Former Deputy PM Heseltine Has Tory Whip Suspended for Supporting Anti-Brexit Rival Party

Former Conservative member of parliament, Lord Heseltine speaks at a rally for Best for Britain and People's Vote campaign in London on December 9, 2018, on the eve of the week in which Parliament votes on the Brexit deal. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL …
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty

Tory grandee and ardent anti-Brexit peer Lord Heseltine has had the party whip suspended.

The decision came after Michael Heseltine had written an article for The Sunday Times where he said that he would vote for a Liberal Democrat candidate in Thursday’s European Parliament elections because his own party had become a “Brexit party.”

A Conservative Party spokesman said that while Lord Heseltine’s “long-standing and sincerely held views on Europe are well understood,” the peer knows that “publicly endorsing the candidates of another party is not compatible with taking the Conservative whip in Parliament.”

“As a result, the Chief Whip in the House of Lords has informed Lord Heseltine that he will have the Conservative whip suspended.

“This will be reviewed if he is willing to support Conservative candidates at future elections,” the spokesman added.

Having the whip suspended means that he will no longer represent the Conservative Party in the House of Lords or be obligated to take instruction from the party on how to vote.

However, party sources speaking to BrexitCentral have said that the former deputy prime minister will not be expelled from the Tories and there will be no disciplinary investigation, following a party board meeting at Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) on Monday evening.

The party machine decided he could remain a member because he had stated a personal preference, and was not actively campaigning for the Liberal Democrats or encouraging other Tories to vote against the party.

“It’s a pretty fine line, but technically he has not gone over the line,” the source told BrexitCentral.

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