Phillip Lee rules out by-election after joining Lib Dems

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Newly-minted Liberal Democrat Dr Phillip Lee has ruled out a by-election a day after he dramatically crossed the floor of Parliament.

The former Tory MP quit the party while Boris Johnson was addressing Parliament, and told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer an election would serve as a distraction.

“We don’t need by-elections, we don’t actually need general elections at the moment we should concentrate this Parliament and the administration on sorting out this Brexit impasse,” he said.

“If there’s a general election I’m ready to fight it and fight it as a Liberal Democrat proudly, but at the moment I think we need to concentrate on the issue at hand which is stopping a no-deal Brexit which does not have the explicit informed consent of the British people.”

Dr Lee has defended his decision to cross the floor, which cut the government’s majority to zero even before 21 Tory MPs were kicked-out of the party for defying the government.

He said the decision to leave a party he’s supported for decades began “a few months ago”.

“I increasingly felt the party I joined in 1992 to support John Major was not the party that it had become and so I started to think ‘where am I going’, talking to family and friends and the like”, he said.

“Ultimately you have to trust your values, your convictions, your beliefs and I think the more politicians do that in politics the better.”

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