‘They can’t take away my integrity’ - Heseltine has Tory whip suspended for backing Lib Dems
- Credit: Archant
Conservative peer and former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has had the Conservative whip suspended after saying he would vote for the Liberal Democrats in the European election.
The pro-EU politician said he would "experiment" with voting Lib Dem because of the government's Brexit policy.
The peer used a Sunday Times article to explain his decision to vote Lib Dem in the European contest.
"I cannot, with a clear conscience, vote for my party when it is myopically focused on forcing through the biggest act of economic self-harm ever undertaken by a democratic government," he said.
A spokesman for the Conservatives said: "Lord Heseltine has given more than half a century of service to the Conservative Party and his long-standing and sincerely held views on Europe are well understood.
You may also want to watch:
"But, with his long experience, he will know that publicly endorsing the candidates of an another party is not compatible with taking the Conservative whip in parliament.
"As a result, the Chief Whip in the House of Lords has informed Lord Heseltine that he will have the Conservative whip suspended.
- 1 The Prime Minister is out of his league
- 2 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 3 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 4 The Spanish village with the mythical blue lagoon
- 5 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 6 Rabbits defeat French army
- 7 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 8 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 9 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 10 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
"This will be reviewed if he is willing to support Conservative candidates at future elections."
Speaking before the Tory announcement, Lord Heseltine was asked what losing the whip would mean to him.
He told Sky News: "Well, the sun will come up tomorrow morning."
He added: "They can take away the whip, but they cannot take away my integrity, or my convictions, or my experience."
Tory grandee Sir Nicholas Soames condemned the move against Lord Heseltine, telling Channel 4 News: "I think that's a really stupid, bovine thing to do.
"I think it is a very silly thing to do."
Sir Nicholas said he would have a "very strong word" about the situation at a meeting with the chief whip.
Referring to the meeting, Sir Nicholas said: "I am going to have a full and frank exchange of views, but without coffee in his case."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.