Conservative MPs react to Anna Soubry party resignation

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The area’s Tory MPs have said they are “saddened” by news that three Conservative MPs - including Broxtowe’s Anna Soubry - have quit the party.

Broxtowe’s MP Ms Soubry resigned the Conservative Party whip today (February 20) alongisde her colleagues Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston, citing divisions with Brexit and a discontent with the direction of their party.

They will join the breakaway Independent Group - made up already of eight former Labour MPs who quit their party in a row with Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit and anti-Semitism.

The group now has 11 MPs in parliament.

READ MORE: Notts MP Anna Soubry quits Conservatives to sit as Independent

Mark Spencer, Sherwood’s Conservative MP and Mansfield’s Ben Bradley MP have both said they are saddened by the news that Ms Soubry will leave the Conservatives, with both MPs working closely with her for the East Midlands Conservatives.

Ben Bradley also says the resignations show the Independent Group are “intent on stopping Brexit”.

He said: “It’s been a dramatic week and the problems with Corbyn and institutional racism in the Labour Party have lead to members saying they are ‘ashamed and embarrassed’ to be a part of Labour.

READ MORE: Anna Soubry’s Conservative Party resignation letter in full

“We’ve seen similar movements locally with former Labour members joining the Conservative Party.”

“It’s a shame that a handful of MPs have also chosen to leave the Conservative Party in an attempt to overturn the referendum result.

“The new Independent Group of MPs seem intent on a second referendum and stopping us from delivering what the overwhelming majority of people in Mansfield voted for.

“In truth though these MPs were voting against Brexit anyway, and their new political grouping won’t affect the arithmetic in Parliament.

“I’m sure Broxtowe members will elect a new candidate soon and we as a party need to deliver what we promised.”

READ MORE: Ashfield MP ‘devastated’ by Labour Party resignations

However Mr Spencer, the Sherwood MP, works in the Whips office in parliament and is responsible for keeping Tory MPs on message.

He said: “I am saddened by the decision of three former colleagues to leave the Party today.

“While I know that they disagreed with the Government on Brexit policy, it is worth noting that the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union and it’s right that the Government delivers on that vote.”