David Lidington, who’s mooted to take over as interim prime minister ought to Theresa Could be ousted, could scarcely register with most of the people, however inside his celebration he’s identified for being on the pro-remain wing, having served as Europe minister from 2010 to 2016.
Which means he’s a minimum of well-versed on the topic that has torn the Conservatives aside for greater than three a long time and which threatens to take down one other prime minister – however it could not endear him to the pro-Brexit European Analysis Group.
The MP for Aylesbury took over from Damian Inexperienced as Could’s de facto deputy in a reshuffle in January 2018, changing into Cupboard Workplace minister, and has been one in all her staunchest allies over the past chaotic yr.
Born in 1956, the identical yr as Could, Lidington learn historical past at Cambridge, and captained his faculty, Sidney Sussex, to victory in College Problem in 1978.
He served as as an adviser to Douglas Hurd – additionally a former Europe minister earlier than stints as house and overseas secretary – and ran unsuccessfully for the Vauxhall constituency in 1987.
Ultimately elected in 1992 to his protected Buckinghamshire seat, Lidington is ostensibly a one nation Tory, though his views are socially conservative – he voted in opposition to decreasing the age of consensual homosexual intercourse to 16 and opposes same-sex marriage.
Though backbenchers broadly respect him and he’s mentioned to haven’t any enemies within the Commons, his elevation to the highest job would trigger ructions inside the Tory celebration as a result of his pro-Europe stance.
“If you happen to assume the Tories are cut up now,” one minister informed the Mail on Sunday, “simply wait until Mr Europe takes the reins.”
One other MP from the celebration’s stay wing informed the Mail: “Lidington’s fame is so pro-EU the Brexit hardcore within the ERG will eat him alive.”
In an interview with the Observer through the referendum marketing campaign in 2016, Lidington criticised Conservative colleagues who needed to depart the bloc. “I do discover it extraordinary that those that need Britain to depart the EU appear to carry to 2 completely contradictory propositions on the similar time,” he mentioned.
He continued: “Their first perception is that contained in the EU we can’t obtain any significant change and that too typically the opposite international locations are in some form of nefarious conspiracy in opposition to our pursuits.
“However their second perception, which they maintain equally firmly, is that exterior the EU these exact same international locations and governments would rush to offer us some new deal that has all the advantages of EU membership with not one of the issues that apply to others.”
In that 2016 interview he additionally pointed to the positions of Switzerland and Norway, which are sometimes held up as templates for Britain’s future exterior the EU. “They each have greater EU migration charges than we do, they each must pay into the EU finances, they each have to simply accept EU guidelines and laws as the value for entry to a free-trade single market. There isn’t any getting away from that.
“I believe the go away marketing campaign continues to be in a state of confusion about what they really imply by go away.”