Tories in ‘shock’ while Labour makes claims of leadership ‘crisis’ after MP’s resignation

Stephen Phillips MP. EMN-140714-175833001
Stephen Phillips MP. EMN-140714-175833001

While local Conservatives have spoken of their ‘shock’ over the resignation of MP Stephen Phillips, the Labour Party claims it shows the Tories are in ‘crisis’.

The Conservative politician today (Friday) resigned as MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham with immediate effect as a result of what he described as ‘irreconcilable policy differences with the current Government’.

Mr Phillips has not been drawn on exactly what prompted the move. However, it comes just days after the Government confirmed it would challenge a High Court ruling that the decision over Brexit had to go through Parliament.

Coun Marion Brighton, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said: “Stephen Phillips clearly feels very strongly about what he quotes in his letter.

“His resignation is a big shock to us all.”

Meanwhile, a regional Conservative Party spokesman, said: “Stephen Phillips has been a valuable member of Parliament since 2010 and we are sorry that he has chosen to step down.

“We thank him for his hard work and we wish him every success in the future.”

Commenting on the resignation Jon Trickett, Labour’s National Campaign Co-ordinator and Shadow Lord President of the Council, claimed Theresa May’s leadership was now in ‘crisis’.

“Losing one Tory MP in a resignation over her policies may have been a misfortune when Mr Cameron stood down,” he said. “To lose a second one over her Heathrow policy was a significant blow. But now to lose a third only a fortnight later over Brexit amounts to a leadership crisis.

“It is a sign that the Prime Minister cannot provide the change which Britain needs.

“Labour will continue to press the case for a Brexit which works for Britain, putting jobs, living standards and the economy first.

“In the meantime, we are now faced with another costly by-election which will be more about Tory failure and in-fighting than what is in the best interests of the country. It’s clear that even Theresa May’s own MPs realise that she has failed to lay out a convincing plan to deliver for Britain.”