County Council Leader Martin Hill ‘not surprised’ by Nick Boles resignation

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The vice president of the Grantham Conservatives says it was “bizarre” for Nick Boles to continue as a Conservative MP after leaving the local association, but added he was not surprised he had now quit the national party.

The Grantham and Stamford MP, whose constituency covers villages just to the south of Sleaford, resigned from the Conservative Party on Monday night after the failure of his own motion to stay in the single market.

He will now sit as an Independent Progressive Conservative as he emotionall told the Commons he had “failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise” over Brexit.

Last month the former minister also quit his local Conservative association.

Coun Martin Hill, vice president of the local Conservative association and leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I’m not totally surprised.

“He had already resigned from the local association, but at the same time bizarrely wanted to continue as a Conservative MP.

“He’s now going the whole hog and is going to stand as an independent, but I’m not surprised.”

Meanwhile Conservative county councillor for Grantham North, Ray Wootten , said he was “frustrated” with Mr Boles on Brexit, but added he was not surprised by his decision.

The move has prompted people to react by calling for a by-election, with many thanking Mr Boles for resigning the party, although not everyone was on his side about his decision.

The proposal Mr Boles put forward for a ‘Common Market 2.0’ would include membership of the European Union single market as well as a customs arrangement.

It lost by 282 votes to 261 during a meeting in the House of Commons on Monday, April 1, in which all four proposed Brexit alternatives were also voted down.

Mr Boles announced following the vote that he would resign the Conservative whip and sit as an independent.

He said: “I am resigning the Conservative whip with immediate effect.

“The Conservative Party has shown itself to be incapable of compromise so I will sit as an Independent Progressive Conservative.”