James Wharton MP
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Tory James Wharton on Adam Afriyie's EU referendum call

An MP's bid to hold a referendum in the UK on EU membership before the 2015 General Election could "derail" a fellow Conservative backbencher's private member's bill.

Interviewed on Sunday, Adam Afriyie said he had struggled with his conscience over the matter as he explained why he was trying to speed up the vote.

But James Wharton, whose own private member's bill for a vote in 2017, has already been backed in Parliament with unanimous support from his party - but no Labour or Lib Dem MPs were present.

He told Monday's Daily Politics: "I think Adam is sincere in what he is bringing forward, I think he believes what he is doing. I also think he is wrong."

But Mr Wharton said of the bid from his Tory colleague: "This amendment could derail that. It is very unhelpful."

He said the new bid had "not had a flood of support", and their party was united behind his own bill.

He debated with the Daily Politics panel of Conservative Stephen Dorrell, Labour's Hazel Blears, Lib Dem Simon Hughes, and presenter Jo Coburn.

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  • 07 Oct 2013
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