London

Conservative MP Mark Field to stand down over Brexit disagreement

Mark Field MP Image copyright Conservative Party
Image caption Mark Field said his beliefs "stand at odds with the current administration's impatient approach to getting Brexit done"

A Conservative MP has said he will stand down at the next election due to disagreements over Brexit.

Mark Field said his beliefs "stand at odds with the current administration's impatient approach to getting Brexit done".

He added he would prefer the UK to remain "in or very closely aligned to the EU" - but would "naturally support" Tory PM Boris Johnson's deal.

In June he was sacked as a minister after grabbing a Greenpeace activist.

In a statement on his website, the Cities of London and Westminster MP said: "It is increasingly clear that divisions over Brexit and our future relationship with the EU-27 will dominate and define domestic politics for many years to come."

He said his preference for ruling out a no-deal Brexit and his support for revoking Article 50 in order to restart the two-year clock and give negotiations more time put him at odds with Boris Johnson's government.

"Yet even if the current proposed deal passes - and naturally I shall support it - we must be clear what lies ahead will not be plain sailing," he added.

He cited disagreements with the handling of Brexit as his reason for stepping down but added: "I have no desire to become a disaffected, dissenting voice from the backbenches, undermining a government under whose colours I have been elected."

He said speculation about an imminent general election "has forced me to reach the very difficult decision not to offer myself as your candidate".

Mr Field was elected in 2001. He was suspended as the Foreign Office minister after grabbing an activist at a black-tie dinner in the City of London during a speech being given by then-Chancellor Philip Hammond.

He was sacked from the role when Boris Johnson entered office and a Whitehall investigation over the matter was later dropped.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites