Welsh MP Guto Bebb to stand down at election over Tory concerns

Guto Bebb in the House of Commons
Image caption Guto Bebb was elected MP for Aberconwy in May 2010

An MP says he will not stand for reselection as a Conservative candidate in the next general election as he is unhappy with the party’s direction.

Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb said the Conservative Party was “appealing to the type of nationalism that has seen UKIP grow in the past, and the Brexit Party now”.

He also told BBC Radio Cymru that Boris Johnson would be a “disastrous” prime minister.

Mr Bebb was elected in May 2010.

He expects there to be another general election by spring, because he believes whoever is in Number 10 will not be able to secure a Commons majority in favour of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Bebb said he would not be able to “with any conscience” offer himself as a candidate who agrees with either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt.

Image caption Tory party members are voting for either Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson to be the next prime minister

In the election for the new leader of the Conservative party Mr Bebb returned his ballot paper without casting a vote for either candidate.

The EU referendum vote has “meant that there is a tendency within the party to appeal to the extremes,” he said.

A former member of Plaid Cymru, Mr Bebb added that he has no intention of re-joining the party.  

“I don’t think Plaid Cymru has changed that much,” he said.

“I don’t believe in some of their economic principles. I consider myself Welsh, I can be completely comfortable with being part of an Union in Britain and the European Union.

“What’s not possible for someone like me is to believe in the type of English nationalism that we are now seeing within the Conservative Party.

“I don’t believe in nationalism at its worst in any context and certainly the nationalism I see in the Conservative Party currently concerns me.”

In July last year, Mr Bebb, who voted remain in the 2016 EU referendum, resigned as minister for defence procurement.

This was in order to vote against the government on amendments it accepted to its Brexit Customs Bill.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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