Resignation Letter from Anna Soubry MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP and Heide Allen MP

Dear Prime Minster

It is with regret that we are writing to resign the Conservative whip and our membership of the Party.

We voted for you as Leader and Prime Minister because we believed you were committed to a moderate, open-hearted Conservative Party in the One Nation tradition. A party of economic competence, representing the best of British business, delivering good jobs, opportunity and prosperity for all, funding world class public services and tackling inequalities. We had hoped you would also continue to modernise our party so that it could reach out and broaden its appeal to younger voters and to embrace and reflect the diversity of the communities we seek to represent.

Sadly, the Conservative Party has increasingly abandoned these principles and values with a shift to the right of British Politics. We no longer feel we can remain in the Party of a Government whose policies and priorities are so firmly in the grip of the ERG and DUP.

Brexit has re-defined the Conservative Party – undoing all the efforts to modernise it. There has been a dismal failure to stand up to the hard line ERG which operates openly as a party within a party, with its own leader, whip and policy.

This shift to the right has been exacerbated by blatant entryism. Not only has this been tolerated, it has been actively welcomed in some quarters. A purple momentum is subsuming the Conservative Party, much as the hard left has been allowed to consume and terminally undermine the Labour Party.

We have tried consistently and for some time to keep the Party close to the centre ground of British Politics. You assured us when you first sought the leadership that this was your intention. We haven’t changed, the Conservative Party has and it no longer reflects the values and beliefs we share with millions of people throughout the United Kingdom.

The final straw for us has been this Government’s disastrous handling of Brexit.

Following the EU referendum of 2016, no genuine effort was made to build a cross party, let alone a national consensus to deliver Brexit. Instead of seeking to heal the divisions or to tackle the underlying causes of Brexit, the priority was to draw up “red lines”. The 48% were not only sidelined, they were alienated.

We find it unconscionable that a Party once trusted on the economy, more than any other, is now recklessly marching the country to the cliff edge of no deal. No responsible government should knowingly and deliberately inflict the dire consequences of such a destructive exit on individuals, communities and businesses and put at risk the prospect of ending austerity.

We also reject the false binary choice that you have presented to Parliament between a bad deal and no deal. Running down the clock to March 20 amounts to a policy of no deal and we are not prepared to wait until our toes are at the edge of the cliff.

We can no longer act as bystanders.

We intend to sit as independents alongside The Independent Group of MPs in the centre ground of British politics. There will be times when we will support the Government, for example, on measures to strengthen our economy, security and improve our public services. But we now feel honour bound to put our constituents’ and country’s interests first.

We would like to thank all those who have supported us and worked alongside us within our constituencies over many years. We genuinely wish our many friends and colleagues within the Party well, indeed we know many of them share our concerns.

We will continue to work constructively, locally and nationally, on behalf of our constituents.

However, the country deserves better. We believe there is a failure of politics in general, not just in the Conservative Party but in both main parties as they

move to the fringes, leaving millions of people with no representation. Our politics needs urgent and radical reform and we are determined to play our part.

Yours sincerely

Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston

11 Comments

  1. A lady of honest , sensible principles and sound judgement . Broxtowe continues to be well served by a most able MP .

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  2. Anna has always followed her own agenda no matter what. As a local MP she has served the community reasonably well. However this must rank as her most ridiculous decision yet, as at any future election she stands in she will split the Tory vote and open the door to a Labour victory.

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  3. One of the privileges of this digital age is the ability for us all to access first hand evidence. Anna Soubry’s speech unpacking her resignation from the Conservative Party is well worth 8 minutes of one’s time:

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  4. Thank you for having the courage to follow your convictions…

    You have at least one constituent that agrees whole heartedly with your analysis of the current state of our politics…. the only regret I have is that it has taken so long for anyone to say what has been blindingly obvious to me for most of my life…(I am in my late 70s)

    ..what is not so blindingly obvious is how one goes about changing our political system for the better…

    ..never-the-less… I hope for the sake of my grand children you succeed in doing so…

    .. I fear however that it will take a visit one or all of the ‘Four Horsemen’ before any such change will come about…

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  5. Thank you for having the courage to follow your convictions…

    You have at least one constituent that agrees whole heartedly with your analysis of the current state of our politics…. the only regret I have is that it has taken so long for anyone to say what has been blindingly obvious to me for most of my life…(I am in my late 70s)

    ..what is not so blindingly obvious is how one goes about changing our political and system for the better…

    ..never-the-less… I hope for the sake of my grand children you succeed in doing so…

    ..I fear however that it will take a visit one or all of the ‘Three Horsemen’ before any such change will come about…

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  6. Anna Soubry calls for a “People’s Vote”.
    Well Anna, that is precisely what we had in 2016. How many People’s Votes would you like?
    Let’s reach a compromised. We can have a People’s Vote by way of a by-election in Broxtowe.
    What have you got to lose Anna? Well, more than likely your seat at Westminster.
    Come on Anna, stop complaining and do something positive. Let the people of Broxtowe decide. They may agree with you, but until you have the conviction to let the people decide, you will never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most people voted on false or incomplete information. Not any group properly informed us of the situation we now find ourselves in . Thank goodness we have MPs who are not afraid to tell us the truth. Business seems to be on their side> I am proud to say that even though it seems my vote may have been wasted that I unlike many of my generation (including some relatives younger than myself) voted REMAIN as did my Children and Grandchildren
    Thank goodness some of our representatives in Parliament have the courage to voice their opinions even though it may be of no avail.

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    1. And it still keeps being spouted ad nauseam “Most people voted on false or incomplete information”. On what do you, Mr Chatfield, base your reasoning? Is it because people voted differently to you, or perhaps you feel that we didn’t do enough research. Please believe me when I state that I’m not actually having a go at you personally but I’m getting heartily jarred off with being told that I didn’t know what I was voting for, I did know and after all that I have seen and heard over the past two years I can see no reason to change my mind. Some members of my family have changed their minds about Brexit and that is up to them.

      However as we are talking about the resignation of Anna Soubry and others. All I can say that if she feels that bad about the Prime Ministers abysmal performance she actually should have resigned her seat and caused a bye-election. After the referendum Anna stated that although she hoped the result would have been different she would work on behalf of the constituency to help to deliver the result that the electorate democratically decided upon. Remember it was a simple In or Out question, no mention of deals or paying £39 bn to leave the club. Unfortunately Anna has steadily worked to overturn the result and as a result that at the next election (probably later this year) it is unlikely that she will retain her seat. That in some ways, will be a pity.

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    2. The only lies we were told, were those by the preposterous “Project Fear” campaign.
      Fear not leaving the EU. But be terrified by remaining.
      The EU is becoming increasingly centralised, antidemocratic and authoritarian. A reborn U.S.S.R. in Europe.

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  8. What about the slogan that promised that money not sent to the EU would go to NHS funding? We are NOT saving that money as I understand it as we have to keep paying as part of the divorce settlement. Perhaps I do not understand it but I am pretty sure I do, was that an untruth or not? I know that the ballot was a simple in or out question but a lot of people were influenced by that slogan. I also accept that some voted to get out on immigration issues and for various other reasons, lots did not realise that the EHIC card would no longer be valid (I must admit I had not thought of that) nor that we may have to obtain visas to visit Europe or that our driving licences may not be valid when holidaying or visiting for business in the EU countries.
    I do not fall out with the Brexiteers on a personal level but I am sorry I do disagree with them.

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    1. Indeed the £370 million a week to EU (painted on the side of a Red bus) was incorrect. The true figure I understand is about £260 million before EU “payments” to the UK farmers etc. Payments incidentally that UK has to pay to the EU before they give our money back to us. Also it was suggested (on the same bus) that we should properly fund the NHS instead. Actually Peter, we are not paying the EU any divorce settlement as we aren’t divorced yet.
      Now regarding your other points about EHIC card. As far as I can ascertain all that entitles people to is emergency treatment for problems that occur whilst within whatever country they are in, to the same level as the ‘native’ population. Any extra is supposed to be paid for, which is why people are encouraged to obtain insurance. It most certainly is not for out of country treatment of existing conditions.
      Why are we going to have to get Visas to travel within the EU, life managed quite well before 1995 with just passports and border controls. It actually should be just as easy for us to travel around Europe next month as it is today. How? Because once we have entered through France, Spain, Belgium, Holland we will be inside the Schengen Area where borders do not exist. Several countries have already stated that they will not require visas from UK. In fact if we decide to travel via Ireland it will be even easier if a little time consuming.
      As for driving in Europe, even if we need an International Driving permit so what, before 1995 we were officially supposed to have one anyway.
      However none of the above had been mentioned before 2016 as they have all been mentioned and introduced by the EU’s (non) negotiating team.
      Just as a matter of interest Peter (I hope you don’t mind my calling you Peter), will you please explain to me why the UK electorate was wrong to want to break away from Brussels. Are there any tangible, spine shattering reasons that you know of. I keep asking people but can’t get any reasonable responses, perhaps there just aren’t any.

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