Lib Dem MP who resigned to vote for Brexit deal will fight election as Remainer

Stephen Lloyd MP (right) sits behind Tim Farron MP at Lib Dem conference. Photograph: Andrew Matthew

Stephen Lloyd MP (right) sits behind Tim Farron MP at Lib Dem conference. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

An MP who quit from the Liberal Democrats to back Theresa May's Brexit deal is to fight the general election as a Remainer.

Stephen Lloyd resigned the Lib Dem whip in December to vote for May's Brexit deal, saying it was the right thing to do on behalf of his constituents.

He represented the constituency of Eastbourne in East Sussex which backed Leave by 57% to 43%.

Lloyd voted all three times for Theresa May's Brexit deal - and voted for Boris Johnson's bill earlier in the month.

However he claims the "slate is clean" and says he will now fight the general election was a Remainer, and has vowed to do all he can to stop Brexit.

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In a video post, Lloyd told constituents: "Whatever my personal views as a Remainer, I've kept my word to you, to Eastbourne, about accepting the result of the referendum.

"Which means that I've backed the UK-EU withdrawal bill actually four times, three times under Theresa May and only a couple of weeks ago on what's called the second reading, a fourth time under Boris Johnson.

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"Not because I agree with it but because I profoundly believe that if a promise is made by politician they should keep it.

"People are fed up with politicians breaking their word and I wasn't going to because of Eastbourne."

He continued: "However, there's a new general election and people understand when there's a new election it cleans the slate.

"I've kept my word folks, I've voted for it four times, but with a new general election the slate is clean and so what I'm telling you with integrity and honesty is that I am a Remainer.

"I've kept my word, but with a new election, the slate is clean a new parliament, I'm going to be backing remain full-throatedly."

While he has not yet been adopted by the Lib Dems as their candidate, the party confirmed they had not yet selected anyone for the constituency.

He had a majority of just 1,609 at the last general election.

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