Vale MPs show support for under-pressure PM - The Evesham Observer

Vale MPs show support for under-pressure PM

Evesham Editorial 14th Dec, 2018   0

VALE MPs Nigel Huddleston and Harriett Baldwin have called on their parliamentary colleagues to unite behind the Prime Minister after she won a vote of confidence in her leadership.

More than a third of Conservative MPs opposed Mrs May’s continued leadership of the party during a no confidence vote on Wednesday (December 12) evening with the Prime Minister winning the vote by 200 votes to 117.

But despite the rebellion, Mr Huddleston told the Observer the result was decisive in favour of the Prime Minister and revealed he supported Mrs May in the secret ballot of Tory MPs.

Speaking after the vote, the Mid Worcestershire MP said: “I’m pleased the Prime Minister won the vote, I expected her to do so and I think winning the support of members by 63 per cent to 37 per cent is decisive.

“I’m aware some of my colleagues disagree with that view but I would say if they think 52 per cent versus is 48 per cent is clear then they should respect this result.”

Mr Huddleston was among those who attended a meeting of the Conservatives backbench 1922 committee before the vote and told the Observer the Prime Minister delivered a heartfelt speech to her MPs.

“I’m pleased its over because the whole thing was a distraction. It puts the issue to bed for a year as per the rules of the Parliamentary party,” he said.

“There is a widely held perception that the only thing we are talking about is Brexit and we need to get the message out we are tackling domestic policy on education, health and crime as well.”

Mrs Baldwin said: “I was delighted the Prime Minister won her vote last night and secured the backing of 63 per cent of my parliamentary colleagues so she can focus on the important work to secure the best possible deal for our country.

“Following this ballot, we now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit for the British people and building a better future for this country. That must start here in Westminster, with politicians on all sides coming together and acting in the national interest.”

Opponents to Mrs May from all sides have called on the Prime Minister to change tack with members of the European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees Mogg, calling for the Prime Minister to consider a no deal Brexit.

Meanwhile others on her own side such as Anna Soubry have repeated calls for a so-called People’s Vote to end the impasse in Parliament which continued this week with the Prime Minister pulling a vote on her proposed deal at the eleventh hour amid fears of a heavy defeat.

Calls for the Prime Minister to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement which was given the green light by EU chiefs last month also appear to have fallen on deaf ears with influential voices across Europe vowing no further negotiations would take place.

But Mr Huddleston said: “Getting the deal through Parliament will undoubtedly difficult and almost certainly we have to rely on Labour MPs to vote for it.”

“I have no qualms with it and I would reach out to those on the opposite side of the chamber to support the deal in the national interest, to protect jobs and to look after our economy.”

“I’m not sure when the vote will come back to Parliament but we do have the clear date of January 21 when something must be approved by Parliament,” he added.

Mrs Baldwin, who serves as Minister of State for Africa and International Development, said the result of the 2016 EU referendum must be respected to ensure Britain leave the European Union in a ‘smooth, legal and orderly way that protects jobs’.

“I don’t support either a ‘no-deal’ exit or a second referendum and I don’t think anyone else could do a better job in these negotiations, which are very difficult especially given there’s a hung Parliament and a land border with Ireland,” she said.

“The public now want certainty as we approach March 29 when we leave the European Union and their message to me and my colleagues has been clear.

“They simply want us to get on with it.”


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