James Heappey Weekly Column

There was a stark contrast between the victory speeches of the new leaders of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Jo Swinson accepted her new role in front of a huge sign that said 'STOP BREXIT' and said in her speech that this was her party's top priority.

Worse still the pretence of a second referendum as a 'confirmatory vote' has now been exposed too. Ms Swinson was asked on BBC News on Tuesday whether she'd support Brexit in Parliament if the country voted for it a second time. Her answer was 'no'.

Boris Johnson's message was very different. The country is frustrated by Brexit inertia and the whole process needs re-energising. Parliament's determination to stand in the way needs to be overcome through seeking a better deal that can command a majority but no matter what, we must leave by 31st October. Of course the more he commits to that and the more he resources No Deal preparations, the more pressure the EU feels and the more willing they become to consider some alternatives to the Backstop in particular.

Uniting the country came next with promises to increase spending on our schools, infrastructure and police, alongside a commitment to sort out the growing challenge of adult social care.

Finally, he resolved to defeat Jeremy Corbyn and his hard left allies in the Labour Party. Ms Swinson meanwhile said she'd work with Labour without Corbyn which presumably means the Marxist Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will be absolutely fine.

In a nutshell that's the shape of British politics right now: a Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson committed to respecting the result of the referendum, delivering Brexit and uniting our country versus parties so dedicated to ignoring that instruction that a coalition with a Marxist is a price they're very happpily willing to pay.