Former Tory MEP defects to Lib Dems to fight for People’s Vote on Brexit

Former Conservative MEP Christopher Beazley

Former Conservative MEP Christopher Beazley - Credit: Allis Moss

A former Conservative MEP has defected to the Liberal Democrats in order to fight for a People's Vote on Brexit.

Christopher Beazley, who represented Cornwall and Plymouth from 1984 to 1994 and the East of England from 1999 to 2009, said he could 'longer sit idly by while my former party plunges the country into disaster'.

He has now joined the Lib Dems, who welcomed his 'expertise, experience and enthusiasm'.

Beazley has long been a firmly pro-European Conservative who has served as vice-chairman of the Conservative Group for Europe.

Months before leaving the European Parliament he joined the European People's Party group, an umbrella group of centre-right party with whom the Tories had previously sat.

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The 66-year-old said today: : 'As a lifelong, traditional, one-nation, pro-European Conservative I can no longer sit idly by while my former party plunges the country into disaster.

'Successive Tory Party leaders have failed to confront the nationalist, lunatic right-wing fringe. As my daughter put it, 'David Cameron gambled with our future and lost'.

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'I salute the Liberal Democrats' consistent effort and advocacy for Britain's EU membership and for the urgent necessity of a people's vote to decide our future - and most importantly for the future generations who have, as yet, never been consulted.'

His move was welcomed by Jonathan Brown, parliamentary spokesman for the Chichester Lib Dems, who said: 'Our country cannot continue on its present course. There is a political realignment underway. The Lib Dems are a broad church and welcome all prepared to fight for opportunity and prosperity for us and future generations.

'This government treats Parliament and the public with contempt. It wastes millions of taxpayer pounds on contracts for ferry companies with no ships as it diverts billions into pointless preparations for a no-deal Brexit that would devastate our economy and society. The prime minister is trying to blackmail MPs of all parties into supporting the insupportable.

'We welcome Christopher's expertise, experience and enthusiasm. We must deal with the inequality and the taking of people for granted that fuels discontent and despair. We must stop the chaos in government and focus on fixing Britain.

'We must have a People's Vote to give the country the opportunity to reject the shambolic, incompetent divisiveness of this government's Brexit fantasies, to remain in the European Union and to move on. We demand better.'

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