Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach has effectively been expelled from the Conservative Party, following her decision to vote against the government tonight.
She joins Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill; former chancellor Philip Hammond; and ‘father of the house’ Ken Clarke amongst others having the whip withdrawn.
In total, 21 Tory MPs, including a number of ex-cabinet ministers, joined the opposition parties to defeat the government.
The full list of those who’ve had the party whip withdrawn includes: David Gauke, Alistair Burt, Stephen Hammond, Philip Hammond, Margot James, Ken Clarke, Caroline Nokes, Rory Stewart, Anne Milton, Richard Harrington, Guto Bebb, Antoinette Sandbach, Sam Gyimah, Justine Greening, Richard Benyon, Steve Brine, Greg Clark, Dominic Grieve, Ed Vaizey , Nicholas Soames and Oliver Letwin.
In a dramatic day at Westminster, the new government lost its working majority when Philip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats and it later lost its first vote in Parliament by a margin of 27, a heavier defeat than some had predicted.
I am elected to act in what I believe is in the best interests of my constituents. I have had the whip taken away from me. However there are critical times when you have to do what is right, no matter what the personal consequences. It is hard I won’t pretend it isn’t. https://t.co/bMbCDc3fj9
— Antoinette Sandbach (@Sandbach) September 3, 2019
Speaking earlier today, Ms Sandbach said: “The government’s claim that [proroguing parliament] is to enable it to put forward new domestic legislation is clearly nonsense; a fig leaf to hide its attempt to evade accountability.”
She added: “We have never, as members of Parliament, been asked to agree a parliamentary recess, and it’s highly unlikely that we would’ve done given the scale of the crisis that faces our country at the moment.”
Ms Sandbach voted three times in support of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.
During her speech in Parliament this afternoon, she pointed out that Jacob Rees-Mogg has rebelled against Conservative-led governments on more than 100 occasions and yet has been granted a seat on the front benches, whilst David Gauke has never previously voted against the government and yet is being effectively removed from the Conservative Party.
You can watch Antoinette Sandbach’s speech from Tuesday 3rd September, here.