The morning after: North Herts and Central Beds politicians give their reaction to EU referendum result and Prime Minister’s resignation

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland - Credit: Archant

Following the dramatic news in the early hours of this morning that British people have voted to leave the European Union and David Cameron’s decision to step down as Prime Minister, political leaders in North Herts and Central Beds have given their reactions.

Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries is backing Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative Party leadership contest to

Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries is backing Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative Party leadership contest today - Credit: Archant

It follows Stevenage and Central Bedfordshire’s decisions to vote for a Brexit, and a North Herts vote to remain.

Stevenage’s Tory MP Stephen McPartland, who had backed the Leave campaign from the off, told the Comet this morning: “Stevenage and the country have voted to leave the EU and I would like to thank everybody for using their vote.

“However you voted, I will stand by you to deliver for our area.

“I am proud to be your member of parliament.”

Peter Lilley MP

Peter Lilley MP - Credit: Archant

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Sir Oliver Heald, Conservative MP for North East Hertfordshire, had favoured remaining in the EU. He told the Comet today: “Locally, of course, it was strongly for remain, so that fitted in with our predictions.

“In terms of the overall picture, we’ve got to accept the result. I’m very sad about the Prime Minister, who I think has done a very good job for Britain.

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“We, as Conservatives, have all got to come together to ensure that we have a government that manages the economy well in the fallout from the referendum result. I will press for an agreement with the EU which meets local and national needs.”

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Peter Lilley, who backed the Brexit campaign, said: “I am proud that the British people have had the wisdom, courage and self-confidence to take back control of our laws, money and borders and to ignore the prophets of doom.

Sir Oliver Heald, Adrian Hawkins and Peter Lilley at the Biz4Biz European debate

Sir Oliver Heald, Adrian Hawkins and Peter Lilley at the Biz4Biz European debate - Credit: Archant

“I am sorry the Prime Minister has announced his resignation – I had hoped he would stay on while working with competent and committed ministers to achieve a smooth and speedy departure from the EU.”

Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries, another Conservative who supported the Leave campaign, tweeted some advice for businesses concerned by Brexit: “Traders, grow a pair and stop lining your pockets. Today is the same as yesterday is the same as tomorrow.”

Councillor Sharon Taylor, Labour leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said she wasn’t surprised even though her party had campaigned hard in the town for the Remain campaign.

She said it was a ‘seismic shift’ in British politics, but she respected the decision of Stevenage people to vote to leave the EU.

She added: “This is going to have a big impact on our plans for the future development of Stevenage as it’s going to be a very uncertain world in terms of the economy in the next few years, but we love our town and want our plans to succeed, so we will work hard to make sure our plans can come to fruition.

“I was sad and disappointed at the result, but it’s an overwhelming mandate from Stevenage people.”

She described David Cameron’s decision to resign as Prime Minister as a sensible one, but said the party was plagued by an ‘unresolvable split’ and hopes it doesn’t swing to the right.

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