Former Conservative MP tells Dominic Raab’s constituents to vote Lib Dem

PUBLISHED: 13:40 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:40 25 November 2019

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, in an argument with Labour frontbencher Andy McDonald. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau / PA.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, in an argument with Labour frontbencher Andy McDonald. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau / PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Dominic Raab has been criticised by the last Conservative MP to hold his seat, who said Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal “is a really damaging threat which must not go unchallenged”.

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Ian Taylor, who was the Tory MP for Esher from 1987 to 1997, and for Esher and Walton from 1997 to 2010, urged voters to put down a mark for the Lib Dems in the next general election.

In a damning open letter, Taylor said he favoured tactical voting to stop Brexit and gave his support to the Liberal Democrat candidate Monica Harding.

Taylor wrote: "The [Brexit] issue will dominate and harm British politics for years to come. So, who represents you in parliament is critical to what will evolve.

"The current prime minister has in effect put 'No Deal' back on the table by the unrealistic deadline he has set for securing a trade deal by the end of 2020. This is a really damaging threat which must not go unchallenged."

While Raab currently holds a majority of 23,000 votes, his leadership is looking increasingly fragile, with the organisation Datapraxis predicting he is currently on course to win by fewer than 3,000 votes.

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Even though the Tories have held Raab's seat for over 100 years, 58% of constituents voted to Remain in the EU in 2016 and are against the former Brexit secretary.

At a hustings last week, Raab was booed and laughed at by room of his constituents as he explained his plans for a 'moderate' Brexit.

READ MORE: Dominic Raab booed and laughed at by room of constituents as he explains Brexit plans

Taylor suggested that if Labour and Green voters were to vote tactically for the Lib Dems, Raab could lose his position.

Taylor also voiced support for former Tories now standing as independents, including Dominic Grieve, David Gauke, and Anne Milton.

In other areas, he called for people to support pro-European candidates, with the hope of securing either remaining in the EU or having the least harmful Brexit possible.

"Monica Harding is, in my personal opinion, the candidate for Esher and Walton best placed to pursue these policies in parliament," he said.

Alongside Monica Harding, Raab is running against Peter Ashurst (Labour), Kylie Keens (Independent), Kyle Taylor (Advance), and Baron Badger (Monster Raving Loony).

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