Phillip Lee MP faces no confidence vote

Phillip Lee Image copyright UK Parliament
Image caption Phillip Lee resigned as Justice Minister in June 2018.

An MP has described a vote of no confidence against him from his local conservative association as an "unpleasant sideshow".

Phillip Lee said any result would have "zero practical effect" and was an "attempt to intimidate" him.

Bracknell Conservative Association (BCA) announced a meeting would take place on 1 June after a motion of no confidence was put forward by members.

Dr Lee was the first government minister to resign over Brexit.

The former justice minister, who supported Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, said the government's approach would damage businesses in his Bracknell constituency.

His local association called a vote of no confidence after 53 members signed a petition, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Gerry Barber, chairman of the BCA said the motion will be voted on at meeting of members on 1 June.

Dr Lee said he would not attend the meeting and claimed more than half those who signed the petition had joined the association less than a year ago.

In a statement, he added: "Those who support me should not feel obliged to attend either.

"We should not play into the hands of a narrow group that seeks to destroy the Conservative Party from within. Intimidation will not work on me.

"I regret that this vote has been called - in reality it's an unpleasant sideshow with zero practical effect because nothing happens as a result."

Richard Arturi-Thomas, a former Conservative Party member from Bracknell, accused Dr Lee of being "out of step with his constituency".

But the MP said "entryism" was "helping to make sure that elements of the current membership are increasingly out of touch with the views of the electorate".

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