As you are aware last night I took the difficult decision to vote against the Government and my Party in a crucial motion designed to avoid a “no deal” Brexit. It is a decision I have been wrestling with for some days now, but I believe that this was the right thing to do.
I hope that this vote will make clear to the Government that there is no majority in Parliament for a “no deal” Brexit and they will now redouble their efforts to find an agreement with the European Union to deliver a sustainable and managed Brexit. I know that the Prime Minister would prefer an orderly Brexit and I wish him and his Government well in their attempts to deliver just that.
My actions last night resulted in the Conservative Party withdrawing the whip from me and my colleagues who voted against the Government. I am of course deeply saddened by this: It has been an honour to serve as a Conservative Member of Parliament for the past 14 years, 6 of those as a Minister, and I continue to align myself to the values of the Conservative Party. I will continue to work for the constituents of Wantage and Didcot as an independent Member of Parliament.
Finally I would like to thank all those who have contacted me, from all sides of the debate, to offer their support and kindness during what has been a hugely turbulent times in British Politics. There have been times where your words and wishes have truly sustained me during difficult moments.