A year ago I was having a coffee with my old adversary, the Chester Labour MP. He told me, as a lifelong Conservative, not to leave my party and to fight for its soul from within.

I told him I couldn’t. The party was now in the grip of an ideological bent that repulsed me.

At the core of this repulsion is barely-hidden racism, vile misogyny and a contempt for anyone who doesn’t believe Britain has a God-given right to rule the world.

The modern Conservative Party is way more complex than the Little Englanders they have become.

The party has purged one nation Tories. They call it ‘the cleanse’.

First they came for the pro- Europeans. I am one of those and I will speak out before nobody is left.

The 2016 referendum left the nature of leaving down to Parliament. Two PMs, both with a majority, have failed to find a consensus partly because a ‘land of milk and honey’ was promised and their offering fell way short.

The withdrawal agreements were not as good as EU membership and the Brexiteers know it.

The Leave campaign promises were always unfulfillable. They made them because they never expected to win.

Senior Tory ministers will tell you privately that they now believe Scotland will leave the UK, probably next year, and that is a price worth paying! WHAT!!!

For centre right one nation Tories like me there is hope. We will get through this. The Tory party is destroying itself and a new moderate party will emerge. The problem is our country will pay the price.

We can do our bit and vote tactically to deny Johnson his treasured majority.

In Eddisbury moderates from both sides should opt for Antoinette Sandbach. Brexiteers will tell you the former Conservative MP voted to block Brexit; she didn’t. She supported May’s deal but was vehemently against a no deal – she was cleansed.

Simon Harris Former Conservative Campaign Manager in Chester