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GP's defection leaves the Government without a working majority

MP and GP Dr Phillip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats from the Conservatives, leaving the Government without a working majority. 

Dr Lee, who represents Bracknell, swapped sides in the Commons during a live debate yesterday while Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed MPs over mounting tensions surrounding Brexit.

This means the Prime Minister now leads a minority Government - the first since 1997. 

Dr Lee is also the second GP to have swapped from being a Tory to a Lib Dem in recent months after Dr Sarah Wollaston did the same earlier this year.

In a letter addressed to Boris Johnson, Dr Lee, who joined the party over 27 years ago, referenced his ‘concerns over the approach and direction of the Conservative Party since the EU Referendum took place in 2016’.

He also blamed how the Brexit process has ‘increasingly become infected’ with the ‘twin diseases of populism and English nationalism’.

Dr Lee also deemed the Lib Dems ‘best placed to build the unifying and inspiring political force needed to heal our divisions, unleash our talents, equip us to take the opportunities and overcome the challenges that we face as a society’.

This is not the first time Dr Lee has resigned from political membership over Brexit, having announced last summer that he would no longer serve as justice minister, a position he occupied for just shy of two years, in order to ‘better speak up for his constituents and country over the delivery of Brexit.

Dr Lee still locums as a GP in the Slough area. He told PoliticsHome earlier this year that continuing to practice medicine keeps him ‘real’, and that when elected as an MP in 2010, he had completed over a decade in the profession.

Readers' comments (7)

  • The people who voted him in voted Conservative, they did not vote for a libdem MP.
    We no longer live in a democratic country.
    Votes are ignored and overruled which is very sad.

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  • agreed--by election now

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  • I happened to have met Dr Lee at Westminster at an event organised for small businesses in Buckinghamshire. He came across as a very principled man and I believe his defection is based on his principles. He is still a practising GP.
    It is a shame sound minds like him have been silenced in the Conservatives and he saw no other option but to defect.

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  • *moustache*
    "These are my principles, and if you don't like them, I have others"

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  • Principled is 1 thing, whether these principles are 'right'/'moral', are another.

    If I have a 'principle' that I should have the right to be a cannibal and eat anyone I want, you're not going to put up with my 'principle' are you.

    The whole thing is a publicity stunt that backfired - https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1173545/brexit-news-phillip-lee-tory-lib-dems-deflection-house-of-commons-LGBT-members-quit

    'He also blamed how the Brexit process has ‘increasingly become infected’ with the ‘twin diseases of populism and English nationalism’.' - i.e. out of touch, smearing the other side as diseases, yeah keep going Phil, you're hurting the Lib Dems, and you're clearly not for conservatism/sovereignty.

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  • Some very sloppy thinking on these comments.

    Dr Lee's voters elected him om the ticket his party stood on, at the time.

    Dr Lee has not changed. The party has changed - radically shifted to the right.

    The LIb Dems are the closest the to the voters intentions. If some disagree they will get their chance.

    A bye election is a strategically stupid thing for the Tories - do the math.

    Some GP's dont do us any favours with their sloppy thinking.

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  • "Dr Lee's voters elected him om the ticket his party stood on, at the time."

    - oh you mean on delivering brexit? Has the Tory party changed on this???

    The Lib Dems want a 2nd referendum or to cancel brexit altogether... if you think that is closest to voter intentions, bring on a GE then... oh wait, the Lib Dems just joined Labour in voting down a GE.....
    Who's guilty of sloppy thinking?

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