DR PHILLIP LEE is hoping to speak in Parliament this afternoon following his resignation from the Government.
Earlier today, he announced that he felt he had to step down over Brexit.
In his statement, he said: “The main reason for my taking this decision now is the Brexit process and the Government’s wish to limit Parliament’s role in contributing to the final outcome in a vote that takes place today.”
The news, on the day that the House of Commons starts a two-day debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill, has come as a surprise to many, but has also generated a wealth of interest.
His office has received more than 900 emails, his resignation tweet has had 1.3 million impressions on Twitter and more than 250 positive comments.
And sources close to Dr Lee have told The Wokingham Paper that he took the decision because he is concerned about parliamentary sovereignty.
“He’s not trying to stop Brexit, but feels that Parliament must be free to speak on behalf of constituents,” the source said.
This is something that Dr Lee has backed up himself in a comment made on Twitter.
“For me, resigning is a last resort – not something that I want to do, but something I feel I must do because, for me, such a serious principle is being breached that I would find it hard to live with myself afterwards if I let it pass,” he wrote.
For me, resigning is a last resort – not something that I want to do but something I feel I must do because, for me, such a serious principle is being breached that I would find it hard to live with myself afterwards if I let it pass.
— Dr Phillip Lee 🔶 (@DrPhillipLee) June 12, 2018
Earlier today rumours started circulating on Twitter that Dr Lee was to face a deselection meeting on Monday, but The Wokingham Paper understands that this is not true.
A source told us: “The deselection meeting rumour is absolute nonsense.
“Dr Lee spoke to his chairman immediately after he made the decision and he was very supportive, telling him that while he didn’t support his views on Brexit, he understood why he felt he had to do this.”
Statement from Bracknell Conservatives
Dr Lee’s local Conservative Association has released a statement relating to the resignation, expressing their regret that he had stood down from Government.
“The Bracknell Conservative Association notes with regret Phillip Lee’s decision to resign as a Minister at this time and that he is unable to support the government on a crucial vote this week. He has done this as a point of personal principle.
“He has taken this decision on his own and without consulting the local party beforehand. It should be noted that the Bracknell constituency voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.”
The Wokingham Paper invited Wokingham MP John Redwood to comment on Dr Lee’s decision, but he declined to do so. Mr Redwood is a staunch Eurosceptic who has long championed leaving the EU.
In a blog post yesterday, he accused the Union of overplaying their hand in negotiations.
“The government has nine more months to make sure everything works if we leave without a deal. It needs to show how easy it is to apply the methods we use for non EU trade to EU trade as well. By showing its resolve to do so it will give itself the only chance of actually securing a deal which might be worth considering,” he wrote.