North East Beds MP faces deselection from Tory party over 'rebel' Brexit vote

PUBLISHED: 13:29 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:30 03 September 2019

Alistair Burt is facing deselection from the Tories after confirming he will vote against Boris Johnsons government this week. Picture: The office of Alistair Burt MP

Alistair Burt is facing deselection from the Tories after confirming he will vote against Boris Johnsons government this week. Picture: The office of Alistair Burt MP

Archant

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt is facing deselection from the Conservative Party after confirming he will vote against Boris Johnson's government this week.

MPs are seeking emergency legislation this afternoon to force another Brexit delay until January 31, unless a fresh deal can be agreed before the October 31 deadline set by the EU.

Mr Johnson has said that Tory 'rebels' who vote against the government will face deselection - which means they will be effectively removed from the party and cannot stand in the next general election.

It is thought up to 20 MPs are planning to rebel alongside Mr Burt, including former ministers Rory Stewart and David Gauke.

MPs return from their summer recess this afternoon.

Mr Burt, who resigned from the government in March, said that he finds it hard to be "labelled a rebel".

Speaking to Channel 4 on Sunday night, he said: "I was someone who voted to remain in the EU and I accepted the result of the referendum. I voted consistently for the withdrawal agreement of the former Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I find it a little bit hard - after 32 years as an MP serving in every administration, in some capacity or other - to be labelled a rebel.

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"I don't want to entertain thoughts of bringing down a Conservative government."

Mr Burt was recently a prominent Tory minister, serving as Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, until he resigned in March over Brexit concerns.

He has also held ministerial positions at the Department of Health and the Department of International Development.

Mr Burt remained defiant on Monday night, when appearing on Sky News.

"All they care about is leaving, no matter the consequences on the United Kingdom," he said.

"I care about the consequences on my constituents and I'm not going to do it."

Mr Johnson announced yesterday that if parliament succeeds in delaying no deal, his government will call an election for October 14.

This follows a wave of protests in response to the suspension of parliament - known as prorogation - a controversial move which means MPs will have less time to pass new laws.

Parliament will be suspended from September 9 until October 14.

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