Brexit: Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond speaks out for first time

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Brexit: Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond speaks out for first time

Postby Community Editor » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:06 am

Stephen Hammond has addressed his constituents for the first time since voting to stop a No Deal Brexit.

The Wimbledon MP was one of 21 Tories to back a plan to take control of the Commons timetable in order to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.

As a result of this, he was stripped of the Conservative whip.

He left Downing Street without speaking to the media, but has today penned a letter explaining his reasons for voting the way he did.

In it he said that stopping ‘No Deal’ was "in the best interests" of not only his constituents, but also the country.

"Some have claimed my action makes a Corbyn Government more likely," the letter read.

"My view is that the disruption caused by No Deal is what would make a Corbyn Government more likely.

"I regard a Corbyn Government of whatever length as a national disaster, just as I regard No Deal as a disaster."

He added that it was a difficult decision, but leaned on advice given to him when he was got the job of MP.

"When I was first elected in 2005, the then Leader of the Conservative Party told me never to forget who has put me in Parliament – my constituents," he added.

"It is and has been a privilege to serve as the Member of Parliament for Wimbledon for the past 14 years, a place I consider to be the best constituency in the country.

"Although I am not today a Conservative MP, I remain committed to serving my community and its residents.

"While we have achieved much together, I remain ambitious for our area and know there is more to do."Read below his full letter:

To all my Wimbledon constituents,

During my election campaign in 2017 I promised that I would do everything in my power to avoid ‘No Deal’ and a ‘Hard Brexit’. I also promised to fulfil the result of the referendum, and I did that by voting for the Withdrawal Agreement.

I have made no secret that I believe a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would cause huge disruption and damage to our economy. That is why I voted for Parliament to debate legislation which, if passed, would help avoid a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on 31st October.

This legislation would compel the Prime Minister to seek an extension to the Article 50 deadline if there has been no agreement with the EU by 19th October. It does not stop the Prime Minister from agreeing a revised deal with the EU at the October European Council meeting, nor does it put the UK Government in the hands of the EU as some have mistakenly claimed.

Some have claimed my action makes a Corbyn Government more likely. My view is that the disruption caused by No Deal is what would make a Corbyn Government more likely. I regard a Corbyn Government of whatever length as a national disaster, just as I regard No Deal as a disaster.

As a result of my vote yesterday, I have had the Parliamentary whip of the Conservative Party withdrawn. I was fully aware of this risk when I voted against the Government last night. It was not an easy decision for me, and I am extremely sad as I have supported the Party for 36 years.

When I was first elected in 2005, the then Leader of the Conservative Party told me never to forget who has put me in Parliament – my constituents. Whilst this was a difficult decision, I believe that stopping ‘No Deal’ is in the best interests of my constituents and my country.

The response and support I have received from my constituents, including many members of Wimbledon Conservative Association, has been humbling. I want to thank them for their continued support.

It is and has been a privilege to serve as the Member of Parliament for Wimbledon for the past 14 years, a place I consider to be the best constituency in the country. Although I am not today a Conservative MP, I remain committed to serving my community and its residents. While we have achieved much together, I remain ambitious for our area and know there is more to do.

Photo: Stephen Hammond

 
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