An MP who was sacked by Boris Johnson for rebelling on Brexit has lost a vote of confidence among members of her local Conservative party association.
Antoinette Sandbach is appealing the withdrawal of the Tory whip, following the prime minister’s decision to remove it after she voted with opposition MPs to take control of the Commons order paper last month.
But Tory party members in her Eddisbury constituency in Cheshire passed a vote of no confidence in her on Tuesday. The ballot was symbolic but opens the door to formal deselection.
Sandbach complained of “entryism” and said she was granted only six minutes to set out her defence. “This is obviously deeply disappointing, but I won’t allow an unrepresentative handful of people decide who gets to be the MP for tens of thousands of Eddisbury voters,” she said.
“All my constituents can rest assured that I will continue to represent them in parliament, standing up for a sensible, pragmatic Brexit deal and confirming that it is what the people want through a ‘final say’ confirmatory referendum.”
Sandbach was one of 21 Tory MPs to have the whip withdrawn last month. Their number also included the party grandees Ken Clarke and Sir Nicholas Soames, as well as the former cabinet ministers Philip Hammond, Justine Greening and Dominic Grieve.
Sir Oliver Letwin, Sam Gyimah and Rory Stewart also lost the whip; as did David Gauke, Margot James and Ed Vaizey, as No 10 moved against those who had voted against the new prime minister.