Will your MP back Theresa May this evening?
PUBLISHED: 10:52 12 December 2018
East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire voiced his concerns about Theresa May’s Brexit plan earlier this month.
East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire remains tight lipped about how he will vote in this evening’s Conservative Party leadership vote.
The Journal contacted Sir Hugo this morning after Theresa May’s announcement outside 10 Downing Street this morning that a leadership vote will take place this evening.
A spokesman for Sir Hugo said he would not be making any comment until after tonight’s secret ballot.
His silence is at odds with some of his Conservative colleagues in Devon, North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones and Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox have both backed the Prime Minister.
North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones said the Prime Minister had his ‘full support’ following the news that the threshold of no confidence letters required from Conservative MPs to trigger a leadership vote had been reached.
Torridge and West Devon MP and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said there was ‘no time for the self indulgent spasm’ of a leadership election.
Mr Heaton-Jones said in a tweet: “Theresa May has my full support. To change our leader and Prime Minister at this crucial time would be wrong for the party and, more importantly, for the country. Yes, I am loyal, and I wear that badge with pride.”
In a speech in the Commons on Thursday, December 6, during a European Withdrawal Act debate Sir Hugo told Theresa May he could not support a deal which would ‘place part of the United Kingdom in a position that is different from the rest’.
Sir Hugo, who voted to remain in the EU, said the current proposals for Northern Ireland ‘would be an appallingly dangerous precedent’.
He told the House of Commons: “From all my experience in Northern Ireland, I know the nervousness of the loyalist community about how it is often treated by the Northern Ireland Office and the Foreign Office, both institutions in which I have served.
“We cannot possibly place part of the United Kingdom in a position that is different from the rest. It would be an appallingly dangerous precedent.
“I beg my right honourable friend the Prime Minister, whom I salute for even just standing up at this stage, to try to get us some movement on that part of the deal. If she does, she will find that there are those like me who will feel able to support it.”
He added: “If she does not, she will find herself short of votes next week, as there are those of us who put the Union and the integrity of the Union above all other matters.”