It’s the final humiliation for David Cameron.
Robert Courts, the local councillor (and aptly, given his surname, barrister) adopted to stand as the Tory candidate in the former PM’s Witney seat voted for Brexit.
Courts – who is almost guaranteed to regain the constituency for the Tories on October 20 – has hitherto been shy about discussing his European views despite established Lobby journalists pressing him for an answer:
Really keen to know whether Cameron's likely successor as MP for Witney, the Tory candidate @robertcourts , voted for Brexit.
— Isabel Oakeshott (@IsabelOakeshott) September 26, 2016
However, when Heat Street caught up with him this afternoon, Courts’s press spokesman Gareth Parker was refreshingly open.
Parker said: “Robert voted Brexit. We are getting a positive reaction to this when it comes up on the doorstep.”
It had been assumed that as a tribute to Cameron, who after all represented Witney for 15 years and went to the stake for his pro-EU beliefs, only a pro-EU Tory candidate would do.
Furthermore, on June 23 Witney voted 60/40 in favour of Remain.
As it is, this surprise news may well damage Ukip. Its chiefs had been hoping their candidate, Dickie Bird, represented the only pro-Brexit view among those standing.
Like Theresa May, it seems the Witney Tory party has seen sense by selecting pro-Brexit Robert Courts.
Now just one question is outstanding: will David and Samantha Cameron vote Tory in a little over two weeks’ time?