Berkshire

Phillip Lee, Bracknell Tory MP, loses no confidence vote

Phillip Lee Image copyright UK Parliament
Image caption Phillip Lee resigned as Justice Minister in June 2018.

A former government minister has lost a vote of no confidence in him by his local Conservative association.

Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell, said the move had been "inspired" by the single issue of Brexit.

Bracknell Conservative Association called the vote after 53 members signed a petition.

The ex-justice minister, who supported Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, said the government's approach would damage businesses in his constituency.

Dr Lee then became the first government minister to resign over Brexit.

Association chairman Gerry Barber said: "The result of the vote was that a majority of members present were in agreement with the motion, which was therefore passed, and the result has been communicated to Dr Lee and to the full membership.

"I will be discussing the meeting with Phillip later this week."

Dr Lee said he would not be "forced into taking a decision" on his future by an "orchestrated, destructive campaign from outside the party".

'Hatred and intimidation'

He previously claimed more than half those who signed the petition had joined the association less than a year ago.

He said: "In the future, I may or may not decide that I can continue serving as a Conservative Member of Parliament, and the Bracknell Conservative Association may or may not decide that they wish to readopt me as the Conservative Party's candidate.

"But one thing is for sure, we will not be forced into taking a decision one way or the other by this orchestrated, destructive campaign from outside the party."

Those behind the campaign had "done nothing but spread hatred, intimidation and distrust over a single issue", Dr Lee said.

"[But the] people of the Bracknell constituency can rely on my absolute commitment to serving our area's best interests in Parliament, without fear or favour, and then take into account my full record at the next general election."

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