Nick Boles, the Conservative MP Grantham and Stamford, has resigned his membership of his local constituency association.
“I am not willing to do what would be necessary to restore a reasonable working relationship with a group of people whose values and views are so much at odds with my own” Will continue to take Tory whip “if it is offered to me on acceptable terms.”
However he has not resigned the Conservative Whip in the House of Commons. Indeed he specifically adds that he wishes to maintain it with the proviso “if it is offered to me on acceptable terms”.
Julian Smith, the Chief Whip, tweets:
“Nick Boles is a valued member of the Conservative Parliamentary party, which I hope will continue to benefit from his ideas & drive.”
Boles has indicated that he also wishes to retain his national Conservative Party membership. It is not yet clear if this will be allowed.
The letter from Boles to his constituency association members says that “members will now be free to select a new candidate to fight the next general election whenever that occurs.” He would have preferred not to have to make this decision at this “very early stage” but felt the Executive had tried “to force his hand.”
It also makes clear that he does not intend to stand down and cause a by-election. He intends “to continue to serve the people of Grantham and Stamford as their Member of Parliament until the end of my current mandate.”
The full text of the letter is below.