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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Tim Bale, Surge in Tory members sparks fears of ‘grass roots rebellion’


Professor Tim Bale commented on a spike in ardent ‘Brexiteers’ joining the Conservative Party, arguing that it was “almost inevitable”. He said the Conservatives are just the latest British political party targeted by energised activists in recent years, following membership surges for Labour and the SNP in Scotland. “If it is being coordinated in some way then that will help the process along,” Professor Bale said, noting its sign-up criteria is “pretty loose”. But Dominic Grieve, a pro-European MP, believes the party must “protect itself” from Arron Banks-led “entryism” – infiltration of a party by rivals to subvert policy.
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