Grieve in vote of no confidence from local Conservative association
PUBLISHED: 10:18 30 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:34 01 April 2019
Pro-EU Tory MP Dominic Grieve has suffered a vote of no confidence by his local party - the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association.
The chairman Jackson Ng said the no confidence vote motion was passed at the association’s annual general meeting.
“Our members had a robust discussion with our MP, Dominic Grieve QC on Brexit before voting on a motion of confidence in him as our MP, which, I can confirm with a heavy heart that he failed to retain,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“He remains our Conservative MP but I will be speaking as soon as possible to my fellow officers and the executive council.”
Tory chairman Brandon Lewis expressed his support for Grieve and said that the vote, passed by 182 to 131 - had no formal standing under party rules.
“Part of the strength of our party is that we are a broad church. Dominic is somebody who has contributed to Parliament, is a clear strong Conservative and he is an asset to the party,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Grieve, a former attorney general, was one of the MPs behind the cross-party move to seize control of Commons business to stage a series of indicative votes on alternatives to Theresa May’s deal.
The opposition in the constituency to Grieve is reported to have been organised by the former Ukip candidate who stood against him in the 2017 general election, Jon Conway.
A number of Conservative MPs swiftly criticised the no confidence vote after it was announced.
Senior Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said it was “deeply disappointing”.
He tweeted: “Few in parliament have contributed as much to public life as Dominic Grieve. As attorney general and chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee he has served our country dutifully for decades. He deserves thanks and praise, not this. Our party and country would be poorer.”
Former minister Alistair Burt said it was an “extraordinary decision”, adding: “A quality colleague, brave enough to challenge, but fundamentally a Conservative through and through. Where on earth are we heading with situations like this?”
Former Tory MP Anna Soubry, who was also at the forefront of the Remain wing of the Conservative Party until she defected to join the Independent Group, branded the vote “disgraceful”.
She tweeted: “More evidence that the uncompromising dogmatic right is running the @Conservatives £DominicGrieve is one of the finest, most courageous Parliamentarians ever - who has always put his country first & championed all his constituents.”
Several Labour MPs also voiced support for Grieve.
Stella Creasy said the country’s politics “would be poorer without his input”.
She said: “I’m in a different political party to Dominic. We disagree on many things. I doubt Beaconsfield conservatives could find someone more experienced, more capable and more principled than him for their MP.”
Phil Wilson said the vote was “ridiculous”, adding: “I’m not of the same politics as Dominic Grieve but to deselect him as a Conservative candidate is to diminish politics, see an end to political integrity and deprive politics of a sincere and thoughtful practitioner.”