GP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee, has resigned from the Conservative Party in protest over Brexit.
In a letter sent to her constituents, Dr Wollaston explained her decision to leave the party came after she could no longer align with her party’s views on the handling of Brexit.
Dr Wollaston was initially in favour of Brexit, before switching to the remain side due to uncomfortable feelings over the ‘untrue’ claim that Brexit would free up £350m a week for the NHS.
In her resignation letter, Dr Wollaston said: ‘It is with great sadness that I have today resigned the Conservative whip. This is not a decision I have taken lightly but I no longer feel that the Conservatives are the same party that I joined a decade ago.
‘I can no longer continue as a member of a party which, in Government, is making poor decisions that will hit the communities I represent and set back the prospects for ending austerity.’
‘After 24 years as a front line doctor and teacher in the NHS I entered politics because I wanted to bring that real life experience to help to shape and to scrutinise policy making. I was the first Conservative candidate to be selected via a full open postal primary in which all registered voters were given a say.
‘In 2009 I made the case for the moderate, tolerant centre ground of politics. I will continue to take that approach as an independent MP working alongside other independents who share the same value,’ she finished.
Dr Wollaston previously called on Prime Minister Theresa May to apologise for scapegoating GPs for the A&E crisis. She said blaming access to GP practices for patients being left on trolleys and ambulance delays was ‘pretty dismal stuff’ from the Government and a ‘failure to understand the complexity or own responsibility’.