Rugby MP Mark Pawsey says he will not face vote of no confidence over Brexit strategy
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has dismissed claims in the national press that he will face a vote of no confidence later this month over his views on how to go about leaving the EU.
On March 1 Alan Robinson of the Rugby Conservative Association suggested a motion for the organisation's Annual General Meeting on March 20 which could have seen Mr Pawsey face a vote of no confidence over what Mr Robinson alleges to be a 'betrayal' over Brexit.
But Mr Pawsey told the Advertiser that the proposed motion has not made it to the agenda of the meeting, thus meaning he will not face a vote of no confidence - which could have seen him replaced.
Mr Pawsey said: "I am looking forward to Rugby Conservative Association’s Annual General Meeting later this month and contrary to recent reports in the press there will not be a vote of no confidence on the agenda.
"I was pleased to be unanimously readopted last year as Rugby’s Conservative candidate for the next General Election and look forward to once again putting forward my Party’s case to the people of Rugby and Bulkington when the election is called.”
A spokesperson for the Conservative Party said: "There is a specific process set out in the Conservative Party Constitution for the re-adoption of an MP - and any Association who wished to do so would have to follow that process.
"Motions of no-confidence are not recognised in the Constitution in relation to the re-adoption of an MP.
The proposed motion, put forward by Mr Robinson and seconded by Elizabeth Bull, argues that Mr Pawsey has repeatedly championed business interests over those of his constituents in Rugby - 56.7 per cent of whom voted to leave the EU.
Mr Pawsey, who voted for Theresa May's Brexit deal, has said in the past that the UK and EU need to reach a good deal as we leave the trading bloc to ensure manufacturing in the Rugby area with strong continental connections is safeguarded.
Mr Robinson's submission states that Mr Pawsey has not followed through on the Conservative 2017 Manifesto which stated that 'no deal is better than a bad deal' - implying he considers the form of the PM's Brexit deal voted for by Mr Pawsey as being a 'bad deal'.
Mr Robinson's statement adds: "He [Mr Pawsey] declared his support for the Government's Withdrawal Agreement and future framework, prior to consulting his constituency; the very people who voted him as their MP, and he voted with the Government in the meaningful vote, which was overwhelmingly defeated.
"The Government's Withdrawal Agreement promises the EU - €39bn, writes off UK assets in EU institutions, and others, but most importantly, the UK will be shackled to enduring EU vassalage with no membership rights and most importantly no unilateral right to break free.
"This effectively gives away the UK's Article 50 rights, which is a more parlous position compared to the UK's current EU membership... Voting for this is a betrayal."