Government rebels should step down, urges MP

Friday, July 19, 2019

Robert Jenrick has urged ministers who chose not to vote with the government on a bill that could thwart a no-deal Brexit to step down.

The Conservative MP told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer those who do not support the government “shouldn’t be serving as a minister”.

“It is extremely important at this moment in time that you have a set of ministers who hold together behind a single policy on leaving the European Union on October 31,” he said.

“The next Prime Minister must choose people who believe in that, or at the bare minimum are willing to stick to that line publically until that date.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, Business Secretary Greg Clark and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart abstained from the vote to keep Parliament open until December.

Mr Hammond tweeted: “It should not be controversial to believe that Parliament be allowed to sit, and have a say, during a key period in our country's history.”

The minister for digital Margot James resigned after she was among 17 Tories voting in favour of the amendment.

Theresa May was “disappointed” that several members of her cabinet failed to support the government.

A Downing Street spokesman said it is likely her successor will “take this into account when forming their government”.

Fellow Conservative MP Nigel Evans told talkRADIO many in the cabinet are “demob happy”, but he doubts they will face further consequences for abstaining or voting against the government.

“There were so many people who were going against the whip yesterday that I think she’s going to leave it to whoever is going to be the new chief whip,” he said.

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