Says that the Conservatives have in effect become the Brexit party
Southfields, Putney & Roehampton MP Justine Greening is to stand down at the next election saying that the work she wishes to do on social mobility can be done better outside parliament.
Ms Greening is also among the 21 senior Conservative MPs who are reported to have had the whip removed after rebelling against Boris Johnson last night in a bid to block no deal.
In an interview this Tuesday morning (3 September) on Radio 4â€™s Today programme she said, â€œIt is very clear to me that my concerns about the Conservative party becoming the Brexit party in effect have come to pass.â€
She has written to the Prime Minister and her constituency association about her decision and will remain as MP until the next election which is widely speculated to be taking place next month.
She commented, â€œI donâ€™t believe that the Conservative party will offer people a sensible choice at the next election in respect of the fact that Boris Johnson is going to offer people a general election which faces them with a choice between no deal or Jeremy Corbyn. That is a lose-lose general election.
â€œIâ€™m staggered that all these years that Jeremy Corbyn had been calling for a general election and now my government is about to hand them that prize on a plate. I think that would be very damaging for Britain. I donâ€™t think a general election is a sensible way to resolve Brexit.â€
She urged that people be given a direct choice on the options for Brexit.
In the meantime she has put her signature to a bill which seeks to block a â€˜no dealâ€™ Brexit and a move which would have put her at risk of losing the Conservative whip and being deselected as MP. The vote on the bill is expected to take place on Wednesday and that may trigger a request from the Government for another general election which would require a two-thirds majority under the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.
Ms Greening held onto her local seat with a much reduced majority at the last election and she hinted that she believed that the Conservatives were likely to fail to retain the constituency. She told the Radio 4 interviewer, â€œI will continue to represent my community that heavily voted to remain on Brexit and I have no doubt that the person following me as MP for Putney will also represent our community on Brexit.â€
She said that the decision was s something that has been on her mind for some time so it is not an overnight decision.
She said that the Conservatives may end up spending time in opposition and added, â€œI will remain obviously in politics because I want to make sure that I am continuing to make a difference on the ground, on social mobility and opportunity for young peopleâ€
September 4, 2019