Sussex MPs react to vote of confidence victory for Prime Minister Theresa May

Amber Rudd
Amber Rudd

Members of Parliament across Sussex have reacted to last night’s vote of confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.

Conservative MPs voted 63 per cent in favour of Mrs May remaining as their leader, numbering 200 votes to 117, following an attempted leadership coup by some members of the party.

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for West Worthing

Several MPs took to social media in the aftermath of the decision, which was inextricably linked to the proposed deal, or potential lack of, following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Tory cabinet member Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and MP for Hastings and Rye, showed her support for the Prime Minister before the vote took place.

Tweeting afterwards, she said: “Strong result tonight. Now we can get on with the important work ahead.”

MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton Nick Gibb had also publicly backed Mrs May prior to the vote and said he had ‘absolute confidence’ in her leadership in a comment piece for the Littlehampton Gazette.
Last night he tweeted that he was ‘delighted’ with the decision.

Huw Merriman

Huw Merriman

“Delighted by the overwhelming support for the PM tonight,” he said.

“She has the clear backing of Conservative MPs as she seeks new assurances from the EU. It’s now time for MPs to get behind her and support her in delivering a Brexit that ensures control of our laws, money and borders.”

The issue of the Prime Minister’s proposed deal dominated debate in the build-up, with some MPs seeing the decision as a vote of confidence in her proposal.

Long-standing MP for West Worthing, Sir Peter Bottomley, said the deal on the table was the best available.

Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

In a statement, he said: “The truth, known by most and uncomfortable for some, is that the Prime Minister’s EU UK proposals are preferable to either reversing the referendum decision or to leaving without agreement on withdrawal, transition and future relationships.

“The leadership decision helps the UK to have Theresa May, who gives us the best possibility of a better future or at least the least damaging.

“I thank constituents who have kindly given their views. I have supported the Prime Minister, I do support her and I will support her.”

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has been a vocal critic of Theresa May’s leadership and was instrumental in bringing in the vote of confidence.

In interviews with national media in the aftermath he called on Mrs May to resign, as her margin of victory suggested she had lost the support of the party.

Fellow party member and MP for Bexhill and Battle, Huw Merriman, tweeted to highlight the apparent hypocrisy of Mr Rees-Mogg’s assertion, particularly when compared to the prominent Brexiteer’s views on the slim referendum result.

Mr Merriman said: “So I went to a Secondary Modern and am not the brightest spark but this fella from Eton seems to think that a 52 per cent vs 48 per cent vote is a mandate for change whilst 63 per cent vs 37 per cent isn’t conclusive?”

Conservative MP for Mid-Sussex Nicholas Soames joined in the attack with a tweet addressed directly to Mr Rees-Mogg.

He said: @Jacob_Rees_Mogg needs to reflect on the dismal failure of his efforts to unship @theresa_may and the trouble he has fermented. A period of quiet and a good dose of humility now reqd #enoughnowshutup.”