Lib Dem MP resigns party whip to back Brexit deal

PUBLISHED: 14:17 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:52 06 December 2018

Stephen Lloyd MP (right) listens to leader Sir Vince Cable's keynote speech at the Liberal Democrats annual conference at the Bournemouth International Centre.

Stephen Lloyd MP (right) listens to leader Sir Vince Cable's keynote speech at the Liberal Democrats annual conference at the Bournemouth International Centre.

PA Archive/PA Images

The Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon has announced he is resigning the party whip.

He cited “irreconcilable differences” with his party’s voting intentions over the government’s Brexit plan.

In a statement to his local newspaper, the Eastbourne Herald, he said: “It is with great regret that I am today resigning the Liberal Democrat party whip in Parliament.

MORE: ‘This deal will not heal the nation’ says Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb

“I have come to the conclusion that I cannot honestly uphold the commitment I made to Eastbourne and Willingdon two and a half years ago, and reiterated since – to accept the result of the referendum, vote for the deal the prime minister brought back from the EU and not back calls for a second referendum – whilst supporting the Lib Dem parliamentary party’s formal position of voting against Theresa May’s deal and advocating a ‘People’s Vote’.

“Consequently, I have decided that the only honourable thing for me to do is resign the party whip in Parliament.”

Lloyd says he will continue to remain a member of the Lib Dems and has “nothing but respect and affection” for the party’s leader Sir Vince Cable and his colleagues.

More than 70 Lib Dem activists, councillors and parliamentary candidates called for the party whip to be removed if he followed through with supporting the government.

Lloyd’s constituency of Eastbourne and Willingdon voted to Leave the EU by 57% in the June 2016 EU referendum.

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