The Wokingham Paper

Dr Phillip Lee resigns from Government post over Brexit

Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell
Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell

One of Wokingham’s four MPs has handed his resignation today to another of the borough’s MPs – Dr Phillip Lee, who respresents Finchampstead and Wokingham Without, told Theresa May that he’s quitting over Brexit.

He said that “If, in the future, I am to look my children in the eye and honestly say that I did my best for them I cannot, in all good conscience, support how our country’s exit from the EU looks set to be delivered.”

He also warned that the current Government police on Brexit would damage businesses within his constituency.

I  have spoken to people, many of whom have lived, worked and raised their family here, whose fears for their futures I am not always able to allay. Regrettably, it seems inevitable that the people, economy and culture of my constituency will be affected negatively, and I cannot ignore that it is to them that I owe my first responsibility.
Dr Phillip Lee’s resignation statement

He did, however, say that he supported Theresa May’s premiership.

“I strongly supported Theresa May’s bid to lead the Conservative Party in 2016. I have great respect for her and still believe that she is the best person to lead the country at this exceptionally difficult time. But the fact is that we have to make many big changes for our country to have a positive future,” he said.

Dr Lee also said that he would miss the Ministry Of Justice and the role he had held with them, “the enormous privilege of guiding our Government’s work to turn around the lives of vulnerable young offenders and female offenders; to mobilise the remarkable power of sport to transform lives and cut crime; and to improve how we deal with offenders’ health and mental health which drives so much human behaviour.

“I have had the privilege to work with inspiring, dedicated people; to be touched by the appalling stories that some of those caught up in our criminal justice system have shared with me – both victims and offenders; and in a small way to bring some influence to bear to help make our society more just and more secure.”

However, he warned: “It is important that individual ministers and Parliamentarians should be able to influence and speak up on these issues. But effective Government in our country also relies on the important principle of collective responsibility. Resigning my post in this Government will allow me to work towards what I believe can be a better future, inside or outside the EU, for my children, my constituents and my country.”

He is not resigned from Parliament, only his Government role.

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