Members of Parliament for Worthing and Shoreham have shared their views ahead of a confidence vote in Conservative leader and Prime Minister Theresa May tonight (December 12).
Long-standing Tory MP for Worthing West Sir Peter Bottomley, whose constituency covers parts of east Arun, provided a detailed statement calling for unity.
His statement said he had backed Theresa May throughout her time in office, and would continue to do so.
“For our national interest as we leave the European Union, now is the time for unity within our country,” he said.
“Unity comes by accepting rather than denying differences and working to create compromise rather than division.”
He backed Mrs May’s proposed Brexit deal and described the prospect of reversing the decision of the referendum, or leaving without a deal, as ‘irresponsible’ and the ‘worst of the alternatives’.
“The Prime Minister has the support of myself, the majority of the party, Parliament and the nation,” he added.
“The alternatives are to be avoided. I do, and will continue to, support the Prime Minister in delivering the best deal as we leave the European Union.”
In contrast to Mr Bottomley’s detailed statement, when asked by the Herald for a comment Tory MP for Worthing East and Shoreham Tim Loughton simply said: “It is a secret ballot.”
Mr Loughton’s guarded response followed a cryptic tweet this afternoon where he drew parallels between himself and the Prime Minister without revealing his voting intention.
The tweet read: “First elected on the same day as Theresa May we have much in common. We have both been activists within the Conservative Party since our teens. We both want nothing more than for the Conservative Party to succeed for our United Kingdom. It is a sad day that it has come to this.”
Mr Bottomley and Mr Loughton’s comments were preceded by a tweet from Littlehampton and Bognor Regis MP Nick Gibb, in which he expressed his ‘absolute confidence’ in the Prime Minister.
The full story on Mr Gibb’s reaction can be found here: Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb has ‘absolute confidence’ in Theresa May
Fellow West Sussex MP Nick Herbert, who serves the Arundel and South Downs constituency, also tweeted that he would ‘certainly vote for Theresa May’ and described the vote as ‘gratuitously damaging’ to the party and the country.
Mr Herbert wrote a column for the Herald with a more detailed stance, which can be read here: Theresa May no confidence vote is wrong and poorly timed during Brexit negotiations
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