Alex Chalk, the Conservative MP for Cheltenham, will speak at a capacity rally on Saturday organised by the People’s Vote campaign in his constituency, where he has a majority of just 2,569 over the Liberal Democrats.
He will address the “Let Us Be heard” rally at Cheltenham Town Hall from the same platform as Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, whose party has backed a final say referendum and has made the seat one of its top targets at the next election.
Although Mr Chalk is not a supporter of the People’s Vote campaign and was among the Conservative MPs who supported Theresa May’s deal, he abstained on the question of whether there should be a confirmatory referendum the last time Parliament held indicative votes on different Brexit outcomes.
He has agreed to speak at the rally so that he can explain his position directly to constituents ahead of further crunch votes in Parliament this autumn where he will again come under intense pressure from local people to give them the final say on Brexit.
A recent Populus opinion poll showed just 34 per cent of voters in the Cheltenham constituency support the No Deal departure from the European Union which both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt – the final two candidates to be the next Conservative leader - say they are prepared to consider.
Faced with a choice between this form of Brexit and handing back the decision to British people, the Populus survey found 65 per cent of Cheltenham voters would support a new referendum.
The Cheltenham Let Us Be Heard rally is of one 15 being held in a long hot summer of protest organised by the People’s Vote campaign across the UK before an historic march in London on October 12 ahead of the latest Brexit deadline.
Other speakers at the rally will include Julian Dunkerton, the founder of Superdry and a prominent Cheltenham resident, Labour peer Andrew Adonis, Green Party MEP Ellie Chowns, campaigner Alastair Campbell, Conservative councillor Viv Matthews, student leader Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, local activist Ginie Moss, the comedian Mitch Benn, NHS nurse Katie Malden, and Katie Breeds from the Our Future Our Choice youth group.
Andrew Adonis, the Labour peer and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, is expected to tell the rally: "The far right led by Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are hatching a plan to impose a hard Brexit without letting the British people be heard.
“Anyone who isn’t rich like Johnson and Farage and depends on a job has the most to lose. Labour must stand up for its supporters who will be hit hardest by this policy of destruction and loudly and clearly call for them to be given a voice through a final say referendum on any deal.
“We have been through three years of chaos and now face the prospect of a hard Brexit that was not on any ballot paper and has no mandate. A final say referendum would not be the negation of democracy but its fulfilment. It is time to let the people decide and end this Brexit nightmare."
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, a student leader at Bristol University, will warn that the latest Brexit plan is a “recipe for destruction” for young people, saying: "We need to fight to have our say on whether we go through with a Brexit that will deepen the divide in our society, make us poorer, put our NHS, our Universities and Colleges, our jobs, and human rights at risk, or whether we choose to have a People’s Vote.”
Notes to Editors: The People’s Vote Cheltenham Rally takes place at: Cheltenham Town Hall, Imperial Square, Cheltenham, GL50 1QA