Nick Boles quits the Conservative party for being 'incapable of compromise'

PUBLISHED: 22:24 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 22:59 01 April 2019

MP Nick Boles speaking in the House of Commons. Photograph: House of Commons.

MP Nick Boles speaking in the House of Commons. Photograph: House of Commons.

PA Wire/PA Images

Former minister and Conservative MP Nick Boles has quit the party after his Brexit alternative was defeated a second time.

Boles was applauded by some MPs as he said he “could no longer sit for this party”.

It came moments after his Common Market 2.0 proposal was among four Brexit alternatives to Theresa May’s deal rejected again by MPs.

Boles acknowledged he had “failed” but blamed this “chiefly because my party refuses to compromise”.

His plan sought UK membership of the European Free Trade Association and European Economic Area and received cross party support, but lost by 282 votes to 261 - majority 21.

Boles rose to his feet to raise a point of order in the Commons after Speaker John Bercow had read out the results.

He said: “I have given everything to an attempt to find a compromise that can take this country out of the European Union while maintaining our economic strength and our political cohesion.

“I accept I have failed. I have failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise.

“I regret therefore to announce I can no longer sit for this party.”

He later wrote on Twitter: “I am resigning the Conservative whip with immediate effect. The Conservative Party has shown itself to be incapable of compromise so I will sit as an Independent Progressive Conservative.”

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