UK Politics

Conservative MP resigns party post in policy protest

Mark Pricthard
Image caption Mark Pritchard expressed concern over a number of government policies

Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has resigned from a party position due to concerns over an "increasing number" of government policies, including those on immigration and Europe.

Mr Pritchard has quit as the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party International Office, which promote democracy in developing countries.

A party spokesman said Mr Pritchard was "well known for his forthright views".

The MP has clashed with the party leadership on several occasions.

In a letter sent to the prime minister, Mr Pritchard said he had concerns over "an increasing number of government policies, not least on immigration, Europe, and a lack of clarity for national and individual aspiration".

'Threatened'

Mr Pritchard, the MP for The Wrekin, in Shropshire, was first elected to parliament in 2005.

David Cameron appointed him to the chairmanship of the Conservative Party International Office in 2010.

It promotes democracy in emerging countries and aims to train and advise sister organisations in countries attempting to establish democratic institutions.

Mr Pritchard has criticised the coalition government on several occasions.

Last June he defied ministers to propose a Commons motion calling for a ban on wild animals in circuses. This was backed by MPs and last week the government announced it would move to outlaw the practice as soon as possible.

Mr Pritchard claimed ministers had "threatened" him not to campaign for a change in the law.

Last September, he urged the government to hold a referendum on the UK's continuing membership of the European Union, arguing that backbench Conservative MPs no longer wanted to be "taken for granted".

The next month he voted against the government on the issue.