Grantham MP says going independent would be 'ratting' on the voters
Grantham MP Nick Boles said today that he thought about quitting as a Conservative and becoming an Independent but such a move would be ‘ratting’ on the voters.
The MP also said with an leadership election possible, he also wanted to remain in the party to push it in a “progressive, modern” direction.
Mr Boles appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show giving his first interview following his resignation from the Grantham and Stamford Conservative Association yesterday.
He told Mr Marr he had been put under “no certain amount of pressure” if he wanted to stay on as candidate.
The Conservative Party Chairman, Brandon Lewis, told him he had a year to make up his mind.
But “it reached a point where there wasn’t any point” so he resigned now “to part in amicable way.”
Mr Marr then cited Association Vice-President Coun Martin Hill about the MP signing up to a manifesto that involved leaving the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market.
Mr Boles replied he signed up to the manifesto whilst in hospital and did not real all the detail.
“I have supported Theresa May’s deal every time.”
“The only area I have fallen out with, was my efforts to stop a no deal brexit.”
Mr Marr suggested his constituents might support a no deal Brexit.
Mr Boles replied: “I represent 100,000 people; there are 500 party members and 60 on the executive.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to claim the right to interpret what’s in the best interests of the 100,000 people I represent.“
“I’m not going to be pushed around by a small number of people with hardline views.”
Mr Boles said he would not reign the Conservative Party whip but admitted he had thought about it.
“They (constituents) did not vote for me, they voted for the Conservative Party.”
“I will be my own kind of Conservative, progressive, modern, liberal, not a reactionary.”
Mr Boles explained his party membership would be transferred from the constituency association to the national party.
As for going Independent, he continued: “For myself, I feel I would have ratted on my constituents because they voted for me as a Conservative. I did think about leaving it and standing as an independent.”
But such as move was unlikely and he is not ready to 'give up' on the Conservatives.
Mr Boles then cited possible leadership elections saying people like him “need to start amassing, flexing our muscles” to help stop what the European Research Group believe in.
Before pushing his Common Market 2.0, he added, the Conservative Party needs “a more modern, progressive approach”.