A PRESSURE group that has been campaigning to get one of Wokingham borough’s four MPs deselected has said it is delighted that he has lost a vote of no confidence.
On Saturday, June 1, members of the Bracknell Conserative Association held the special general meeting after a sustained campaign to unseat Dr Phillip Lee over his views on Europe.
Dr Lee quit the Government last year because he wants the UK to remain in the European Union and is also campaigning for a second referendum on the issue.
Leave.Eu launched a campaign to get Remainer MPs deselected by their local parties. This requires the local Conservative Associations to hold the special meetings when enough members have contacted the chairman asking for the vote to take place.
In April, that threshhold was reached in Bracknell and the meeting scheduled for today.
We did it! Number six for the deselection campaign as Bracknell Conservative members pass a motion of no confidence in Remoaner Phillip Lee.
He couldn't even be bothered to attend the meeting… This is what happens when you say one thing and do another! 👊
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) June 1, 2019
In a statement, Arron Banks, the founder of Leave.EU, said: “We are delighted with today’s victory against staunch Remainer Phillip Lee.
“Lee has criticised our campaign as a reason why his members have lost confidence in him but the reality is it is his own actions that have proven to be his undoing.
“We have 27,000 paid up Tory members across the U.K. all to happy to help with the Leave EU campaign.
“He claims never to have voted against Brexit, yet he voted to revoke Article 50 and has consistently campaigned for a second referendum despite his Bracknell constituents voting Leave in 2016.
“Lee is our sixth scalp, following Soubry, Allen, Wollaston, Boles and Grieve. He won’t be the last.”
But others have been calling for Dr Lee to stay on.
Members of Young Conservatives For A People’s Vote picketed the road outside the Coppid Beech Hotel to show their support.
Whether the motion passes or fails, this is very scary for our party. If we keep calling these votes in our moderate, One Nation, Pro-EU MPs, then the face of our party will change beyond recognition. We must remain a broad church in order to win in elections. @BracknellTory pic.twitter.com/qE7k5B4dJN
— Young Conservatives for a People's Vote (@YoungTories4PV) June 1, 2019
In a tweet they said: “Whether the motion passes or fails, this is very scary for our party. If we keep calling these votes in our moderate, One Nation, Pro-EU MPs, then the face of our party will change beyond recognition. We must remain a broad church in order to win in elections.”
Another said: “Another sad episode in this whole shambles that is Brexit. Decent MPs like @DrPhillipLeeMP being totally left behind by his party. Shameful!”
But not everyone agreed:
Dr Lee’s office and Bracknell Conservatives have been contacted for a statement.