUSIC]




Comments
  1. I love the fact he's going door to door to greet the people, and taking time to introduce himself.
    Sam seems like a lovely and very warm hearted person.
    I wish him the best.
    🌻 🙋‍♀️ 🌷
    Michigan
    USA 🇺🇸
    Peace 🌿🕊

  2. The suggestion that the "Liberal Democrats" are "a sensible party in the middle", when it proposes to undemocratically ignore the Referendum result of 2016, is ridiculous. Any one voting for such idiotic irresponsibility needs to take a long hard look at themselves.

  3. Vote Labour.

    Tories and LibDems see the continuation of big finance, the off-shoring of work and wealth, austerity and the support of the rise of the far right explicitly or by their inaction to combat them.

    We have a choice here, change the way the UK is run in favour of everyone or move to financialize more of our lives, debasing us all for the trappings of wealth for a few people.

  4. Whether it is double glazing, Jehovah witness or political campaigning, knocking on the door always creates an automatic barrier which is difficult to dissolve. Looking disheveled doesn't help, it feels desperate.

  5. Kensington residents should reflect on Sam Gyimah's terrible track record as a constituency MP for East Surrey. He spent 100% of his time climbing the greasy pole in Westminster and 0% of his time dealing with local issues for constituents. Residents were getting so hacked off with him ignoring letters and emails that they would contact Tories in neighbouring constituencies to help them instead.

  6. A break from the extemes? How much more extreme can a party be than capriciously ignoring the will of the people?

    I voted Remain but the Lib Dem's opportunistic and unprincipled move has persuaded me not to vote for them.

  7. Why are all Tories (mostly pre-brexit like Cameroon) or Lib Dems smart, intelligent and well-read but Labours are hyperactive dimwits

  8. This confused and immaturely myopic man enjoys a liberty won in blood to say exactly what he likes. 
    Yet here he campaigns to deliver the UK into the hands of the self-elected and wholly unaccountable EU Commission, which openly aspires to remove the UK peoples' final elements of personal and parliamentary sovereignty, as well as Common Law, and rule by napoleonic dictate from abroad.  
    Liberal? No. Democratic? No.  
    Appreciative of his adopted culture and precious birthright to self-determination? No.

  9. VOTE LIB DEM: vote for UK species extinction. Oh! But you never considered this, did you Sam? Perhaps I’m wrong and you just don’t care about the threat the EU poses to UK wildlife: https://youtu.be/DFHkNEpNUg0 (click on URL or search in YT for ‘EU = UK Species Extinction’)

  10. Narcissists: superficial, no empathy, see people as 'human resources,' arrogant, ruthless, elitist, expert manipulators of people, no soul/conscience, convincing liars, cunning—'ends justify the means' philosophy, use 'projection' to good effect, advocate mass gas lighting. Your choice of government: democratic or authoritarian.
    https://youtu.be/7Nf5KeC4dAs?list=PLBzkVC5jkqlwyNmJt59ILzdzxLPOq-lbk&t=4

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