Tory Brexit rebel Antoinette Sandbach loses local confidence vote after being sacked by Boris Johnson

Posted On: 
16th October 2019

Antoinette Sandbach has said she is "deeply" disappointed after losing a confidence vote of local Conservative party members.

The Eddisbury MP was one of 21 Tory rebels to lose the whip last month.

The Eddisbury MP - who had the Tory whip withdrawn last month after she backed a Commons bid to halt a no-deal Brexit - lost the symbolic vote by members of her constituency association on Tuesday night.

The move could pave the way for her removal as the Conservative candidate at the next general election.

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Hitting out at the result on Twitter, Ms Sandbach said she was "deeply disappointed to have lost the vote of a couple of hundred members".

"As I told them I will continue to vote for what is in the best interests of all my constituents as my duties as an MP require," she added.

Ms Sandbach also claimed she had been given just six minutes to lay out her defence - "not a great deal of time to answer".

Under Conservative rules, all sitting MPs have to apply in writing to their local party's executive council if they wish to be selected to fight the next election under the Tory banner. 

Ms Sandbach, who became an MP in 2015, said she had "refused to reapply to be a Conservative candidate" because she would not "support a no deal Brexit".

She added: "That has always been my stance."

Last month she threw her weight behind a second referendum on Brexit and hit out at Conservative colleagues who had "closed the door on compromise and sought to deliver only the hardest, most damaging Brexit possible".

A second referendum was, she said, "the only way out of this mess".

"It is now the only remaining tool in our belt and MPs have a duty to vote for it in order to avert disaster," she said.

Ms Sandbach was one of 21 Conservative MPs who had the whip withdrawn last month, including former Cabinet ministers Philip Hammond, Justine Greening, Ken Clarke and Michael Fallon.