Pudsey Conservative Association chairman Jason Aldiss has resigned from the party, saying Boris Johnson ‘is not fit to be Party Leader and UK Prime Minister’.
Dr Aldiss, who opposes Brexit, had been a member of the Conservatives since 1995, but today criticised Mr Johnson, criticising what he described as the new Prime Minister’s “band of power-hungry saboteurs”.
He said his love for his country outweighed his loyalty to the Conservative Party. In a statement, Dr Aldiss said:
“I did not believe in Brexit and campaigned against it. The narrow decision in favour of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union was the wrong path to tread.
“Theresa May’s election as Conservative Leader and Prime Minister in 2016 gave me fresh hope of something short of a catastrophic outcome. She demonstrated remarkable courage, tenacity, dignity and grace under extreme fire – often from prominent Conservative Members of Parliament.
“These were the same individuals who hounded her from office before manoeuvring Boris Johnson into position to seize her job. Yesterday’s leadership election result, which saw more than two thirds of Party Members vote for Mr Johnson, confirmed that this is no longer the Party I joined in 1995
“The hardline Brexiteers in Conservative ranks, hellbent on a no-deal departure, claim to be patriots. I see nothing patriotic about willingly risking untold damage to our economy, to jobs and to our global standing for decades to come.
“They also claim to be Unionists but, through their actions, they have placed the future of the Union itself in grave peril. It may already be too late.
“The election of Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister and self-styled Brexiteer-in-Chief is surely the final insult.
“Mr Johnson and his band of power-hungry saboteurs in the Parliamentary Party claim he is the only Conservative who can keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street. I wholeheartedly disagree.
“Mr Corbyn is indeed a danger to our country. He is also unelectable. I would say precisely the same about Mr Johnson.
“The country desperately needs a credible Conservative Prime Minister leading a functional Government in the interest of the entire United Kingdom. By electing Mr Johnson, the Party has effectively given up on Scotland, handed swathes of seats to the Liberal Democrats in the south of England and left moderate Tory voters in the north of England feeling disenfranchised.
“Unlike some very senior Conservatives who have buried their true feelings in the hope of preferment under Prime Minister Johnson, I can no longer defend this misguided, dysfunctional, disingenuous obliteration of years of hard work.
“I am left with no option but to resign.”
Pudsey Parliamentary constituency is a marginal seat, which saw Conservative incumbent Stuart Andrew re-elected in 2017 with an increased vote share, but with a majority cut to just 331.
Dr Aldiss added:
“I have loyally served our Party for almost a quarter of a century, holding countless offices at Area and Regional level. I joined in 1995 when we were on a downward spiral and volunteers were walking away. We went through some particularly bleak periods with the Party struggling to win votes – never mind seats – in Local and General Elections.
“Playing a part in wrestling control of Leeds City Council from Labour in 2004 was a high point. I took great pride in Stuart Andrew gaining the Pudsey Parliamentary seat in 2010, and holding on in 2015 and 2017. So too in winning all three Pudsey Ward seats for the Conservatives, with the last being captured in the 2019 Local Elections.“
Dr Aldiss is a veterinarian who has specialised in the delivery of Official Controls for over 20 years. He has worked on various consultancy projects and delivered numerous services internationally in the veterinary public health field for many years and is well recognised for his work in this broad specialist field.
Jason is the past President of the Veterinary Public Health Association, a previous Board member of the British Veterinary Association and a past Council Member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. He is currently Secretary General of the Union of European Veterinary Hygienists, a Director of Eville & Jones (Australia) and Managing Director of Leeds-based Eville & Jones.