Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles resigns from the Conservatives
Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles has resigned from the Conservatives this evening after his motion to stay in the Single Market failed to gain a majority in Parliament.
Mr Boles told the Commons that he had no choice but to resign after the motion failed. It was one of four motions voted on this evening. All four failed to gain a majority.
Resigning the whip, Mr Boles told the Commons he could 'no longer sit for the Party'.
He said: "I have given everything to 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 that I can no longer sit for this Party."
Mr Boles immediately left the chamber after an emotional resignation speech. Some colleagues asked him not to go while members on the oppositon benches gave him a round of applause.
More than 200 Conservatives voted against Mr Boles' Common Market 2.0 proposal.
MP Anna Soubry immediately invited her former Tory colleague to join her in the Tory Independent Group. She said: "He's sensible, a great brain, a moderate" and that he would be "very welcome" to join the group.
A number of Journal readers are already calling for a by-election. Mark Philip Malcolm Horn said on Facebook: "Excellent news. We now need a by-election. It is time he also resigned the seat."
Elvis Stooke said: "He needs to put himself up for a by-election but no our Nick Boles will only stand down from the Conservative Party, but still sit as an MP as an independent candidate. Boles, do the right thing and put yourself up for election."
Jacqui Henry said: "I've never had much respect for him, tonight I do. Well done that man. He proved that even a Tory can have an ounce of integrity, something I didn't previously know."
More details and reaction to come.