Suffolk Tories divided on expulsion of senior MPs
PUBLISHED: 12:59 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:40 05 September 2019
Suffolk Conservative MP Peter Aldous has warned that the expulsion of 21 senior members of the party has sent out the signal that the Tories are no longer a "broad church," welcoming a spectrum of political views.
But Ipswich Parliamentary candidate Tom Hunt, who hopes to join him in the House of Commons after the next general election, said the Prime Minister was right to withdraw the whip from the 21 MPs who voted against the government on Tuesday night.
They included two former Chancellors, two former Justice Secretaries (one of them former Northgate student David Gauke), and Sir Winston Churchill's nephew Sir Nicholas Soames.
Waveney MP Mr Aldous said the decision to withdraw the whip was a major issue discussed by MPs at a meeting of the 1992 Committee with the Prime Minister on Wednesday night.
He could not discuss what was said at the public meeting, but said many of his colleagues were concerned that the party would not be able to attract as broad a level of support as it had in the past.
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"There is a feeling that by doing this, we are no longer seen as the broad church that we have always been - able to attract people with a range of different views. Some of us are not comfortable with that."
Mr Hunt felt that the Prime Minister had no alternative but to remove the whip from the rebels.
He said: "That is very regrettable, especially considering the seniority of some of those who are affected by this. But what they effectively did was hand over the business of the House of Commons to Jeremy Corbyn, the most left-wing Labour leader we have ever had.
"Very disappointed that last night 328 MPs decided to vote against the Prime Minister and destroy our country's negotiating position with the EU. There is nothing at all that will be achieved by further dithering and delay. It's vital we leave the EU on October 31 come what may and I believe that taking no deal of the table is complete folly.
"I now believe that a General Election is needed. I fully support Boris and stand ready to throw everything I can into the campaign to ensure better representation for our town in Parliament."