After Boris Johnson threatened automatic deselection for any Conservative MPs who vote against a no-deal Brexit, David Gauke has said he would still put country before party.
David Gauke said that he would vote against the government despite the threat made by Boris Johnson.
The former justice secretary, who gives his name to the anti-no-deal coterie of Tories known as the “Gaukeward squad”, said on Sky’s Ridge on Sunday show: “I’ve seen the reports. If it’s the position of defying the whip on a European vote then I think there’s quite a lot of Conservative MPs who over recent months would have lost the whip.”
If it came to that on the issue of a no-deal Brexit, Gauke said: “Sometimes there is a point when it comes to a conjunction between your own personal interest and the national interest.
“The national interest has to come first,” he said, adding that he hoped “cooler and calmer heads” would hold back from splitting the Conservatives like this.
He said Johnson was wrong to shut down parliament at this crucial time and that the house should be sitting through September and October.
He would not commit to extending Article 50, but said that he woudl support its extension if Johnson cannot secure an acceptable deal by October 31.
He hinted that action from anti-no deal MPs could come sooner rather than later, saying: “If it’s going to take action, it’s got to be taking action within the next few days.”